Random Xpat Rantings

Contemplative dominance for the modern man

Morality in an uncaring universe

Posted by xsplat on February 23, 2014

Irrelavant said: There seems to be a spectrum of guys in the manosphere that falls roughly like this: moral —– not concerned with morality… One side is longing for a morality that is being purposely disintegrated before our very eyes, while the other is taking the approach of “fuck morality, it’s a human construct.” … I don’t live my life by either perspective… I believe morality to be an unspoken agreement between human beings about how they will function with one another within the bounds of social relations… But when all hell breaks loose, that unspoken agreement quickly shifts to an agreement that is purely about survival… We have an entire generation of males who have been so utterly destroyed by anti-moral forces, that it seems to me to be good strategy to bring them back into the camp, before they destroy themselves (and our legacy) on a worthless “quest” of their own.

I’ve written about morality before.

The buck always stops. Somewhere. Whatever is good is good for SOMEONE. The way nature and physics and reality is set up is that we compete for resources, and that there is not and can not be a common good.

Wherever you have socialist endeavors where the public good is considered, it always steps on the toes of individuals. And the reverse. Wherever individuals benefit others are relatively disadvantaged. It is impossible to develop a system that is not adversarial. Adversity is built into the fabric of reality.

Even when researchers look into morality, they find that the brain is set up to make seemingly non-sensical judgments, and we are unable to make truly rational moral decisions. Kill one man to save two? Rape and torture an innocent child to prevent a cholera outbreak?

I identify neither as a socialist nor capitalist. Both are just two sides of the same coin – they are the same thing, fundamentally. Self organizing self perpetuating power structures.

The common good or the individual good – no matter where you look the buck has to stop. Somewhere. It stops in the end with individuals life satisfaction.

So THAT is morality. Increasing individual life satisfaction.

Moralists often want to reduce life satisfaction in the name of the common good, in which case they are anti-moral. They forget the origin of morality, which is where the buck stops. In individual life satisfaction.

Yes, to maximize life satisfaction as normal non-sociopathic humans we need to feel that we are part of something larger and give and receive from a group. We need to partner in cooperations in order to economically compete. We need a mix of individuality and cooperation.

And in the end, the buck stops. Individually. And in the end there is no hope of ever finding a way out of the fact of competition for resources. It is fundamentally dog eat dog, and we cooperate in that fight. And then there is the whole issue of motivation, which is fundamental to all economic activity. When we try to maximize cooperation we run up against minimizing motivation.

Those with a genetically relatively heightened sense of disgust FEEL morality as a free floating empirically existing platonic thing. A law of nature. Their sense of disgust tells them that some things are just wrong, regardless of outcome. Things aren’t right or wrong because they have certain causes and effects, some things are just wrong because they are wrong because they are wrong. The heightened sense of disgust hijacks all the mental wiring and overwhelms all reason and all that is known is that that they KNOW. That sense of knowing requires no reason or introspection to them, and is beyond reason or introspection as it shuts that down. It highjacks all of the brain and screams out WRONG!

But that’s just biological instinct. That’s not ethics.

So I’m a pragmatist and understand that our human wiring is set up such that if you want to maximize happiness you have to increase oxytocin, which requires giving to others and being part of a group, and cooperating. Also in many of my posts I show the practical value of thinking coherently and minimizing lying to oneself in a short term effort to increase self esteem or avoid anxiety. And to help that being honest with others is very important. And so honest cooperative dealings increases personal and group happiness, and the buck stops.

14 Responses to “Morality in an uncaring universe”

  1. UCB said

    I don’t know if you’ve by chance read about the Gervais Principles: http://www.ribbonfarm.com/the-gervais-principle/. I mentioned it on cedo’s blog, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Basic summary is that guys who strive for power or come into by other means tend to adopt this same basic philosophy you’ve illustrated here. People in power use morality as a tool for manipulating others to do there bidding. To take it a step further, being the type of guy who always plays by the rules simply demonstrates to those in power that you are unfit for it yourself. It’s not terribly difficult to see how this line of thought applies to economics and game.

    BTW — appreciate the recommendation on “The Authoritarians.” It’s quite the read.

    • Irrelevant (spelling, and all that) said

      I don’t believe that I have the answer to this one, else I would present it. Morality is a subject that I’ve been personally researching and contemplating for a handful of years now. X’s comment helped “unstick” me from a place where I was stuck; a place looking back on less than a week later, that I say, “Of course that’s right… it aligns with all of your other thinking… why didn’t you see it before?” I can’t answer that other than to say that it was a blind spot. We all have them.

      As far as I’ve arrived in my research and understanding of the issue, morality is a form of self-governance among a given biological social population, for the survival benefit of that population. Most social mammals seem to express some form of it—monkeys, horses, canines and orcas are fascinating studies. And just like other biological truths that are discussed in the manosphere, upon learning how morality can be exploited for one’s own self-benefit, it certainly will be by those with such an inclination.

      Nothing in my research indicates that this in any way discredits the evolutionary reasons that morality biologically binds us all, in a healthy way, when left in its natural state, rather than being abused. Again, I don’t have an answer to this one, but I sure do appreciate intelligent people willing to discuss it in an objective non-defensive way—it’s beneficial to me, personally.

      By the way, UCB, I accrue significant value from your comments, thanks.

    • xsplat said

      Ya, this is one reason why the argument that even if religion is false it’s still better that people believe in it falls down with a nose breaking splat.

      Entire cultures were wiped out through religious conversion, especially by the Spanish.

      Religion is also a means of control. Arguing for it is arguing to become vulnerable to exploitation. Any time you advocate for deliberate cluelessness you are advocating for an inability to see the genuine power structure and make informed selfish decisions. “Heartiste” apparently recently blogged that a father should inculcate religious beliefs in his son, regardless of how false they are, in order to set up some sort of respect for authority. That is precisely teaching your son to be clueless. An obedient de-clawed de-clued bot who will fall prey to the clued.

      I’m following up on your recommended reading. I see ffy also has also commented on it http://flyfreshandyoung.com/2013/03/05/the-gervais-principle/

      In Gervais-principle terms, teaching your son religion is cultivating him for middle-management. Cultivating him to be the perpetually self deluded Micheal character in TV’s “The Office”. Or a military grunt.


      Riffing on the same theme it could be said that the fake it till you make it approach can be, at it’s extreme, a form of de-cluing yourself and making yourself unable to compete. Because you refuse to see the true power structure, you can’t rise in it. There are PUAs who refuse a clue that money is attractive and therefore de-clue themselves. The confidence is all crowd won’t be making babies with socialites, and de-clue themselves about that that is basically the game of life. Impregnating the smartest and most beautiful women. Or being able to. Women are a commodity and they are not too stupid to know their value and they sell themselves for what their value is. Their value is also monetary. And only the de-clued don’t know that.

      All the real life variables of attraction are real, and so lying to oneself in order to increase confidence and therefore perform better in the short term is like drinking alcohol every time you go out in order to increase confidence. It’s a short term fix that can ruin your long term potential. Better to face up to the real game that is being played around us, and compete effectively for a long term strategy. Get real power and influence and value and fitness and know what women really value and what they really sell themselves for. And it’s not just confidence.

  2. Irrelevant said

    Here’s a person who has earned the right to speak from experience very intelligently about the concept of morality, specifically addressed in this most recent post. Don’t necessarily agree with him, don’t necessarily disagree with him, but he has lived through true experiences that I hope to never know. And, his testament (you’ll have to read his post backlog) kind of puts the rest of the manosphere into a more productive perspective for its individual readers.


  3. Irrelevant said

    Henceforth, anywhere in the manospere that I see wannabees talking about “morality,” I will hold “Selco” foremost in my thoughts. I really don’t care who you are or what your agenda is; if you haven’t lived through a massive reconfiguration of human “morality,” then you really haven’t earned the platform that you stand upon, as regards morality. Love you just the same, but come on, you’re simply not in a position to authoritatively speak to such a complex issue.

    That being said, I still think that it’s a topic highly worthy of discussion among us, and will continue to engage dispassionately in that discussion, so long as it endures.


  4. […] Irrelavant said: There seems to be a spectrum of guys in the manosphere that falls roughly like this: moral —– not concerned with morality… One side is longing for a morality that is being purposely disintegrated before our very eyes, while the…  […]

  5. UCB said

    @xsplat: Glad to see you’re following up on the Gervais Principles. I really think it’s something you’ll appreciate.

    @ Irrelevant: Appreciate the kind words. It’s rare to find a community (small as this one may be), where clear, analytical thought is respected and appreciated. I’m glad to have stumbled upon this one here.

    I find this to be an interesting discussion so far. Personally, my thoughts and feelings on morality are far from settled. The only people I know whose thoughts on morality is truly settled are the edge cases… people who lived their lives largely at the extreme ends of the moral scale. Liars, murderers, cops, soldiers, (PUAs?) and thieves tend to have a very hardened view of the world. High RWA religious types who’ve yet to experience any real hardship have any equally hardened but opposing view of moral reality. Most of the rest of us are somewhere in between.

    One of the points that gets lost in these discussions of morality is the fact that most people tend to have very different views of what’s moral towards members of their in-group vs. their out-group. I think for most people, their fundamental moral reality is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you… so long as those ‘others’ look, act, think, and feel the same way as you.” Beyond that, all other bets are off.

    The problem is that modern civilization has blurred the lines between these groups so fully that few of us know to react to challenging moral situations. We are too trusting of those in our out-group, and not trusting enough of those in our in-group. The PUAs attempt to bypass this problem by treating everyone as members of their out-group, which ironically makes them more vulnerable even than the “betas” they love to deride. At least those so-called betas have families to fall back on in times of need.

  6. UCB said

    Also, something else worth considering…

    According to Maslow, “morality” only entered into the picture long after all other more basic needs were satisfied. While I never gave much consideration to Maslow as a moral theorist, his hierarchy predicts what are likely actions much better than any competing moral theory I know of.

    You could hardly expect a man who’s fighting for his survival to engage in any sort of fair or “moral” dealing, which is exactly what Selco’s experience suggests. However, it’s equally dangerous to adopt Selco’s survivalist morality in an otherwise healthy and functional society — the morality of the jungle is not the morality of suburbia, and vice versa.

    By the same token, it’d be foolish to believe the emotionally underdeveloped PUAs and their amoral female *slut* companions (all of whom would be severely lacking in love/belonging and true self-esteem) would have anything interesting to say about morality or the basic realities of everyday life to a more fully developed person. They are too far down the “needs hierarchy.” As an example, I’ve personally experienced a near 180 degree turn from my previous PUA morality since graduating to a more long-term building and investment-oriented lifestyle. Doing so was a necessary requirement for living at the high level of life satisfaction and self-actualization I aspire to these days. However, this current morality would have been a liability for me in younger, short-term focused, less-fully developed PUA days.

    It seems the real challenge of morality these days isn’t necessarily in defining some objective value of what morality is; rather it’s in fishing out what others’ definitions of morality are and determining whether or not they are compatible with your own. That is to say, in-group/out-group determination is both a pre-cursor to and a basic sub-component of Xsplat’s morality of increasing individual life satisfaction.

    • xsplat said

      in-group/out-group determination is both a pre-cursor to and a basic sub-component of Xsplat’s morality of increasing individual life satisfaction.

      I hadn’t thought of that and didn’t realize until you said it that I agree. Mostly. It also can feel good to include in ones in-group those who can’t reciprocate cooperation. Some principles, when we have the luxury to hold them, can help all around. For instance not torturing rabbits feels good.

  7. xsplat said

    Venkat (the Gervais-principle author) is a top level genius with high level insights. “Both the clueless and losers are too self-absorbed to put in much work developing accurate and usable mental models of others. The result is one-size-fits-all-situations tactical choices which are easily anticipated and deflected.”

    I try to teach being what he terms a good sociopath. It’s being both provider and bad boy at the same time, and playing dominance games and switching up tactics and not believing when girls pull their often nearly unconscious power plays on the man to get him to submit. In Venkats terminology I speak power talk to girls, and girls inately recognize social power talk.

    In fact much of seduction is simply speaking power talk. Girls will recognize you as part of the in-the-know group, but you don’t have to be crass about it. It’s playful and double entenders and you never feel any need inside of yourself to shame a girl for her true motivations.

    I remember one Muslim chick who always tried to frame things in terms of virginity and marriage. A few years later we met up on yahoo chat and I was no longer making any pretences of buying into her narrative and she admitted that it was sexy. She went just nearly all the way into explaining exactly why calling her on her gambit and playing a real in-the-clue bad boy was sexy.

    But I advocate not just being a bad-boy, as that is also still clueless. Use all the attraction triggers, and get her to fall into romantic infatuation to your inner provider also. They are not NECESSARILY dualistic sexual strategies in women. They can be used both at the same time, and like melody and a strong backbeat, in concert are much more moving.

    What even many so called Red-Pill guys continue to do is to de-clue themselves. They refuse to see the rules that OTHERS play by. What motivates OTHERS. No realistic theory of mind for other.

    And so you get get guys trying to explain to women about cats.

    Really, the clueless not understanding the rules of the sociopaths. Get married and stop fucking bad boys or you’ll die alone with cats! What a middle management perspective. A girl needs to know that you know who is playing what games and know how to manipulate people and manipulate her. You can’t manipulate girls attraction through talking about her future. And it’s not just about biological attraction, as I tried to say in a recent post, what motivates women is not ONLY about genes, and not ONLY about provision. It’s also about TEMPORARY positioning and movement on a relative ladder. A man is not a final conclusion to a book. He is sometimes a chapter. A plot device to move things into a new direction. Women are far more clued into social dynamics – even 16 year old virgins – than many so called red-pill men who drone on about cats. It is not a futile waste of precious time to fuck around. It’s realistic gambits with realistic opportunities, and social stepping, and education in how to interact in new social venues. And on purpose oops babies. Women have a vast number of motivations and sexual strategies – it’s not only about who is going to wipe your ass when you are wrinkly.

    In Venkats terminology, a few double entendres that state you know of the various female strategies is power talk. High level power talk is social positioning, such that you wind up with an 18 year old slave who deep throats with full devotion and leaves on command and doesn’t complain about your other goings on.

    Whereas the clueless are left having moralistic fainting spells. “Society! Societyyy! Societtttttiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee!”

  8. Mark said

    Do you have a Twitter account, Xpat?

  9. Ken said

    I have found that plenty of people who lack advantages in life will try to impose a false morality on others in order to try to induce a guilt trip in them; and they always seem to have a convenient solution at hand, you can aid or assist them in some way which will directly benefit themselves, in which case your guilt may be absolved and you will have won their approval, as they chuckle to themselves about how crafty and clever they are. Meanwhile, they will offer you a well tailored image of themselves, as they try to hide the fact that they are mere manipulators with so many faults of their own it would make the devil blush.

    • xsplat said

      I rather suspect that our biases tend to be subconscious and we believe our own bullshit, more often than not.

      But in the end it’s the same thing. An unconscious bias is even worse than a conscious one. At least Machiavelian manipulation isn’t steeped in confusion and ignorance.

      Buyer beware, as always. I think that being able to understand that we all operate from selfish motivations increases our mutual empathy and love. The notion of group effort and group mind can conversely decrease empathy and love, because when we pretend to play by the rules of communal social benefit we operate on the surface of what in SEA they call social “face”.

      We are self concerned, and that’s unavoidable. So when we know that these ploys special interest groups make are unavoidably biased towards self interest, the ploys lose their guild appeal.

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