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Hedonic flush

The right asserts the link between race and IQ, the left demurs—and they are on strong ground: you cannot, per Hume, derive values from facts—no “is” implies an “ought”. This is salient with regards to race and IQ because what the right does is to take an “is” and derive a hierarchical “ought” from it—eugenics, racial hierarchies. You might retort that while no “is” implies an “ought” it does strongly suggest it. I mean, if we discover a fault in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that occurs when we conduct certain tests with the backup generators the facts strongly suggest that those certain tests are “a bad thing”—to be avoided, or else “KA-BLOOM”.

The problem is that once the metaphysical structure has been removed the default used to provide morality is a variant on utilitarianism, if not actual utilitarianism itself. Pain is a fact—and we can actually measure it on a scale of 1-10. I could, for example, drop a hammer on your hand—suitably affixed to an armrest with a velcro strap—and you would go, “Ouch! It’s a 7,” or, alternatively, when I used the little hammer, “Eh. It’s a 3.” That is scientific and factual. The organism responds in a certain way to stimuli—it twists away from the hot poker I hold before its cheek…Now these observations are facts; however, other assertions, such as, “We need a hierarchical society orientated to higher and transcendent values,” are not testable in that way. The above is not really a factual statement, hence it is not really admissible as a moral desideratum in a scientific society.

Hence, when the sprightly IQ researcher presents his evidence, it can be rejected on scientific grounds. The scientific grounds it can be rejected upon is that it causes pain—it causes me pain to hear this awful news, it may cause pain to other races, and perhaps it could be used to justify extermination policies that demonstrably cause pain. Without a transcendent value that trumps pain reduction—such as a will-to-truth—the results must be rejected. Pain is factual—we can measure the organism’s responses to it, the responses are negative; hence, we must reduce pain—and that includes psychic pain. This is just basic science—so these results must be suppressed, the organism naturally shrinks from pain; it is natural to disregard these results—natural and scientific.

This is why the left can reject the link between IQ and race in good conscience. The left is not amoral, it just derives its morals from non-metaphysical premises—its morals are utilitarian; therefore, if science causes pain (or has been demonstrated to do so in the past) it can be rejected. Since there is no moral hierarchy within the thought other than to avoid pain, there is no reason why pure physical pain—or even my neurotic discomfort—should not trump facts other than pain; after all, the scientific materialist view does not claim to be amoral or immoral—it just excludes what is not testable.

John Stuart Mill realised that pure “act” utilitarianism leads to this problem—hence he developed, in contradistinction to his father, “rule” utilitarianism. Mill’s utilitarianism avoids the problem that it is acceptable under pure utilitarianism: a judge may punish an innocent man to avert a riot in which dozens will perish—the greatest good for the greatest number; rather, Mill encodes the hedonistic calculus into rules—“If the judge refrains from punishing one man so that the riot will be averted, the overall good will be higher because it will preserve the justice system intact—and an intact justice system is worth more, hedonically, than one riot prevented.”

You notice that utilitarians inevitably have to reinvent something that approaches metaphysics to deal with the inherent absurdities in their ideas. Mill’s “rule” utilitarianism is awfully abstract; it removes utilitarianism’s most striking scientific strength, that it assesses an act’s moral worth in accordance with pleasure here and now—perfectly measurable. After all, the assertion that the justice system, overall, leads to a higher hedonic outcome than the judge who sacrifices one man to save many killed in a riot is difficult to demonstrate practically—not like attaching an electrode to someone and shocking them and noting it down as anti-hedonic.

It is worth consideration, in my view, that Mill’s father—James Mill—ran baby Mill’s life like a laboratory experiment in line with utilitarian principles; the young JS Mill was hot-housed in Latin and Greek so that he was fluent in both by eight—Mill the Younger eventually rebelled against this experiment, an experiment he detested, and produced “rule” utilitarianism in order to get away from the desiccated corpse of his father’s utilitarianism. Notably, James Mill’s co-creator of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, had his corpse preserved at University College London and it is still rolled out to attend committee meetings—duly noted as “present”, in a desiccated state, in the minutes.

The parody of immortality attempted by Bentham at the secular university he founded demonstrates the perversity that runs through his theory—right through into his colleague’s child-rearing practices. A similar tendency was evident over a century later with BF Skinner and his “Skinner box” ideas for the operant conditioning of babies in the cyber-womb. Utilitarians just love the idea that you can “experiment” on kids, rewire them in the crib—and yet, as with JS Mill, this hedonic calculus almost always leads to a counter-reaction when the child reaches adulthood.

Anyway, the right cannot make headway with “the science” against the left—at least partly because they do not sincerely promote the science as “just the facts”, they strongly imply in their rhetorical presentation, though they deny it (for the rhetoric to work), that the facts suggest that a racial hierarchy is desirable and should be augmented. Ultimately, the left is on stronger scientific ground—science’s morality is utilitarianism, and the implications from race and IQ research cause pain; and, indeed, have been proven in the past to cause more than neurotic distress. Therefore, the research may be suppressed—it contradicts the morality that scientific thought has itself birthed.

Of course, a Mill-type “rule” utilitarian might argue that to inflict pain now can lead to a greater hedonic pleasure in the future—yet this is no more practically demonstrable than a metaphysical commitment to a particular abstract position. The proposition, “We shall ignore immediate discomfort because we expect another greater comfort in the future if we do so,” remains true and yet it has destroyed everything potent in utilitarianism—we can only have you eat the marshmallow and rate your pleasure response, we cannot say for certain that to refrain from a marshmallow today will lead to thirty marshmallows a week later; it might be probable, it is not certain in the way my hedonic response to today’s marshmallow is certain—or, at least, very probable. You could, for example, argue that the probable hedonic outcome/loss if God and an afterlife are real is so great that it warrants that you follow a traditional religion—in turn, you should reject utilitarianism itself because it seeks moral decisions on a basis not rooted in tradition (a variant on Pascal’s wager).

Ultimately, I think that the left is rooted in the scientific outlook—it denies values; and it especially denies any transcendent hierarchical values. Utilitarianism is cosmopolitan because it strips morality down to a quantitative relation that holds across the world—does it cause pain and, if so, how much? If it hurts, the pain must be reduced. The Chinaman and the Eskimo and the Englishman are assessed per their hedonic units—they are reduced to the animal level; anything particular, anything qualitative in them, must be erased—all are equal before the pain-pleasure dyad.

You can see the connection between the left and science in the below quotes from Carlton S. Coon. Now, Coon is known as a “scientific racist” today—he is, per nominative determinism, interested in coons (of all varieties). Yet in this section you see the scientific worldview fully articulated: you see a vision whereby we have “progressed”—Coon’s own words—from primitive life forms all the way up to the United Nations, all the way up to world government.

This process has been, as Coon puts it, accumulative and governed by natural laws—per Coon’s view, perhaps written as a sop to guard against progressives but still in line with his scientific approach, life has been getting better and better as our “network density” increases. Today, we have more and better connections in the “global brain” than ever—we approach the “take-off” point where we will literally fly into space. Everything has proceeded upwards from the lowest to the highest.

Coon’s approach also chimes with progressivism: world history is a linear progression upwards in accordance with certain laws and things are better today than ever—though humans are analogous to “cancer”. The contrary view is that life is cyclical and that what Coon sees as a progression has been a degradation. Today, we almost lack any spiritual orientation whatsoever—it has died as we progressed toward’s Coon “one-state”, being not useful from an evolutionary point of view and not a means to increase the network density found in commerce and mass social organisation. For Coon, the quantitative scientist, Siberian shamanism and Roman Catholicism have no value—they were just incidental stages in socio-economic development, since what they provide is non-existent for Coon. Yet in the ultra-advanced Western techno-scientific society, complete with gene therapies, we struggle to assert that men and women are different—simple for our ancestors, such is progress.

What this demonstrates is that eugenics and Darwinism are also leftist: they also deny absolute objective standards and assert “progress”—yet they are the first to be destroyed by progressives because, as they shed the metaphysical will-to-truth that drives the original scientific impulse, they are the first to conflict with hedonic morality, being painfully savage, and so are suppressed.


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