Tag Archives: Self-Delusion

How much does the average American corporation make in profit?

How much profit does the average American corporation make?
How much profit does the average American corporation make?

A while back, there was a story about how Americans vastly overestimate how many people in the USA are homosexual. According to Gallup polls in 2011, Americans estimated that 25% of the people in America were homosexual. In 2015, it was 23%. The actual number is about 3%. So it’s very clear that Americans can have wildly inaccurate perceptions about reality. Why are Americans so wrong? I think it’s because they see a lot of gay people in high profile areas, particularly in the entertainment industry.

I thought about this failure to perceive reality when I saw a story about how much profit Americans think that corporations make. My guess was that the average corporation makes about 5-10% profit margin. I know this because I used to buy and sell stocks regularly and that’s one of the numbers I would look at. Most Americans own stocks, so I thought they most Americans would know the number as well. But it turns out that American perceptions of corporate profits are wildly off the mark.

Check out this article from the prestigious American Enterprise Institute:

When a random sample of American adults were asked the question “Just a rough guess, what percent profit on each dollar of sales do you think the average company makes after taxes?” for the Reason-Rupe poll in May 2013, the average response was 36%! That response was very close to historical results from the polling organization ORC International polls for a slightly different, but related question: What percent profit on each dollar of sales do you think the average manufacturer makes after taxes? Responses to that question in 9 different polls between 1971 and 1987 ranged from 28% to 37% and averaged 31.6%.

How do the public’s estimates of corporate profit margins compare to reality? Not surprisingly they are off by a huge margin. According to this NYU Stern database for more than 7,000 US companies (updated in January 2018) in many different industries, the average profit margin is 7.9% for all companies and 6.9% for more than 6,000 companies excluding financials (see chart above).

[…]“Big Oil” companies make a lot of profits, right? Well, that industry (Integrated Oil/Gas) had a below-average profit margin of 5.6% in the most recent period analyzed, and separately, the Production and Exploration Oil/Gas industry is losing money, reflected in a -6.6% profit margin. For the general retail sector, the average profit margin is only 2.3% and for the grocery and food retail industry, it’s even lower at only 1.6%. And evil Walmart only made a 2.1% profit margin in 2017 (first three quarters) which is less than the industry average for general retail, possibly because grocery sales now make up more than half of Walmart’s revenue and profit margins are lower on food than general retail.

Sometimes, the government makes MORE from the sale of goods or services than the company that does ALL the work:

Interestingly, Walmart’s profit margin of 2.1% is actually less than one-third of the 6.5% the average state/local government takes of each dollar of Walmart’s retail sales for sales taxes. Think about it – for every $100 in sales for Walmart, the state/local governments get an average of $6.50 in sales taxes (and as much as $10.12 in Louisiana and $9.45 in Tennessee, see data here), while Walmart gets only $2.10 in after-tax profits!

I think that Americans are getting their false anti-corporation views from listening to the mainstream media. The mainstream media is overwhelmingly leftist according to recent studies of their political donations. I think that the anti-corporate views of the average American comes from their uncritical consumption of mainstream media propaganda. They think they are getting objective news reporting, but what they’re really getting is socialist propaganda.

Here is a short little video that explains more about profit margins, and what would happen if a socialist like Bernie Sanders were put in charge of a corporation:

If you’d like to help with this problem of anti-business economic illiteracy, please watch the video and share it, or share the AEI article, which contains the video. America will be a better country when Americans have accurate, informed beliefs about important issues.

Darwinian fundamentalists threaten boycott of science journal for paper mentioning “Creator”

The Church of Naturalism
The Church of Naturalism says turn or burn, heretic!

So, there was a peer-reviewed paper that appeared in the PLOS peer-reviewed journal that made reference to a Creator in the abstract. The scientific work of the paper had no problems.

I saved a copy of the post and the comments. Let’s look at some of the comments.

Comments by editors of the journal

Michael Sears:

The article should be retracted and the handling editor should be dismissed. As an Editor for this journal, I am appalled.

Ricard Sol:

I think that pretending to defend a creationist argument (non-science) in a science journal raises serious doubts about the whole enterprise. The paper should be retracted. As a PLOS ONE editor I believe accepting this situation would seriously damage our credibility.

Dante Chialvo:

[…]I am ashamed that the journal staff, the editor responsable for the paper, the reviewers, all ignored this more than obvious red flag resulting on a creationist argument embedded on a scientific paper. I will consider resigning unless exemplary actions are taken by Plos.

Angel Sánchez:

As I have said in a separate post, I will resign as an editor of PLOS ONE if this paper is not retracted immediately. PLOS ONE is a scientific journal and I don’t want to have anything to do, not even my name related to a journal tha publishes about superstition and supernatural entities. I will stop editing and I will stop submitting, and I’ll recommend everybody never to submit again to PLOS ONE. I hope we don’t have to go there.

So, you can see that science – as the naturalists conduct it – is not really the search for truth, no holds barred. It’s the attempt to explain nature without reference to a Creator and Designer. Whatever the experiments show must conform to a philosophical assumption (a religion), called naturalism. And the religion of naturalism determines what can and cannot be accepted as science. You can see the same principle at work in the denial of the Big Bang cosmology despite evidence such as the cosmic microwave background radiation, the light element abundances, and the redshifting of light from distant galaxies. Science has shown we live in a created universe that began about 13.7 billion years ago, but here we have atheists in denial of science sitting in positions of power deriding the Creator who has been revealed by experimental science. That’s the power of the naturalistic dogma. And it turns out that the most powerful argument for Darwinian evolution is this: “believe it, or I’ll have you fired, and ruin your career”. This is how Darwinism propagates from old to young – through coercion, and not through real science.

Other comments

Zach Throckmorton:

As others have noted, utilization of an intelligent design creationism framework for explaining human anatomy is not acceptable for a scientific journal.

Jorge Soberon:

I find the use of religious language in a scietific paper totally unacceptable. I will be watching this paper closely, and distributing it to colleagues. If PLOS ONE does not do something about it, like asking the authors to retratct the paper, or at the very least publishing an explanation, I will stop reviewing papers for PLOS ONE. I do hope the editors of PLOS ONE realize what a huge mistake was to accept publication of a paper with this wording. It says a lot about the care with which a paper is edited.

Adam Hartstone-Rose:

This article proves that there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the journal. If the paper isn’t retracted, my students, collaborators and I will have no choice but to refrain from submitting to this once respectable journal. I’m embarrassed for you and embarrassed that some of my proudest papers are in your journal.

[…]This requires a ballistic reaction, not a considered “looking into” the problem!

Enrico Petretto:

This is outrageous. If PLOS ONE does not do something about it, i.e., ask the authors to retract the paper, and in any case, if the paper isn’t retracted, my students, collaborators and I will have no choice but to refrain from considering (i..e, reading, reviewing and citing) papers published in PLOS ONE.

Luigi Maiorano:

Quote totally!! outrageous is the minimum! I published 3 of my papers in PlosOne, but I will never do it again. I’m actually telling all my students and colleagues to boycott the journal and never consider it again!

Jean-Michel Heraud:

I have no knowledge to judge this article…

[…]I would recommend to the editor of the journal to exclude definitely the two reviewers that have accepted this manuscript.

Oliver Rauhut:

As noted by many comments below, this is not a matter of inappropriate wording! This rather seems to be a (successfull) attempt to place an intelligent design argument in a (so far) respected scientific journal. Thus, the only solution is the immediate retraction of this paper! Unless this step has been done, my workgroup and me will refrain from publishing further papers in PLoS!

Harry Noyes:

Changing Creator to Nature will not solve the problem since it still implies a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution. That is there is no design process, no outcome is foreseen. Anything that works better tends to have a selective advantage but that is not a product of design it is a product of selection working on random events. The paper clearly needs a substantive rewrite quite apart from the concerns raised about the significance of the results raised by other comments.

Carl Schmidt:

A more important issue is the review process that allowed such nonsense as “Creator” to appear in a journal purportedly devoted to science.

The article has now been retracted.

Evolution News comments:

This would seem to bear out a remark by Chinese paleontologist J.Y. Chen, recounted in Darwin’s Doubt, “In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government; in America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.”

So what’s really behind all this fascism?

Consider this quote from famous population geneticist (and Darwinian fundamentalist) Richard Lewontin. And note that he equates science with his chosen religion of naturalism, he doesn’t accept science in the traditional sense of the word, where there is no metaphysical baggage.

He says:

Our willingness to accept scientific [i.e. – naturalistic] claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science [i.e. – naturalism] and the supernatural. We take the side of science [i.e. – naturalism] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific [i.e. – naturalistic] community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science [i.e. – naturalism] somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

“Billions and Billions of Demons” by Richard Lewtontin. (Link)

“A priori” means before seeing the facts, before seeing the evidence.

And what is behind the choice of naturalism as the preferred religion? Consider this quote from atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel.

He says this:

“In speaking of the fear of religion, I don’t mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper–namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.

I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

(”The Last Word” by Thomas Nagel, Oxford University Press: 1997)

The days of Isaac Newton are long gone, and another Newton will not emerge while the Naturalistic Church is in power. And it’s a taxpayer-funded church, too. Think about that next time you vote for bigger or smaller government.

Positive arguments for theism

Occupy Wall Street mom divorces husband for $85K, abandons her kids

Tom sent me this article from the New York Post. Read the article and decide who you think is to blame.

Excerpt:

She’s protesting banks — but still getting a bailout.

The Florida housewife who abandoned her family to join Occupy Wall Street is divorcing, giving up custody of her four kids and taking a big payout from her husband.

Professional protester Stacey Hessler is legally splitting from her hubby, Curtiss, but not before waltzing off with a portfolio that includes cash and his 401(k) retirement fund, filled with stocks and other instruments of American capitalism.

The divorce settlement, filed Oct. 16, awards Occu-Mom the $79,585 fund and a $5,800 bank account. Her total take: $85,385.

The filing lists Curtiss’ occupation as banker and says he earns $65,000 a year. Her job is listed in court papers as “protester” and her employer as “Occupy Wall Street.” Annual salary: $0.

Divorce papers cite “irreconcilable differences” for the split, saying the 19-year marriage “is irretrievably broken.”

One OWS protester who knows her says that Stacey’s devotion to the movement caused the divorce but that she was unfazed by the breakup.

“She didn’t seem sad about any of it,” the source said. “It was just so matter-of-fact.”

[…]But she did respond when a Post reporter asked about a YouTube video showing her making out with another protester during an Occupy “Kiss In” on Valentine’s Day.

“I actually made out with four guys,” she said, laughing wildly.

Curtiss, 43, initiated the divorce in Volusia County, Fla., where the couple raised their family about 25 miles west of Daytona Beach.

So who is to blame? The bad woman who did bad things? Let’s take a look at it.

Who is to blame when things go wrong in a relationship?

My view is that the man in the story is to blame, because I think that whenever something goes wrong in a relationship, then the person whose expectations are dashed is to blame. The reason why I think this is because you have to take people as you find them and then vet them as if they were job applicants applying for the job of marriage. The job of marriage has very specific requirements, and these requirements are objective. Someone is going to have to raise the kids, someone is going to have to cook the meals, someone is going to have to earn the bulk of the money, someone is going to have to deal with the beasties that invade the home. The goal of the relationship is not to test the person to see if they are “fun” or whether your friends are envious. The goal of the relationship is to test the person for the role they will play in the marriage.

Does it work in reverse – are women responsible for their bad choices?

What I’ve found is that although many people see that the man is responsible when he makes a bad choice, they don’t see the reverse situation. So consider the case where a man has sex with and then dumps a woman, who expected him to marry her and have children. Who is to blame? On my view, it’s the woman who is to blame. The man was bad before she got there, and you cannot expect a bad man to act good, just because you imagine that he will. And giving him recreational sex won’t make him act good – even if you imagine it will. Imagination is not the equivalent of passing an interview with the woman’s father, and getting the father’s approval. Imagination is not a 12-year resume with no gaps. Imagination is not a $500,000 investment portfolio. Imagination is not a paid-off home. Imagination is not a handful of reference letters from his former girlfriends. If the woman relied on her imagination when choosing a bad man, then the woman is to blame for the bad man’s bad conduct. She needs to take responsibility.

Sometimes, what I’ve noticed is that women tend to focus on the bad thing that the men do that is counter to their expectations, because they project a standard of morality onto the man that the man expressly repudiates. In fact, I have actually met atheistic women who think that atheistic men should act based on some standard of morality. But the problem is that neither the atheist woman nor the atheist man accepts any objective standard of morality. If there is no designer to the universe, then the universe is an accident, and there is no way that we OUGHT to be. If there is no way we OUGHT to be, then there is no point in expecting anyone to be any way – it’s just your opinion against their opinion. So you have a woman expecting a man to act according to some standard that she doesn’t think is real by her own worldview!And meanwhile, the good men are passed by because we are “too strict”, “too religious”, “too moral”, “too chaste”, “too sober”, “too predictable” and “there is no chemistry”. (Chemistry = emotional craziness)

My conversation with a Christian woman

I had a conversation with a Christian woman a while back about this, and she could not see how a woman could be responsible for her choices in the same way that the man in the news story was responsible for his choices. So I invented a new example to show how men could be to blame, unlikely though that may be, since men are perfect in every way. This time, I imagined what would happen if a stripper-gram woman showed up at my door. I actually told the woman I was chatting with that I had to go because a stripper-gram HAD shown up. I told the woman how attractive the stripper was, and how I was in love with her, and wanted to marry her. How she undoubtedly was very wealthy, and well educated, and how she would help me to raise little Michele Bachmanns and William Lane Craigs. I waxed eloquently on her B.S. in integrated science with a minor in philosophy, her M.A. in economics and her Ph.D in International Studies. All of which I had no evidence for, except for the feelings aroused by the sight of her naked cleavage. Besides, I explained, it would be easier for me to change her to match my vision of her after we were married.

At this point, my debating partner began to see the point. She could see that this imaginary stripper was going to dash my expectations, and probably cheat on me, and spend all my savings on shoes, handbags, dresses, jewelry and breast implants. And who would be to blame? ME! Because I am the one who was refusing to court her properly, and instead inventing an entire future life together that the imaginary stripper and I had never discussed. The stripper had never demonstrated that she capable of meeting those requirements – or even willing to try. I never asked her to try – and that’s my fault.

Why some women make bad decisions about men

I actually know a Christian-raised atheist woman who co-habitated with a left-wing, global-warming atheist and then got pregnant and had an abortion, and she blamed the man for this. As if an atheist should be expected to believe in objective moral values and marriage! As if the man had been able to get her to co-habitate and get pregnant without her consent! She accepted no responsibility for her choice of this man whatsoever. And when I told her about the dangers of pre-marital sex and the importance of courting rules, she dismissed them as being too strict, claiming that a good job, chastity, virginity, apologetics, a firmly-grounded Christian faith, a rational basis for morality, sobriety, and so on, were all totally unnecessary for a sensible successful marriage. Still! After all that! Her criteria for a man? First, “chemistry”, which is another word for physical attraction. And second, the approval of her very impractical, immature peer group. After all that, she still rejected the idea that standards for choosing the right man were important and should override her emotions.

Pseudogenes: how Darwinian mythology negatively impacts the progress of science

The latest discovery that falsifies Darwinian religion wasn’t without cost. Our search for cures for cancer was negatively impacted by more of their prejudices about pseudogenes.

Uncommon Descent explains the new discovery and why Darwinians opposed it. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Because they are generally noncoding and thus considered nonfunctional and unimportant, pseudogenes have long been neglected. Recent advances have established that the DNA of a pseudogene, the RNA transcribed from a pseudogene, or the protein translated from a pseudogene can have multiple, diverse functions and that these functions can affect not only their parental genes but also unrelated genes. Therefore, pseudogenes have emerged as a previously unappreciated class of sophisticated modulators of gene expression, with a multifaceted involvement in the pathogenesis of human cancer.

And the paper concludes:

The function of the great fraction of the human genome (98%) composed of sequences that do not encode proteins remains a mystery. Pseudogenes are technically part of this fraction, and the examples described here clearly demonstrate that they perform a broad and multifaceted spectrum of activities in human cancer. Therefore, the name pseudogenes, which underlies their close sequence similarity with parental counter-parts, should not imply a negative connotation. They might be “pseudo” genes because they do not encode a protein or because they encode a protein that does not function in the same way as that encoded by their cognate genes. Nonetheless, they are functionally disabled but can perform different functions than their parental gene counterparts.

Here are a few of the more recent errors made by religious Darwinians:

Why do these people believe weird things in the absence of evidence, only to have their speculations falsified when the gaps in our knowledge are closed by scientific progress? Well, evidence doesn’t matter to people who are motivated by naturalistic faith. Like belief in a flat-Earth, the delusion of naturalism is not accountable to scientific evidence. They believe what they want to believe. It’s not up for debate. For some people like Richard Dawkins, a prior lifestyle commitment makes theism (and the moral law!) an impossibility a priori. So there is at the root of atheism a fundamentalist close-mindedness that leads to intellectual dishonesty – not just deceiving others but deceiving themselves. They cannot admit to what reason and evidence is telling them. And it really does affect our progress in many areas, such as cancer research.

The war between atheism (anti-rational hedonism) and science is everywhere, across many scientific disciplines. Science makes discoveries about the Big Bang, the fine-tuning, the origin of life, the usefulness of non-coding DNA, pseudogenes, etc. Instead of accepting what science says and living consistently with science, the naturalist turns to speculations about something coming from nothing, multiverses, aliens, “junk” DNA and other irrational nonsense. The truth of the matter is that atheists will literally believe anything no matter how irrational it is.

If things go wrong in a relationship, who is to blame?

I was having a discussion with a Christian woman last night (who can comment, if she likes) about who is to blame in relationships when things go wrong.

My basic contention is that whenever something goes wrong in a relationship, then the person whose expectations are dashed is to blame.

The reason why I think this is because you have to take people as you find them and then vet them as if they were job applicants applying for the job of marriage. The job of marriage has very specific requirements, and these requirements are objective. Someone is going to have to raise the kids, someone is going to have to cook the meals, someone is going to have to earn the bulk of the money, someone is going to have to deal with the beasties that invade the home. The goal of the relationship is not to test the person to see if they are “fun” or whether your friends are envious. The goal of the relationship is to test the person for the role they will play in the marriage.

So consider the case where a man has sex with and then dumps a woman, who expected him to marry her and have children. Who is to blame? On my view, it’s the woman who is to blame. The man was bad before she got there, and you cannot expect a bad man to act good, just because you imagine that he will. Imagination is not the equivalent of passing an interview with the woman’s father, and getting the father’s approval. Imagination is not a 12-year resume with no gaps. Imagination is not a $500,000 investment portfolio. Imagination is not a paid-off home. Imagination is not a handful of reference letters from his former girlfriends. If the woman relied on her imagination, then the woman is to blame for the man’s bad conduct.

Sometimes, what I’ve noticed is that women tend to focus on the bad thing that the men do that is counter to their expectations, because they project a standard of morality onto the man that the man expressly repudiates. In fact, I have actually met atheistic women who think that atheistic men should act based on some standard of morality. But the problem is that neither the atheist woman nor the atheist man accepts any objective standard of morality. If there is no designer to the universe, then the universe is an accident, and there is no way that we OUGHT to be. If there is no way we OUGHT to be, then there is no point in expecting anyone to be any way – it’s just your opinion against their opinion. So you have a woman expecting a man to act according to some standard that she doesn’t think is real by her own worldview!And meanwhile, the good men are passed by because we are “too strict”, “too religious”, “too moral”, “too chaste”, “too sober”, “too predictable” and “there is no chemistry”. (Chemistry = emotional craziness)

What this means is that women end up feeling free to drink as much as they want, have sex with whoever they want on the basis of appearance and popularity, and then expect that sex will cause the man to immediately propose with a diamond ring, a massive expensive wedding in Hawaii, a huge palatial home, and so on. The moral laws that might block a woman from doing bad things are “too strict” for her to follow, but they expect men to follow moral rules that they don’t follow themselves! Women actually believe that drunken hook-up sex will cause really immoral men to drop their hedonistic, atheistic lifestyles and act completely differently than they were before. What causes women to think this? It isn’t reason and evidence, that’s for sure. I think they think that men who are good looking and popular have some store of hidden virtue that is unlocked by having sex with the woman who is their “soul mate”. Somehow, a magical spell will come over a self-centered, muscle-bound lout and he will be filled with thoughts of marriage and babies. Women actually think that! And what happens is that after choosing the wrong man and getting pregnant, etc. with him, they blame the man for the subsequent abortions, affairs, domestic violence, etc. In short, the problem is this: women go to the pet store, pass by all the dogs and cats and bird, and bring home a trendy and attractive alligator, who then promptly bites each of their limbs off. And then the women complain that the alligator is very unfair and immoral. Who is really to blame here? The alligator, who is just doing what comes naturally for alligators, or the woman who passed the good pets by and brought home a monster?

It sounds like I am blaming women, but I’m not – but she wasn’t convinced. So I invented a new example to show how men could be to blame, unlikely though that may be, since men are perfect in every way. This time, I imagined what would happen if a stripper-gram woman showed up at my door. I actually told the woman I was chatting with that I had to go because a stripper-gram HAD shown up. I told the woman how attractive the stripper was, and how I was in love with her, and wanted to marry her. How she undoubtedly was very wealthy, and well educated, and how she would help me to raise little Michele Bachmanns and William Lane Craigs. I waxed eloquently on her B.A. in integrated science with a minor in philosophy of religion, M.A. in economics and her J.D. in defamation law. All of which I had no evidence for, except for the feelings of love aroused by the site of her naked cleavage. Besides, I explained, it would be easier for me to change her to match my boobie-induced delusions of her after we were married. At this point, my debating partner began to see the point. She could see that this imaginary stripper was going to dash my expectations, and probably cheat on me, and spend all my savings on shoes and breast implants. And who would be to blame? ME! Because I am the one who was refusing to court her properly, and instead inventing an entire future life together that the imaginary stripper and I had never discussed, nor was she capable of meeting those requirements.

I actually know a Christian-raised atheist woman who co-habitated with a left-wing, global-warming atheist and then got pregnant and had an abortion, and she blamed the man for this. As if an atheist should be expected to believe in objective moral values and marriage! As if the man had been able to get her to co-habitate and get pregnant without her consent! She accepted no responsibility for her choice of this man whatsoever. And when I told her about the dangers of pre-marital sex and the importance of courting rules, she dismissed them as being too strict, claiming that a good job, chastity, virginity, apologetics, a firmly-grounded Christian faith, a rational basis for morality, sobriety, and so on, were all totally unnecessary for a sensible successful marriage. Still! After all that! Her sole criteria for a man? CHEMISTRY! And the approval of her female peers, who were all penniless, up to their eyeballs in student loans and credit card debt, and had degrees in squishy-headed non-engineering/non-science fields, like English, Women’s Studies, Journalism and Peace Studies. Phooey!

So this kind of thing really happens, and many of the people who should bear the responsibility are oblivious to the fact that they have any duty at all to actually evaluate romantic partners rationally and objectively to see if they are able to meet the demands of marriage and parenting. People act as if drunkenness, partying, promiscuity and selfishness are pre-requisites to a good marriage. And that fathers have no role to play in setting out boundaries for their daughters and making them accountable for their decisions.

For all the men out there, if this sort of crazy irrational avoidance of responsibility strikes a chord with you, I urge you to go out and watch the 2008 movie “Taken” with Liam Neeson. For a more gritty dramatic movie, I recommend the movie “Thirteen”from 2003. Fathers matter. Husbands matter.

I was having a discussion with a Christian woman last night (who can comment, if she likes) about who is to blame in relationships when things go wrong.

My basic contention is that whenever something goes wrong in a relationship, then the person whose expectations are dashed is to blame.

The reason why I think this is because you have to take people as you find them and then vet them as if they were job applicants applying for the job of marriage. The job of marriage has very specific requirements, and these requirements are objective. Someone is going to have to raise the kids, someone is going to have to cook the meals, someone is going to have to earn the bulk of the money, someone is going to have to deal with the beasties that invade the home. The goal of the relationship is not to test the person to see if they are “fun” or whether your friends are envious. The goal of the relationship is to test the person for the role they will play in the marriage.

So consider the case where a man has sex with and then dumps a woman, who expected him to marry her and have children. Who is to blame? On my view, it’s the woman who is to blame. The man was bad before she got there, and you cannot expect a bad man to act good, just because you imagine that he will. Imagination is not the equivalent of passing an interview with the woman’s father, and getting the father’s approval. Imagination is not a 12-year resume with no gaps. Imagination is not a $500,000 investment portfolio. Imagination is not a paid-off home. Imagination is not a handful of reference letters from his former girlfriends. If the woman relied on her imagination, then the woman is to blame for the man’s bad conduct.

At this point, the woman in question started to disagree with me. She thought that all people (especially those evil men) should be expected to act like Christian theists, and that if they didn’t then they were to blame. In other words, people should feel feel free to drink as much as they want, have sex with whoever they want on the basis of appearance and popularity, and then expect that sex will cause the man to immediately propose with a diamond ring, a massive expensive wedding in Hawaii, a huge palatial home, and so on. Women actually belief that drunken hook-up sex will cause really immoral men to drop their hedonistic, atheistic lifestyles and cause men to act completely differently than they were before. What causes women to think this? It isn’t reason and evidence, that’s for sure. I think they think that men who are good looking and popular have some store of hidden virtue that is unlocked by having sex with the woman who is their “soul mate”. Somehow, a magical spell will come over a self-centered, muscle-bound lout and he will be filled with thoughts of marriage and babies. Women actually think that!

Well, she thought I was just blaming women again, which I love to do. So I invented a new example to show how men could be to blame, unlikely though that may be, since men are perfect in every way. This time, I imagined what would happen if a stripper-gram woman showed up at my door. I actually told the woman I was chatting with that I had to go because a stripper-gram HAD shown up. I told the woman who lovely the stripper was, and how I was in love with her, and wanted to marry her. How she undoubtedly was very wealthy, and would help me to raise little Michele Bachmanns and William Lane Craigs. I waxed eloquently on her B.A. in integrated science with a minor in philosophy of religion, M.A. in economics and her J.D. in defamation law. All of which I had no evidence for, except for the feelings of love aroused by the site of her naked cleavage. Besides, I explained, it would be easier for me to change her to match my boobie-induced delusions after we were married. At this point, my debating partner began to see the point. She could see that this imaginary stripper was going to dash my expectations, and probably cheat on me, and spend all my savings on shoes and breast implants. And who would be to blame? ME! Because I am the one who was refusing to court her properly, and instead inventing an entire future life together that the imaginary stripper and I had never discussed, nor was she capable of meeting those requirements.

So now I would like to hear from my commenters what they think about this way of assigning blame so that it is not based on the degree of bad thing that is done. Instead I assign blame to the person who chooses the wrong person for a relationship, for the wrong reasons, and then hopes to change that person later.

I actually know a Christian-raised woman who co-habitated with a left-wing, global-warming atheist and then got pregnant and had an abortion, and she blamed the man for this. As if an atheist should be expected to believe in objective moral values and marriage! As if the man had been able to get her to co-habitate and get pregnant without her consent! She accepted no responsibility for her choice of this man whatsoever. And when I told her about the dangers of pre-marital sex and the importance of courting rules, she dismissed them as being too strict, claiming that a good job, chastity, virginity, apologetics, a firmly-grounded Christian faith, a rational basis for morality, sobriety, and so on, were all totally unnecessary for a sensible successful marriage. Still! After all that! Her sole criteria for a man? CHEMISTRY! And the approval of her female peers, who were all penniless, up to their eyeballs in student loans and credit card debt, and had degrees in squishy-headed non-engineering/non-science fields, like English, Women’s Studies, Journalism and Grievance Mongering Socialist Theory. (That is a real degree at Wellesley College, I am pretty sure) Phooey!

So this kind of thing really happens, and many of the people who I think should bear the responsibility are oblivious to the fact that they have any duty at all to actually evaluate romantic partners rationally and objectively to see if they are able to meet the demands of marriage and parenting. People act as if drunkenness, partying, promiscuity and selfishness are pre-requisites to a good marriage. And that fathers have no role to play in setting out boundaries for their daughters and making them accountable for their decisions.

For all the men out there, if this sort of crazy irrational avoidance of responsibility strikes a chord with you, I urge you to go out and watch the 2008 movie “Taken” with Liam Neeson. For a more gritty dramatic movie, I recommend the movie “Thirteen”from 2003. Fathers matter. Husbands matter.