Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pious winning the game they don't even know they're playing

Pat Buchanan has a recent VDare column that deals with religious fecundity.

That's a topic of great personal interest. I'm persistently frustrated by evo-bio thinkers who overwhelmingly disdain religiosity, even as it is clearly a procreative winner. Those who believe most in the Darwinian game are performing atrociously from the break, while those who refuse to recognize the game is even being played are running the table over and over and over again.

15 comments:

Marc said...

Well, if we are going to discuss hypocrisy, what about Buchanan's harping endlessly about the West's low birth rates - admittedly, a very serious problem - while not having any children himself? You must be the change you want to see in the world, after all.

My apologies to Buchanan and his wife if they are unable to conceive.

Hal K said...

I remember watching a TV interview program where someone asked Pat Buchanan about this. He expressed regret that they didn't have any children but did not elaborate as to what the reason was.

Audacious Epigone said...

Marc,

Interesting observation. I have not heard Buchanan discuss that. Although there is the question of where one can do the most good. That is, am I better serving by enmeshing myself in active family-raising, or by arguing in favor of how doing so is good for the future of the US? One may take away from the other. Buchanan may not have been able to churn out as many columns, books, tv appearances, and political campaigns as he has if he were fathering children.

That said, the explanation behind it is something worth knowing.

Hal,

Do you happen to remember who/what program it was? Maybe we could dig up a transcript. Googling doesn't turn up much.

Hal K said...

It would have been at least 5 years ago, probably around when "The Death of the West" was published. It could have been one of the cable news programs where he was a regular guest. I just did some Google searches and didn't find anything either.

Albert Finley said...

There is a reason why religion is being attacked so mindlessly by people like Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennett. Because they can get away with it. Political correctness doesn't protect western religions like christianity and judaism.

Religious folk don't read the books by these authors, by and large, so they don't need to worry about reader boycotts either.

The evo-devo folks who are really young, just get a charge out of feeling smarter than those dumb hick religious morons. It's a regrettable phase of development that we hope most of them will grow out of.

Marc said...

Audacious,

A man of Buchanan's means could certainly find a way to combine a productive career with fatherhood. Besides, combining parenthood with career is typically more of a problem for women, for obvious reasons.

If he expressed regret about not having children, I would suspect that there were some infertility issues going on there. It's a personal and potentially painful subject which is why I guess people don't usually broach it. Still, I do wish people who harp on fertility rates would do a little more multiplying themselves.

I remember listening to a speech by Filip DeWinter of the Flemish "far-right" (i.e. sensible) party Vlaams Belang, (they came here to the D.C. area a while back) in which he lamented the Muslim demographic threat to his country. Then he said something about how he felt motivated to speak out for the good of his two college-aged children. I wanted to stand up and ask him why, if he was so concerned about the birth rate, he limited himself to two children, seeing as to how actually having babies is the single most effective thing any one person can probably hope to do to raise fertility.

I know it's a personal decision, but I was annoyed at another part of his speech in which he stated that the fertility rate will rise once traditional values are restored. I'm sympathetic to many traditional values, but progressive European countries like France and Sweeden have much higher fertility rates than traditional ones like Italy and Spain. So I thought his prescription was a little intellectually lazy.

Of course, I was far too chicken to actually point any of this out in front of a roomful of people. :-)

Audacious Epigone said...

Marc,

Heh, he would've been better off just pointing to US fertility rates, especially in traditional flyover country.

I suspect it is a fertility issue. I've asked a couple of people who know Mr. Buchanan and they don't recall him talking about it, which suggests that it probably cannot be helped.

And you should've brought it up. It wasn't like you were at a illegal immigration rally--I doubt the crowd would've have been hostile :)

Marc said...

I don't know. There seems something a bit unseemly in grilling people about their procreative habits. I was actually kind of put off the other day when the Pakistani who works at the convenience store asked me why I didn't have children. (Um, I'm 28? And gay? And surrogates cost 30k?) Anyway, I thought of the best reply ever: "Cause your wife is on the pill!" Zing! Of course I chickened out and didn't say that either. :-)

Audacious Epigone said...

Marc,

Well, you would've found out how 'accultured' he was pretty quickly, that's for sure.

Yes, it is a sensitive topic, although barring some sort of fertility problem, I see no reason for it to be so. It is a voluntary decision, after all.

Disgruntled said...

Since Buchanan has never publicly renounced church teaching, most people assume that he never had children due to a fertility problem.

Audacious Epigone said...

Disgruntled,

Any idea as to the legitimacy of that assertion?

None of this alters the content of what he says, but it is an object of curiosity, given his status as a far-seeing liberal concerned about the death of the civilization that gave birth to it. Whenever a thinker takes a 'radical' position (and I use the term loosely), it is naturally expected that he 'practice what he preach'. Peter Singer, fairly or not, would be marginalized (perhaps more so than he already is), if he was caught wearing a leather jacket and eating bbq.

Anonymous said...

The reason why such talk about procreation is considered highly impolite among strangers is that it is a source of a lot of pain for a good number of women. Fertility problems are surprisingly common in America today, and for many women, their ability to have children is as central to their identity as a man's job is to him. The woman who can't have children, and is happy with it, is pretty uncommon.
My wife and I are hoping for 3 children but being able to carry out that plan is a source of a fair bit of anxiety for her (an area requiring faith, if you will).

Anonymous said...

The reason why such talk about procreation is considered highly impolite among strangers is that it is a source of a lot of pain for a good number of women. Fertility problems are surprisingly common in America today, and for many women, their ability to have children is as central to their identity as a man's job is to him. The woman who can't have children, and is happy with it, is pretty uncommon.
My wife and I are hoping for 3 children but being able to carry out that plan is a source of a fair bit of anxiety for her (an area requiring faith, if you will).

Gannon said...

The biggest issue with today's infertility is related to the females age. Women are designed to have children between 15-27 years old, and sfter that they face a slow but fast and inevitable decline. Now women have postponed to delay childbearing into their thirties, so tons of complications are inevitable.

Ron Purewal said...

Gannon said...

they face a slow but fast and inevitable decline

Is it slow, or is it fast? Pick a side of the fence and stay on it, for pete's sake!

It is indeed a shame that biological evolution doesn't keep pace with technological evolution.