city architecture wallpaper . the text is by way of The Steam Shovel by Eunice Tietjens
But where did this emotion come from? Is it possible, then, that the emotion of disgust was a result of natural selection? Can revulsion be classified as an adaptive mechanism that prevents us from coming into contact with contaminants? Not likely, as anyone who has ever come in contact with a human baby can attest.
[ ]…In the seminal psychological research paper “Body, Psyche, and Culture: The Relationship Between Disgust and Morality”, Jonathan Haidt and his coauthors note that disgusting events remind us of our animal nature. Because we feel the need to hide these markers of our kinship to lower creatures, we develop humanizing rituals and practices.
If you wanted to convince yourself that you were not an animal, your body would confound you in certain domains: you would still eat, excrete, and have sex, and you would still bleed when your outer envelope was breached, or when you menstruated or gave birth. Every culture prescribes the proper human way to handle these biological functions, and people who violate these prescriptions are typically reviled or shunned.
As an example of this animal-reminder view, the researchers point out that the only bodily secretion not generally regarded as disgusting is the only one peculiar to humans: tears.
Some interesting thoughts to ponder, but ultimately I’m not sure what Carter is getting at. That is not because I do not understand what he has written but because he ultimately muddies up the point. Disgust does have a some useful biological benefits and some cultural ones. He fails to make an important distinction between biologically derived disgust and culturally derived – even though he cites examples of both types. People who have ‘weak” stomachs and find say, oysters disgusting, actually suffer from a kind of phobia and it is an inherited trait. Disgust at someone’s race on the other hand is a learned behavior. Logic based arguments which are pro segregation usually involve a lot of junk science and personal bias. So defining them as rational or logical is rather strained. Logic is like knowledge, it has advanced over the years. We’re more aware now of personal speech and self definition of language. Even though it may not seem like it. For example, three opposing political groups all may use the word freedom – a closer examination would show the term is loaded with group definitions. In some commentary in the comments Carter writes,
Take, for instance, the recent discussion about consensual incest. The old argument against incest was similar to the one the Klansman might make against misengenation—that it is harmful to the gene pool. But now that we’ve divorced sex from reproduction and made it completely about consent we have not reason to prohibit incest.
At first this bothered me because he seemed to somewhat marginalize consent as a argument. An important one and not the end of discussion as to why incest is wrong whether one finds it disgusting or not. On second thought I think he was simply being brief and to the point. Disgust is closely related in social context to deviance. One can make rational cases against individual kinds of deviance based on arguments about pain, consent, free will and normative consequences. On the other hand deviance and disgust can both have strong cultural roots. What gets confused and frequently where society uses their claimed disgust to persecute certain behaviors is whether the behavior is actually doing anyone any harm. For example some people find homosexuality disgusting. I cannot find any definitive answer as to whether that is a result of biology or culture or a combination of both. Regardless, being disgusted by some behaviors or foods does not justify making one”s disgust into legal discrimination. Unless one can logically claim a specific behavior harms society. Homophobes have so called experts on the subject much in the way creationists say they have proof against evolution. The resort to experts – real or not – is to justify ranking one’s personal disgust as a culturally accepted label of deviance. Societies should be able to define deviance, but it should take into account genuine harm. Quoting from something a sheep herder wrote a couple thousand years ago is the exactly the end all of a logical argument. If Jane and Marie are consenting adults and doing things which makes me queasy that’s too bad for me, because I cannot prove they are causing tangible harm to an individual or society at large. It is only when disgust or what is perceived as disgusting is forced on the public sphere that we be required to put rational limits on it.
Carter’s strongest argument is based on approaching ethics and morality from a logical point of view. Where he seemed to come up short on his premise is the role of biology and genetics. One could leave the concept of disgust out of the equation. Thus placing the concerns addressed solely under the realm of the morality of consequences. Defrauding investors and consumers is rarely disgusting in the sense of physical revulsion, but the majority of people agree those things cause harm and deserve to be punished. Since his conclusions are e kind of blurry, maybe it was his intention to leave the reader to do some soul searching of their own.
Glenn W. LaFantasie takes at look at the succession and nullification movement and mentions Texas v. White ( which I posted on previously) – How the South rationalizes secession, 150 years later, a campaign to deny that the South’s exodus from the union was a revolution is in full force
Yet if you think that all this secession bluster is only a symptom of some peculiar Texas Tea Party madness, you need only Google the word “secession” to find that the radical right believes, apparently in growing numbers, that the Constitution does not prohibit secession and that states can leave the federal union whenever they want. Worse, a Middlebury Institute/Zogby Poll taken in 2008 found that 22 percent of Americans believe that “any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic.” That’s an astounding statistic, one that means that nearly a quarter of Americans don’t know about the Civil War and its outcome. Sadly, it also means that for 1 out of every 4 Americans, the 620,000 of their countrymen who died during the Civil War gave their lives in vain.
If by defeating the Confederacy during the Civil War, the Union did not prove conclusively that secession could not be legally sustained, the point was made emphatically clear in the 1869 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Texas v. White.
There are two conservative responses to this article that portray the shallowness and dishonesty of the supporters of state succession. One is the secessionists are just trying to make a point about state’s rights, where’s your sense of humor. I guess since we have reached the point where Seinfeld can have jokes about Nazis it is possible we can joke about another bloody revolution and dissolving the United States of America ( a prospect that might well benefit more those on the moderate side of the spectrum rather than right-wing conservatives). The dishonesty takes many forms. The worse one is probably citing some screwball right-wing historians and agitators who have carefully composed revisionist histories of the issues that surrounded the Civil War – slavery was not that important to the South or the North?