I am an atheist/ agnostic but after careful thinking, I've decided that perhaps virulently promoting atheism (as this community is doing) isn't really good for society. Please don't get offended, just read my arguments below calmly and rationally. If you can argue that I am wrong, I will listen to those arguments and change my opinion.
Note 1: I am using science in all my arguments, not religion.Not all my links point to scientific studies, but I'm sure you could find relevant evolutionary psychology papers if you googled for it.
Note 2: Please don't take offense, I'm not a sexist or a misogynist. I am trying hard to be as unemotional as possible in my arguments.
Argument 1: Polygamy is bad for society
What percentage of our (pre-civilizational/ barbaric) ancestors are males? The answer is not 50%. As evolutionary psychology points out, 80% of our female ancestors managed to reproduce but only 40% of our male ancestors did so. (Link: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm). Simply put, in barbaric societies, males were the high-risk high-reward sex whereas females were the low-risk low-reward sex.
Males are genetically polygynous (interested in sex with as many women as possible - this makes sense as men can produce millions of sperm every day and have a low reproductive cost)
Females are naturally hypergamous (interested in only one man but the best; the top 'alpha' man - this makes sense as a female produces one egg per month and has a high reproductive cost due to pregnancy and child birth).
When sexuality is uncontrolled, the combination of male polygyny and female hypergamy results in polygamy a.k.a harems (one man having sex & children with multiple women).
The ones who suffer are the beta males - the ones who have been sexually selected out. They typically become violent and don't contribute to society. There is an argument to be made that the Taliban practices polygamy and this is the source of violent behavior of terrorists from that part of the world. (Link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200706/ten-politically-inco...)
When promiscuity is controlled through strictly enforced monogamy, every man gets a wife. This reduces violent behavior and unlocks the productive capacity in males. I don't have the link available but a man who is already married or believes that he will marry in the future will be 4x productive as an unmarried man who does not believe that he will ever marry (e.g.) Japanese grass-eaters ostracized by an increasingly promiscuous Japan (Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/27/japan-grass-eaters-sala...)
Alpha men don't significantly contribute to society - they are not scientific geniuses or hard workers. They are typically physically aggressive men. Contrary to feminist dogma, physically dominant men (even dominant to the point of abusive) are attractive to women because they exhibit alpha tendencies - The Dark Triad of Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy.
Alpha men understand their higher attractiveness (compared to betas) and adopt a pump-and-dump sexual attitude. They have many sexual partners but don't bother helping with raising their young; some of their young will die due to lack of resources but they make up for it in numbers.
Betas adopt a nourish-and-protect sexual attitude. They have only one sexual partner, whom they win by proving their love and commitment. Then they have children with only this partner, but provide resources and protection to ensure their children grow up successfully.
Monogamy is the cornerstone of civilization. See the Moralia versus Libertalia argument (Link: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2011/10/14/relationshipstrategies/how...). In a monogamous society, with greater male economic participation and lesser violence, prosperity, rule of law and art flourish.
Argument 2: Promiscuity naturally leads to beta ostracism and harms society
Promiscuity - Defn: Any form of sex outside of monogamous marriage (including exclusive relationships)
Non-exclusive relationships (polyamorous relationships) are almost always polygamous (one alpha man with many women). This results in many beta men losing out.
Exclusive relationships also result in beta men losing out - Why? If enough alpha men are not available, hypergamous females would rather not enter into any relationship at all rather than be with beta men - "The Where have all the good men gone?" tirade from many women in modern promiscuous culture.
Promiscuity is the leading cause of single motherhood. Many women will rather have children with alpha men (who will later abandon them) rather than with good beta providers (whom they find dull and boring).
The social effects of unleashed promiscuity are enormous - 40% out of wedlock births, single motherhood and increased Govt debt/ taxation to support single motherhood by the State which steps in to replace the father.
Single motherhood produces children 2 to 10 times more likely to suffer from:
Argument 3: Atheism promotes promiscuity (Edit: by being silent about it)
I am not saying that atheism caused promiscuity (that happened in the 60s due to a variety of other reasons including feminism) but atheism has played a role in the rise of moral relativism, especially with respect to promiscuity.
The Golden Rule is perhaps the first tenet of religious morality but it is not the only one. The second most important tenet of religious morality is monogamy.
I have seen many arguments about how atheists are equally moral (if not more so) than religious people. In all these arguments, people assume that morality = Golden Rule.
Based on my personal experiences, many atheists seem to think that:
Morality = the Golden Rule
Promiscuity = personal freedom (i.e.) promiscuity is acceptable behavior that the Church restricts because the Church is old and stupid. Many atheists don't seem to realize the far reaching social effects of promiscuity.
This moral relativism on promiscuity is obvious even in this site. For example http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/atheists-are-not-moral-peo... does not deal with promiscuity at all. http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/what-is-your-stance-on-mar... has answers from many atheists clearly exhibiting moral relativism on the subject of promiscuity.
[Edit: The majority of your arguments were against this. I can understand why this may look like a strawman argument. Let me clarify:
There is a strong correlation between divorce risk and low IQ. There is also a strong correlation between high IQ and atheism (giving you folks a compliment, take it :) ).
Atheism as a movement, originated primarily amongst high IQ society. But it has now gone mainstream and is growing fast, scarily fast almost. As Uncle Ben put it, "with great power comes great responsibility". But Atheism does not seem to be taking up that responsibility from the Church. Yes, the Church is broken and old and corrupt and its practitioners are bigots and hypocrites. But, it is still the only thing out there taking a stand against promiscuity. Atheists seem to walk away from the responsibility of condemning promiscuity and most Atheists promote sexual freedom.
Morality naturally comes to Atheists because they are high-IQ individuals who are better able to visualize the impact of their life choices in the future. But, as atheism goes mainstream and the Church dies out, what happens to all the voices condemning promiscuous behavior?
We are not more evolved now in anyway than we were in the past. We are, still at our core, apes struggling to build great civilizations. We all (especially low IQ individuals) need moral guidance to help us in this struggle, to make better life choices.
Can you point links to me about prominent Atheists condemning promiscuity? Is the Atheist movement willing to take up the mantle of promoting social morality from the Church after slaying it? ]
[Edit 2: I am not a troll, I've just been super busy last few days, I will have more time this weekend to reply to some comments below. The essential thing I am trying to say is that religion is not pure evil, and we should not look at it in terms of black and white.
There are definitely good things about religion. There is a very interesting theory that religions also evolve over time and the most popular religions are the most useful ones to society, and they became popular precisely because they were an advantage to societies that adopted them. For example, societies with religions that promoted monogamy were almost always more successful in combat over societies that had religions that did not emphasize monogamy. The reason is because in societies that practiced monogamy, soldiers had a genetic stake in survival of that society (they had their own children to protect). Rome fell because of polygamy - the top politicians had harems and orgies and monopolized the women, resulting in loss of morale amongst troops who did not get the chance to be fathers. Rome was increasingly forced to rely on mercenaries rather than patriotic troops to protect her. After the treasury ran out, Rome collapsed because disenfranchised beta males, who had no genetic stake in Rome, simply walked off and allowed the barbarians to invade.
My point of view has always been "What is best for society?", and not "What is true?". Atheism is the correct working hypothesis because there is no proof for God and we have to use Occam's razor at all times. I don't see any downside consequences of high IQ people discovering/ discussing Atheism. But, we have a moral obligation (as the high IQ elites in our society) to do what's best for society. Imagine a ghetto filled with the poorest, uneducated people in our society. We have to make the decisions that will benefit them.
I don't really have a problem with Atheism, but I have significant issues with the Atheist Movement. For instance, take the advertisement "There is no God, Relax". This advertisement is targeted at people who have made bad choices in their life and have been sexually irresponsible. They are probably feeling guilty about these choices and the Atheist Movement is offering them an easy way out. It tells them "There is no Hell or Heaven, so relax and continue making bad choices". In reality, there is no hell or heaven, but there are societal consequences of your choices. In reality, guilt is often a very useful biological mechanism for correcting bad behavior, but Atheism is offering them a way to rationalize away their guilt so that they can continue making bad choices. I am speaking about this from personal experience, I have known people who commit adultery and rationalize their guilt because they think that the concept of 'sin' is meaningless as there is no God.
Also, to all people accusing me of being a sexist and having double standards, I am not asking for double standards from men and women; I am demanding high standards of expected social morality from both sexes. How is that sexist in any way?]
I am going to judge the merit of a social construct on the basis of its usefulness, not on the basis of its truthfulness. I will only promote an idea to society only if I am convinced it will help society.
If the Traditional Conservative Church (not the Modern version that tolerates no-fault divorce) is useful to society as an institution that encourages monogamy, I would rather have that than Atheism.
I highly appreciate this article. Most of the comments to this actually remind me of a more intelligent version of religious based hate comments and that makes me sad. The man posted a very legitimate article and all the masses can do is bash on a few lines taken as harshly as possible. Shankar is trying to broaden awareness to what could happen given the circumstances so that the athiest movement does not repeat mistakes from the past.
Those of you who keep cheapening the article by claiming it says atheism equals promiscuity obviously missed the point. I'd imagine you view promiscuity as a moral taboo and don't practice it personally, but imagine those with fewer moral qualms even under religious authority. Imagine what they would do if that authority was stripped away and wasn't replaced by some other strictly moral authority. I can imagine a society much like the movie "Idiocracy" only with a few intelligent 'Overlords'.
The point of the article from my perspective was to encourage intelligent, rational, choices keeping the society as a whole in mind. I don't believe Shankar was meaning to suggest the athiest movement should demand monogamy, but rather the movement should highly suggest it or at least start considering taking up responsibilities that the religious communities normally would.
Fair enough. I tend to play my interpretations fast and loose. At the very least it'll give this discussion a different perspective from the trending hate and discontent. I say some of these people should take it as a sort of 'worst case scenario' rather than an attack considering he regularly states that he's not trying to cause a stir.
I can think of one thing. Alpha males snatching up all the women. Kinda hard to get laid when chivalry gets passed up for douchebaggerry.
you sure have a narrow view of women!! that is the point of all the discussion on this thread. men in general view women as vessels of procreation, an attitude which crosses the entire spectrum of beliefs/non-beliefs and any other factor you can come up with.
history shows us that human beings are NOT monogomous by choice or by nature, but that monogamy is a social contract that was developed and imposed to control women and their reproductive capabilities. from the earliest 'civilization' records we see men trying to control women for sexual reproductive reasons. we are now finding that women are just as likely to have been promiscuous as men as far back as they can determine. religions in general are created as a means of controlling the masses through fear, fear and surprise, and an almost fanatical.. wait, that's a monty python sketch... sorry.. and what better way to control men, than to control their natural desire to procreate with any willing female.
anthropology has a lot to say on this and writers are now explaining how we developed as a society, and monogamy has very little place in it.
sex at dawn is an excellent book on this topic...
as for atheism promoting promiscuity, i say religion does a much better job driving kids to get naked than non-belief in some sky fairy deity ever did!! tell a kid they will burn in hell if they get naked and have sex or masturbate and the stage is set... the premise of his discussion is flawed from the outset and thus, not worthy of anymore discussion.. so, let's just keep talking about sex!
and eric, if you or anyone can, please explain why you think all the women want an alpha-male?? that is not an accurate presupposition either!!
A lot of it's already described by Shankar or in the links provided. From personal experience though, it is not a presupposition, it is fact. Men who exude a more commanding presence in a social setting is invariably going to end up with more women desiring him. The alpha mentality beats out the gentleman hands down.
i feel sorry for you that this has been your experience Eric! n=1 studies can rarely find support in data from reliable sources. perception is a powerful tool that many people use to manipulate others into submission or acceptance of a situation or what is or isn't 'reality'.
if you are intimidated by other men, then the issue is not with women, but within your own perception of yourself. the problem really comes down to what the purpose of sex and sexual attraction is in the first place. perhaps if we understood that issue more, we would understand why humanity is driven to have sex with as many people as they can for as long as they can. if the purpose of sexual attraction is to find a mate and live with them for many decades, then why does it not shut off once that mate is actually found? why does the urge to wander after other men or women drive pretty much our entire species 24/7/365/6 ? i offer that if you or other men are NOT that alpha male type, then wait and see the ones that aren't attracted to them! IF your goal is a mate for life, then being an alpha male is going to have a hard time fitting that need most of the time while women who exhibit the same tendancies are called by many names that should not be in print as our society still can not accept that women enjoy sex as much as men do and want it as much as men perceive that only men should!
if the goal is just sex, then i think that this is such a broad brush you paint women with and such a narrow one you offer men. sexuality is so much more than grunt/sex/grunt/baby and move on! we have such a distorted view of the place sex has to our species due to many factors such as the religious influence that has been so prevelent for thousands of years...
most of the links i looked at don't support his very narrow and biased view of humanity but, like the bible and most religious books, allow for interpretation to support just about any position that is trying to be supported.
i will trust real scientists on these issues, not psuedo-atheists who don't know what an atheist really is...
"...monogamy is a social contract that was developed and imposed to control women and their reproductive capabilities."
This is horseshit. Marriage and monogamy benefit women a lot more than men (when it works) by giving her a provider and protector. Maybe it wasn't always called marriage or sanctified by ceremony, but this bond almost certainly goes far, far back into prehistory.
The idea that guys inherently WANT marriage and monogamy just (I'm sorry) doesn't even pass the giggle test. Men have always been the less naturally monogamous sex. Even today, if you want proof I'm right, just go to the magazine rack and find BRIDE magazine. It's huge. Now, look for GROOM magazine. Search the entire universe till the end of time and there will never be such a thing.
By comparison with females, males just don't give much of a shit about marriage.
That could explain why bees go from flower to flower, instead of flowers going from bee to bee. Well, that, and the whole flower immobility thing --
Maybe it also explains why the quantities in hot dog packages and bun packages only very rarely match up.
Ah, but they do, if you're cooking for 80!
Nature is set up to benefit the alphas and pass their stronger genetics along to the next generation. Why should people be any different from wolves, lions, groundhogs, or shrews?