November 12, 2012

In East Asians, a blunted sense of disgust and of morality

East Asians have never exported a moral code, whether secular or religious, despite having a long history of literate philosophical discourse. When Westerners get into "Buddhism," it's typically Tibetan Buddhism, and that belongs more to the Central Asian pastoralist cultures. (The Dalai Lama's family were horse traders, part of the local cowboy culture.) None of us can say what Confucianism teaches. And no amount of opium is going to help us uncover the cryptic system of Taoism.

Meanwhile, a tiny splinter group of Hebrew hillbillies founded the most widespread religion in the world, followed only by a religion founded by another breakaway group of Semitic desert-dwellers. Some groups are evidently better able to create moral codes that spread easily, and other groups less.

What seems to be lacking the most in East Asians, that would prevent them from developing spreadable moral systems, is a sharpened sense of disgust. That is the most visceral, and therefore the most powerful dimension of human morality. It underlies our feelings about what is sacred or taboo, and investing a moral system with sacredness makes it more appealing to the rest of mankind. Then it isn't just some handy rules of thumb that will only be useful in the narrow region where they were developed. Rather, there seems to be something pure about it, something worthy of respect, regardless of how this gist is adapted to particular local conditions.

And of course many of those rules of thumb will already have derived from the disgust reflex, for example, our reaction to one man shoving his pole up another man's butt.

Certainly this emphasis on disgust, purity, sanctity, and taboo is not sufficient for a mature moral system that will spread. It can also be taken too far, where religious participation devolves into one round after another of "Stone the defiler!" Nevertheless, it is a necessary part.

What's the evidence that East Asians don't get disgusted as much as other people? Sounds like a stupid question on the internet, doesn't it? They don't all show exactly the same signs, since no country is a clone of another. But here's a brief list. It doesn't matter if not everyone, or not even a majority, takes part in these things -- the fact that they're much more common in East Asia shows that their bell curve is shifted farther toward the "not easily grossed out" direction.

- Obviously, Japan being the world capital of porno for real sick fucks. Piss, shit, vomit, spit, gallons of jizz -- basically every disgusting kind of effluvia you can think of. The only place they have left to go is with blood and mucus (though maybe I'm out of the loop). Depictions of sex with not just animals but slithering sea creatures is also mainstream. Rape is so common in their porno that they clearly feel no aversion to it. Then there's the dirty old salaryman buying a schoolgirl's used underwear and sniffing it, or buying a plastic mold of a 13 year-old boy's anus, something that would weird out the rest of the world.

- Gross-out food. All over the world, certain classes of animals are found to be ickier than others, things that are more likely to give you the willies just looking at them -- creepy-crawlies. And you've never seen such enthusiasm for wolfing down all manner of insects, scorpions, tarantulas, bats, seahorses, not to mention the motley crew of slimy marine life they eat raw, perhaps with the eyes still open and the mouth still taking in futile gasps of air. I have to reiterate that this is not simply a case of outsiders finding the native cuisine unpalatable -- these are animal types that everyone regards as yuckier than game animals, livestock, vegetables, fruits, grains, etc. Christ, they even eat cats and dogs -- not even man's best friend is held sacred.

- Much higher rates of male homosexuality. According to the General Social Survey, 4% of American males are not heterosexual, judging from their sex partners over the past 5 years. Combining the Chinese and Japanese respondents, their rate is 12% -- 3 times higher than the national average. East Asians are low in exhibitionism in general, so their homos don't leap out at you like the more flamboyant Black or Irish fags, who come from overall more expressive groups. But don't be fooled by their sober, drab facades -- nearly 1 out of every 8 of them is A-OK with some random faceless dude cumming in their mouth.

- Somewhat related to that, what's up with all those ladyboys in Thailand? If you showed pictures of that stuff to Bushmen hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari Desert, they'd think you were making that shit up. The gods must be crazy. Surely some kind of disgust reaction would've prevented them from doing that even for a day, let alone make it their daily routine. But, not so in East Asia. Then there's their even more numerous clientele, who are as warped as the trannies themselves. Asians just let that stuff pass, not being very grossed out by it, whereas the Arabs would have burned their polluted workplaces to the ground.

- Japanese torture porn (splatter movies) seem to be even sicker than Western ones. I'm going by what others say, and matter-of-fact descriptions of what is shown, such as this one from Wikipedia about Audition:

A flashback shows that the sack in Asami's apartment contains a man missing both feet, his tongue, one ear and three fingers on one hand. He crawls out and begs for food. Asami vomits into a dog dish and places it on the floor for the man. The man sticks his face into the vomit and hungrily consumes it.
Gives a whole new meaning to "barf me out". It doesn't sound like they try to portray physical corruption as a signal of deeper or broader decay, as for example in Videodrome, or that killer mass death scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Asians seem to be better able at stomaching all this sick shit with no larger purpose.

And those in the West who are most into making and consuming torture porn are like the East Asians in all sorts of other ways, but most importantly in being quasi-autistic nerds with, again, apparently no disgust response. They try to make themselves out to be tough guys, stronger than those half-men who would get queasy watching dismembered bodies lapping up puke from a dog dish. But back on Planet Earth they prove nothing by watching these movies without getting weirded out. That would require them to have an intact disgust reflex that, by iron willpower, they've managed to keep a lid on. But since their disgust reflex is not there to begin with, it's no feat of mental strength to watch all this gory junk. It's all just a goof for a cerebral audience.

There are probably other examples to point to, but that gives the basic idea across a range of disgust-related domains (food, sex, and death). Like I said, there are other reasons why Asians do not wind up as morally developed as other groups do, but their blunted disgust response has to play a major role there. They are just not very corporeal people, being more cerebral.

Perhaps their relatively weak sense of disgust explains partly why they rely so much on external authority to tell them how to behave -- if you lack even the most basic internal voice that screams, "Eww, don't do that!" then you're pretty hopeless on your own. Of course, what's chicken and what's egg? Maybe the blind reliance on your parents' orders evolved first, and that weakened the need for internal guidance like disgust.

One last thing -- I skipped over things like leaving your shoes outside the house and other examples of hygiene practices because they are obviously cancelled out by all the other vile crap I pointed to. Not tracking dirt into the house, while spending hours watching tentacle rape porn, loses out to dirty shoes inside and sex-with-a-real-life-girlfriend. So if anyone feels like trying to stick up for Asians, please refrain from making any clueless arguments along those lines.

29 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:00 AM

    None of us can say what Confucianism teaches.

    I don't think the results would be that much poorer than what Islam teaches, on the moral teachings front, amongst Americans... Or Hinduism.

    The problem with exporting Confucianism is probably that many of the cultures who border China are far too stupid to actually understand it at all. It is fundamentally a philosophical religion, to the extent it is a religion at all.

    According to the General Social Survey, 4% of American males are not heterosexual, judging from their sex partners over the past 5 years. Combining the Chinese and Japanese respondents, their rate is 12% -- 3 times higher than the national average.

    Tiny sample sizes are interesting.

    They of course have much lower AIDs rates than Whites.

    The Gallup survey seems better - http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/nonwhites-more-likely-to-identify-as-lgbt/.

    The differences don't seem statistically significant at first glance (perhaps particularly if the more youthful Asian population is more OK with saying that they are homo).

    Stereotypically, the Asians aren't the "sotadic zone" people. That would be the West Asian nomadic pastoralist derived types.

    http://www.debralieberman.com/downloads/courses/625/Haidt_et_al_1994.pdf - "Jews (beta =.21, t = 3.74, p<.001) scored higher when contrasted with Protestants. Asians (beta = .17, t = 3.41, p<.01) and Blacks (beta = .13, t = 2.45, p<.05) scored higher when contrasted with Whites. There was a marginal effect of religious strength (beta = .09, t =1.79, p=.07), with strongly religious people scoring higher." Wrt disgust sensitivity direct data is probably better than trying to make assumptions based on dietary diversity and German schizer porn and so forth. Want to find any?

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  2. Anonymous12:19 PM

    Also, what does all this moral bluntedness actually lead to? More illness, more violence, more poverty, more rape?

    East Asians seem not very corrupt, not very unpleasant to be around, not very rude, not very violent, not very dishonest (as much as this is their worst trait, their low trust and lack of openness)... in what ways are they actually morally degraded which are important?

    Even on a mass scale, the Great Leap forward wasn't especially worse than what the Russians cooked up, the Japs weren't really worse than the Nazis (or Saddam gassing the Kurds or the Armenian Genocide or the horror of Partition), &c.

    Is there some way in which they're "just morally worse" despite not actually doing anything wrong (compared to clit cutting Arabs with their wonderful spreadable moral system and so forth)?

    Is East Asia some Sodom and Gomorroh of sin and it just happens that no one ever fucking noticed or something?

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  3. "I don't think the results would be that much poorer than what Islam teaches, on the moral teachings front, amongst Americans... Or Hinduism."

    Sure they would. Morality is about real-life behavior, not being able to articulate a set of propositions on a test. We don't know how Confucians are supposed to behave. Yet many or most of us know about kharma, reincarnation, non-violence, caste taboos and Untouchables, vegetarianism, etc., for Hinduism.

    For Islam, we know about praying so many times a day, making a pilgrimage, revenge up through one's own suicide, possibly being rewarded with virgins in Heaven, honor killings to purify the family's sexual reputation, and so on, not to mention some vague idea that they've got Old Testament codes somewhere in there.

    "The problem with exporting Confucianism is probably that many of the cultures who border China are far too stupid to actually understand it at all."

    And yet it's never caught on even in small amounts in the West, where we're smarter. We've rediscovered the wisdom from all sorts of far-off and ancient places -- Stoic philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, shoot even Zoroastrianism more than Confucianism.

    "They of course have much lower AIDs rates than Whites."

    Right, part of being less corporeal is having a much lower libido, so their queers don't have as many partners or do it as frequently. But they have a much lower threshold to overcome.

    "The Gallup survey seems better"

    A survey that asked about how you identify, rather than actual sexual behavior like the GSS does? I'm just talking about how little or how much disgust a person shows toward disgusting acts. So whether or not a boy identifies as gay/bi is irrelevant for this discussion -- does he actually take the leap into another man's bed?

    Northeast Asians do not have the escape hatch argument about being in prison, living in primarily male-occupied areas, etc. Their men just find it much easier to suck off another man during a dry period in their luck with the ladies, whereas men from other group's would find that alternative too disgusting.

    "Stereotypically, the Asians aren't the "sotadic zone" people."

    Sure, there are sick fucks in Western Eurasia too, but that's more in the Ancient past, not even very Medieval or Early Modern. NAMBLA or its counterparts are anathema in the West now, whereas Shotacon porn continues unabated in Japan, often involving animal-like furries and incest.

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  4. "Tiny sample sizes are interesting."

    Not in the GSS, which is also a nationally repreesntative probability sample, instead of freshman psych students. In the question about sex of partners over the past 5 years, there are 9 Chinese/Japanese and 236 whites who are not hetero, and 65 Chinese/Japanese and 5617 whites who are. Using a Fisher Exact Test, since the cell sizes for the Asians are small, the probability of getting any contingency table with this many or fewer homos in the Asian sample is 0.002.

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  5. "Wrt disgust sensitivity direct data is probably better than trying to make assumptions based on dietary diversity and German schizer porn and so forth."

    What "direct" data? You point to a study of 300 intro psych students at U Penn, and a handful of food professionals. There's only 47 Asians in this unrepresentative sample, virtually all from the psych course, but since it found something you could glom onto, you're no longer worried about tiny sample sizes.

    Turning to the actual Disgust Scale that the authors created, a principal components analysis suggests that the main thing it seems to measure is fear of death and "body envelope violations" such as a physical deformity, loss of limb, puncture, etc. After that, in declining importance were items relating to "Animals, Hygiene, Magic [i.e. the law of contamination], Sex, Food, and Body Products".

    So basically when you give a bunch of prosperous, physically safe, and insulated kids a bunch of questions about what they find disgusting, it mostly boils down to threats that still might affect them, like death. The authors don't really want to push so hard for this scale because they're aware that broadening the subjects to include other cultures and non-WEIRD groups would give a different picture.

    If you look at purity taboos across the world, or even within poor classes of the West, how to dispose of dead bodies reliably shows up, but it's not people's main focus because it just doesn't happen very often. They are more related to the items that show a weak influence on the Disgust Scale -- sex, food, and body products. Again this disconnect must be due to the unrepresentative sample used to create the scale.

    The point of all those examples about Asian food, porn, and gore is to provide a reality check on some Ivory Tower psychology scale. At least for their findings about race differences (which I doubt they'd cling very strongly to), there's an easy-to-see failure to predict real-world differences in disgust-related behavior. For understanding diversity across races and ethnic groups, qualitative anthropology beats out Poll The Freshmen every time.

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  6. Anonymous1:44 PM

    You are incorrect about Tibetan Buddhism being the primary form in the West. The influence of Zen on the counterculture from the Beats onward is well-documented, and there are plenty of practitioners in the West. The most prevalent of Buddhism in the west, by far, is Vipassana, also known as insight or mindfulness meditation, which originates in the Theravada tradition of Thailand and Burma. It has had a huge influence on mainstream mental health care.

    Actually, Tibetan Buddhism has a relatively small number of adherents, the popularity of the Dalai Lama among SWPL's notwithstanding. It is a highly ritualistic and esoteric practice; most folks seeking a more emotional, devotional practice gravitate to various forms of Hinduism.

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  7. "Also, what does all this moral bluntedness actually lead to? More illness, more violence, more poverty, more rape?"

    They do seem poorer than their high average IQ would predict, whether in East Asia or in the diaspora. Who knows, some of that may be due to lower emphasis on sanctity vs. contamination. Perhaps a strong emphasis makes people focus more on possible corruption from others, and by anticipation, focus more on maintaining and signalling their own integrity to reassure others.

    They are less violent, being less corporeal. But again you'd want to control for IQ / cerebral orientation. Their murder rates aren't remarkably below Western European rates, despite having around a 10-point IQ advantage. Seems like they should be even less violent.

    But the main point is that sick shit is wrong in itself, not only to the extent that it potentially causes harm to others or results in greater material inequality (the liberal view). That's whether someone indulges in it himself or turns a blind eye to it when others are doing it, shirking his duty to enforce norms, in however small of a way that when aggregated over all enforcers, has a huge influence on the indulger.

    Having such a warped mind that they watch cartoon porn about faggot furry incest, schoolgirls getting raped by 3-ton squid tentacles, buying used underwear to sniff like some addict huffing whip-its, and spending so much of one's leisure time fantasizing about degradation and humiliation... obviously is not a good thing for that person or his society.

    It leads to a greater dehumanization, not to mention the anomie that results from not feeling like you should enforce purity taboos -- no connection between people to look out for each other.

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  8. "You are incorrect about Tibetan Buddhism being the primary form in the West."

    No, I mean as a moral code or guide for behavior in everyday life. Westerners treat Zen as a way of sharpening the intellect, and the meditative aspects serve more to calm them down and give them tranquility.

    Western Buddhists who are focused on morality, whether conservative liberal or otherwise, are drawn toward Tibet and the Dalai Lama, as the Tibetan school emphasizes face-to-face human relationships, being attached in the mentor/disciple bond, rather than the normal Buddhist emphasis on detachment, human rights, the immorality of homosexuality, etc.

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  9. German porn is even worse than the Japanese stuff.

    One amusing thing about Japanese porn is that there is - or at least was until recently - a taboo against showing close-ups of a woman's poon tang, even though there are basically no other taboos. This might lead to such things as a video of a girl taking a dump into a man's eagerly gaping mouth, with her naughty bits pixellated.

    Another weird type of Asian video involves a group of teenage girls surrounding another girl and savagely beating her. Sometimes they tear off the victim's clothes.

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  10. Anonymous3:41 PM

    During WWII, the Japanese slaughtered Chinese civilians, held "head-chopping contests" amongst the officer corps, skinned people alive(read the book or watch the excellent movie "Red Sorghum"), and conducted live vivisections and testing of biological weapons on conscious American GIS and Chinese civilians.

    Obviously, not all Japanese have blunted disgust. I doubt if even most do. However, a sizable amount of them do, and this makes the difference.

    I think its a mistake to tie blunted disgust to being too "cerebral".

    Intellectuals seem to have a more developed aversion to disgust. Think about some zealous Iranian cleric. Any morality movement tends to headed by intellectuals, such as the feminist movement, the environemntalist movement, etc. AS much as you may disagree these movements, they obviously are highly moralistic, and are disgusted by certain actions.

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  11. Anonymous3:46 PM

    We shouldn't confuse passivity or reclusiveness with being "cerebral" or intellecutal. In one of your previous posts, you pointed out that many East Asians actually test "Closed to New Experiences" on the Big Five scale, which correlates to lack of intellectual curiosity.

    Playing videogames all day doesn't make a person cerebral...

    -Curtis

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  12. A survey that asked about how you identify, rather than actual sexual behavior like the GSS does? I'm just talking about how little or how much disgust a person shows toward disgusting acts. So whether or not a boy identifies as gay/bi is irrelevant for this discussion -- does he actually take the leap into another man's bed?

    Northeast Asians do not have the escape hatch argument about being in prison, living in primarily male-occupied areas, etc. Their men just find it much easier to suck off another man during a dry period in their luck with the ladies, whereas men from other group's would find that alternative too disgusting.



    So you're saying that even if they're not actually gay, they'll engage in gay sex acts?


    Is it related to this? Steve Sailer: "a maricon isn't defined by who he goes to bed with but by what he does there."

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  13. Have you heard of this theory that autism and schizophrenia are "opposites" of each other?

    I thought schizophrenic types are more likely to be gay?

    I thought nerd ethnicities (like the Chinese) would be more autistic and non-nerd ethnicities (like the Irish) would be more schizophrenic and gay?

    I just thought that East Asians weren't very gay at all just as Irish people don't seem to be autistic.

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  14. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Oddly enough, I found this snippet in an article about how Romeny's supporters are coping with his loss. I'm not sure if you have referenced this study yet, if so sorry for being redundant.

    "A 2012 University of Nebraska-Lincoln study found that conservative thinkers dwelled much longer on unpleasant images – such as open wounds, crashed cars and dirty toilets — than did their left-leaning counterparts."

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/11/07/romney-supporters-the-mourning-after/

    -Curtis

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  15. mantle9:11 PM

    "During WWII, the Japanese slaughtered Chinese civilians, held "head-chopping contests" amongst the officer corps, skinned people alive(read the book or watch the excellent movie "Red Sorghum"), and conducted live vivisections and testing of biological weapons on conscious American GIS and Chinese civilians.

    Obviously, not all Japanese have blunted disgust. I doubt if even most do. However, a sizable amount of them do, and this makes the difference."

    Okay, and the Lombards made it a custom to turn their enemies' skulls into drinking chalices. Alboin, for example, made his wife drink wine from her father's skull. Pretty fucking sick stuff. Hell, compare European hygiene to East Asian hygiene in the Dark Ages, or even High Middle Ages.

    On a broader note, it's hard to take this article seriously. Let's grant that East Asians have a blunted disgust response (which I'm reluctant to do anyway, after comparing how no European or American city I've seen is anywhere near as clean and tidy as Japanese cities). As Razib Khan has noted, the Chinese have traditionally had little qualms about using shit. They will scoop it up and dump it in the fields, and have built a highly sophisticated sewage system about it. The East Indians, conversely, find shit to be so overwhelmingly disgusting that they will refuse to handle it, and will leave it where it is. Chinese cities have historically been immeasurably cleaner than their Indian counterparts. Razib himself had nothing nice to say about how Indians have handled shit. If East Asians have a mild reaction to what is disgusting, this historically has not necessarily been to their detriment.

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  16. Anonymous9:45 PM

    The Tibetan Buddhist world is rife with sexual misconduct on the part of quite a few lamas, tulkus, rimpoches. There are some well-known cases in Zen, while the Vipassana world appears to be pretty clean.

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  17. Anonymous1:44 AM

    Re: Corporality, my impression has been than Asians are extremely sensitive to various textures, tastes, the feels of fabric and very particular about all these things. I have not really had the impression that they do not have fine senses or are insensitive to their environment. They also seem rather worldly and materialist in their general assumptions.

    We don't know how Confucians are
    supposed to behave.


    I think most people who have actually heard the term are clear that their precepts involve revering learning, their ancestors (to the extent that their patriarchal culture requires such an extraordinary degree of revenge on their part that their emperor historically murdered all sons of a treasonous criminal), aim to provide a moral example to others, acting with sincerity, humanness, altruism.

    "Animals, Hygiene, Magic [i.e. the law of contamination], Sex, Food, and Body Products".

    So basically when you give a bunch of prosperous, physically safe, and insulated kids a bunch of questions about what they find disgusting, it mostly boils down to threats that still might affect them, like death. The authors don't really want to push so hard for this scale because they're aware that broadening the subjects to include other cultures and non-WEIRD groups would give a different picture.


    That actually seems like its directly in proportion to the importance we give things of disgust. Hacked off limbs and mutilation actually are at the peak and having to change a baby's nappy or put manure on a field isn't.

    Also, in the West, we are WEIRD. Maybe things were different in those primitive cultures, but the Western ones were dirtier anyway.

    For understanding diversity across races and ethnic groups, qualitative anthropology beats out Poll The Freshmen every time.

    Qualitative anthropology like the massively magnified sense of disgust East Asians have historically had over milk products, the meat of an uncastrated animal, the fact that Japanese historically regarded meat eating as disgusting, refused to perform vivisections while Westerners were happily chopping away at corpses and live dogs for science? Or contemporarily, the Japanese mass scale adversity to videogames that involve shooting and harming people (as opposed to zombies and fantasy creatures, &c.), the obsession with virginity and sexual purity in their pop idols, which illicts no disgust in the West?

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  18. Anonymous1:45 AM

    We shouldn't confuse passivity or reclusiveness with being "cerebral" or intellecutal. In one of your previous posts, you pointed out that many East Asians actually test "Closed to New Experiences" on the Big Five scale, which correlates to lack of intellectual curiosity.

    East Asian Americans, I think, tend to test slightly higher. You can look this up if you live.

    They aren't very extraverted, but tend to have at least as many intellectual interests and whatnot (anecdotal evidence from agnostic about how he thinks they don't read or whatever, aside).

    Having such a warped mind that they watch cartoon porn about faggot furry incest, schoolgirls getting raped by 3-ton squid tentacles, buying used underwear to sniff like some addict huffing whip-its, and spending so much of one's leisure time fantasizing about degradation and humiliation... obviously is not a good thing for that person or his society.

    It leads to a greater dehumanization, not to mention the anomie that results from not feeling like you should enforce purity taboos -- no connection between people to look out for each other.


    Sure thing, and the Germans and the Swedes and Dutch who apparently seem more tolerant of these things have more of these problems than, the Macedonians or something. The Americans who have more of these things and are more tolerant of them have more problems than other places that don't...

    East Asians do not seem to treat one another with a particularly low degree of humaneness. Their social networks do not appear to have anomie (if anything, they are suffocating).

    If you wanted to say "I don't like the fact that Japanese are tolerant of and interested in stuff that grosses me out, compared to say, Blacks and Arabs that beat their wives, rape women, spread AIDS, act in an egocentric and psychopathic fashion, &c." then I fully have no problem with that. I don't have any problem with saying "Their cultures is bad". I do not think that "They have less of some general factor of disgust, and it leads to various social pathologies, which I will not bother to detail except to say the fact that they have the same or less is somehow connected to them being smart".

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  19. Anonymous3:53 PM

    "East Asian Americans, I think, tend to test slightly higher. You can look this up if you live."

    Fair enough.

    They still tend to be Introverted, Disagreeable, and Lack Conscienscousness. When combined with High Neuroticism, this is the "serial killer" type.

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  20. A lot of population differences in disgust probably come from differences in pathogen exposures as well (Which would explain why the pastoral people you point to would have such higher disgust than temperate agriculturalists). That is, sensitive disgust reflexes were more crucial for survival where disgusting things were more likely to be harmful.

    I should, however, note Gregory Clark's comparison of 17-18th century England with China and Japan, which were noted to have more developed habits of personal hygiene, and were more disgusted by defecation, urine, dirt, and garbage, or at least had more cultural practices to avoid contact with them (pp. 106-108).

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  21. East Asians are the serial killer type? Oh really...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_serial_killers_by_country

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  22. Can you write and comment more about this issue? And about East Asians in general?

    I feel like you just drop these bombs and then run off.

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  23. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Meanwhile, a tiny splinter group of Hebrew hillbillies founded the most widespread religion in the world, followed only by a religion founded by another breakaway group of Semitic desert-dwellers. Some groups are evidently better able to create moral codes that spread easily, and other groups less.

    These appear to be extended phenotypes of Semitic peoples that get subjected people to transfer loyalty for family and ethny to a larger memetically controlled group which is controlled by a hypocritical ethnic elite that taxes the large memetically controlled multi-ethnic population. I don't know if this suggests a greater sense of "morality" among these people so much as a stronger desire and a better ability to obtain positions of moral authority over non-kin and to engineer and disseminate memes that serve one's interests.

    East Asians seem to have more of a "pagan" morality. Personal, familial, tribal gods and animist spirits and their worship aren't really interfered with. Moral authority is reserved to paternal and familial authorities. Citizens submit to the state, but ultimate moral authority and indoctrination is reserved to fathers and families.

    In pre-Christian, pagan, Republican Rome, citizens submit politically to the state, but ultimate moral authority and indoctrination was reserved to fathers, who had the right to beat and kill their wives and children. With the Christianization of Europe, one's personal, familial, tribal gods were displaced by a single foreign god, and paternal and familial moral authority and indoctrination were undermined. Fathers ceased being the ultimate moral authority. Ultimate moral authority and indoctrination were monopolized by Christianity which had its agents called "fathers" (i.e. priests) and "papa" (the pope) by its subjects, for obvious reasons.

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  24. "I feel like you just drop these bombs and then run off."

    They're like weekend flings. They got my interest enough to write a post on it, but not necessarily to keep up with it forever after.

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  25. Confucianism teaches that one should study diligently, obey authority, not rock the boat, try for the best government job you can find. It's basically "be an ambitious conformist". Lots of Americans live a pretty Confucianist lifestyle without knowing it.

    The person who said the Chinese are not very rude is wrong. Immigrant Chinese in America are *incredibly* inconsiderate of others - they only obey rules and such because getting caught would be terribly inconvenient (and possibly harmful) to them. American-born Chinese aren't this way.

    Most of Asia is poorer than its IQ would predict because the conformity cultivated by Confucianism has let some *really* stupid ideologies rule various Asian countries, destroying their economic base multiple times.

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  26. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Confucianism teaches that one should study diligently, obey authority, not rock the boat, try for the best government job you can find. It's basically "be an ambitious conformist". Lots of Americans live a pretty Confucianist lifestyle without knowing it.

    Of course, they're also the nation of Mandate of Heaven, wracked by almost continuous and repeated peasant rebellion, and very, very far from the unquestionable god-king ideal of other ancient agrarian civilizations.

    On the one hand, Confucianism celebrates obediance to the learned gentleman as a moral virtue, on the other their basic philosophy of government (the Mandate of Heaven) gives the government no guarantee of legitimacy other than through performance and Confucianism repeatedly stresses that leaders must act as moral exemplars, and that they have no authority to give laws and must rule by example (not that this stopped them having ridiculously complex codes of civil law) .

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  27. I'm not sure what the problem is here with East Asian societies. Japan, at least, has a lower crime rate than the West, with an even lower violent crime rate. It is true that pornography is ubiquitous in Japan. BFD. I still feel safer on Tokyo streets at night than in most U.S. cities and find the people are more polite than Americans.

    Agnostic, your blog is still good. But you have been going off the deep end over the last 1-2 years over social issues such as this (pornography, gays. etc.).

    BTW, the non-aggression principle (same as the Christian "golden rule") is the only objective concept of morality. All other morality is made-up non-sense.

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  28. Anonymous8:27 AM

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/europe/50321/germany-seeks-bestiality-ban-halt-surge-zoophilia

    Just sayin.

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  29. Agnostic:

    How do Confucianist act? It's very simple.

    Obey your parents, obey your teachers, obey elders, obey authority, don't question anyone above you. Pay attention to status and obey people who have higher status than you (redundant, I know)...always be 100% aware of what everyone is thinking about you as it does not just reflect on you but your family (everything is about "face").

    In fact "face" is the reason for the behavior you see. Since the locus of morality is outside, it is shame driven, not guilt driven, as most Western religions/cultures teach. So you can do any kind of nonsense, as long as you do not get "caught". If you get caught doing it in public there is "shame", you have lost "face".

    This is why sex scandals in Asia result in the loss of a singer/actresses career, not reality shows, movies, and music contracts, and a serious of rich famous boyfriends (Kim.K).

    As I said these are not guilt based societies. You can do whatever you want as long as you can get away with it.

    Also most gay men in Asia are in the closet. Many go on to continue to have sex with women, but also have sex with men. You have to produce boys to carry on the family names. So being a gay man is a big deal for your family. Being a gay woman though is not as critical. Check out rates of Lesbianism in Taiwan, if you can find it, I bet you will think it shocking.

    Anyway, Confucianism is about a lot of things, but how it manifests in Vietnam, China, Singapore, South Korea (and a much less extent being Japan) is basically what you always discuss in an American Context..."Social Class"...it clearly states how important class hierarchy is, how to fit in to the social structure, how to maintain this order, etc.

    I don't think this inspires most Westerns. We like a bit more mythology with our religion.

    Oh yeah, I'm a black guy living in Asia, who is non-Military. I work for a bank. :-) I've been coming back and forth between Asia and America for a decade.

    If you want to know who is more Confucianist in their outlook it is pretty clear:

    1) Koreans
    2) Chinese
    a) Taiwanese
    b) Hong Kongers
    c) Mainland Chinese
    d) Singaporean/Malaysian Chinese
    3) Japanese
    4) Vietnamese

    Someone might argue with me about the Chinese/Japanese, but that is my feeling as I have lived or spent significant time in Singapore, Mainland China, and Taiwan.

    sorry for typos, hella early here. Off to work...

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