The Attitude Of Gratitude

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

The importance of gratitude in the character of the masterful man is undeniable. The master feels gratitude for himself, for his own noble identity as a man, even for the various vicissitudes that life throws at him to chisel him into evolving into a higher individual, and so on.

But the concept of gratitude has however become a very complicated subject, especially in today’s increasingly amoral times, where it has sometimes even been used by some to psychologically enslave others.

Furthermore, more often than not today, we either see a complete lack of gratitude in modern societies—or instead sometimes an excess of it (bordering sometimes on sycophancy) among supplicating betas. This is especially because of the blue piller’s inability to correctly perceive that the favors done to him by others may actually be ruses for the blue piller’s eventual obligated servitude out of gratitude later.

What is further to be noted at the same time is the increasing impetus of modern societies on practicing gratitude today, as we are often bombarded with messages in today’s modern societies that we must increasingly show it.

But are these messages always in good faith, or just another covert form of beta indoctrination? However to correctly practice gratitude, it then becomes extremely important to understand what gratitude in the context of today’s world is to begin with , but most importantly than all, when and towards whom to practice it.

The benefits of gratitude

Gratitude (noun): the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

We as human beings have natural instincts to show love, compassion, care and kindness to others. And it is perfectly natural to feel gratitude for the ones who show and give us the same. In fact, gratitude is intrinsically tied to loyalty, another of the hallmarks of a truly evolved man.

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

While we should be grateful for what we have, we should also make the best of what we have.

We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.― Neal A. Maxwell

Indeed, there could be several reasons why one could and should adopt an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude and loyalty help to build character,  trust, camaraderie and bridges among people, and eventually build tribes which later could transform into new civilizations.

Ideally, there is nothing wrong in showing gratitude, for gratitude itself is a noble virtue. But at the same time we must also know whom and when to show gratitude, for most people often today become the victims of misdirecting their gratitude due to their lack of red pill knowledge and social intelligence.

The abuse of gratitude in today’s increasingly amoral world

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In spite of all the benefits that gratitude provides for the higher evolution of the human spirit and character, unfortunately in today’s modern degenerate societies it is not immune for abuse or corruption, just like other virtues.

Since gratitude (or the lack of it) is a part of one’s morality, it’s often abused by others to enslave mankind into soul-crushing servitude and misery. Robert Greene in The 48 Laws Of Power effectively describes how a favor can be used to ensnare a person into unknowing servitude and submission:

DESPISE THE FREE LUNCH: JUDGMENT
What is offered for free is dangerous-it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full pee-there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.- Law No.40

It’s common for a lot of people to become victims of their own misdirected gratitude to beliefs, people, as well as relationships which didn’t offer them anything but misery in the long run. The fault of these people: their misguided belief that all these factors were actually doing a favor onto them, when in reality these people were simply victims of the “selective honesty and generosity” from these factors.

USE SELECTIVE HONESTY AND GENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift-a Trojan horse will serve the same purpose.Law 12, The 48 Laws Of Power

One of the commonly seen ways to influence a man’s behavior towards your interests is to guilt-trip him or by creating a illusionary belief of obligatory gratitude in him towards you, out of a ‘favor’ (whether real or imaginary) done by you onto him.

MAKE OTHER PEOPLE COME TO YOU-USE BAIT IF NECESSARY
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains-then attack. You hold the cards. – Law 8, The 48 Laws Of Power

And as seen in real life, a lot of blue pill men continue to fall for this bait, partly out of their inability to correctly perceive the real world and the real motives of those around them, and partly of the social indoctrination they are bred upon to become blind members of the herd mentality.

This sense of destructive gratitude is what continues to enslave, bind and destroy modern men who are unfree and trapped in unhealthy relationships, friendships,  marriages, jobs, belief patterns and societies. Thus, it’s unfortunate to note that in today’s amoral world more than ever before, sometimes even a person’s morality and virtue often becomes a tool of slavery for those who would use it against him to enslave him.

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It’s then common for such a man to be confronted with these questions at some point of his life in today’s modern societies:

  • Do I have to be grateful for a woman who disrespects me and disregards my contributions for her and existence?
  • Do I have to be grateful to a social system which tells me that it is working for my profit, but instead uses me as fuel to power its own ideologies which demeans my masculinity and threatens my own identity?
  • Do I have to be grateful for a job which crushes my soul,  and stunts my growth as an individual?
  • It’s in my core essence as a man to show gratitude and other virtues, but are there any sincere people left who really deserve it and won’t use it to exploit me?

More often than not, the realization which occurs to him some point later is similar to the quote below:

Everything a lie. Everything you hear, everything you see. So much to spew out. They just keep coming, one after another. You’re in a box. A moving box. They want you dead, or in their lie… There’s only one thing a man can do – find something that’s his, and make an island for himself.  – First Sgt. Edward Welsh, THE THIN RED LINE (1998)

And the commonly seen result is thus: the destruction of trust, and the rise of disgruntled, cynical men who disregard virtue as a weakness, and smirk at the mere mention of masculine virtues and morality.

Either way, it’s the values of true masculinity which suffer as a result, as modern men get increasingly lost when it comes to the choice of personal morality, and practicing masculine virtues – especially in modern societies which often exploit them for doing so.

Harry Browne effectively touches on the important and debatable subject of morality in today’s world in his best seller How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World.  He mentions:

Morality is a powerful word. Perhaps even more powerful is the word immoral. In an attempt to avoid being labeled immoral, many people allow  themselves to be manipulated by others.

It’s common to see modern (blue pill) men usually yield to the morality trap – a trap to which he devotes an entire chapter in his book. And yielding to that trap often ends up making a farce of the quality of gratitude, and virtue itself. Most of the time, people usually succumb to the absolute morality trap, described in the book as:

An absolute morality is a set of rules to which an individual is expected to surrender his own happiness.
There are two main characteristics of an absolute morality:
1. It presumably comes from an authority outside of the individual. It comes from someone or somewhere more important than the individual himself.
2. It proposes that the individual should be “moral” regardless of the consequences to himself. In other words, doing what is “right” is more important than one’s own happiness.

Most of the people who end up being victims of misdirecting their gratitude usually are the people who don’t correctly perceive the ulterior motives of those who favor them; yet these victimized people stand transfixed in their “morality” trap, regardless of the consequences that their gratitude may bring upon them – often suffering from an unwilling martyr syndrome.

But with such situations on the rise in the life of men who might end up being victimized out of a misguided sense of gratitude in dysfunctional relationships, careers, and societies, it then becomes very important for such men to detach their emotions from their discretionary powers to avoid being victims for a misguided sense of absolute morality.

Surviving the trap of forced gratitude

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Freedom comes only from seeing the ignorance of your critics and discovering the emptiness of their virtue. — David Seabury

Mankind lives today in societies where amorality and power struggles is the name of the game in every aspect of human life, probably more so than in the past.

In today’s world where amoral power games abound right from the lowest strata of society right up to the highest, mankind is forced to strangulate its innate morality – which can entail potential loss of power in today’s ruthless world. Robert Greene states:

The most important of these skills, and power’s crucial foundation, is the ability to master your emotions. An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings. Emotions cloud reason, and if you cannot see the situation clearly, you cannot prepare for and respond to it with any degree of control.

Anger is the most destructive of emotional responses, for it clouds your vision the most. It also has a ripple effect that invariably makes situations less controllable and heightens your enemy’s resolve. If you are trying to destroy an enemy who has hurt you, far better to keep him off-guard by feigning friendliness than showing your anger.

Love and affection are also potentially destructive, in that they blind you to the often self-serving interests of those whom you least suspect of playing a power game. You cannot repress anger or love, or avoid feeling them, and you should not try. But you should be careful about how you express them, and most important, they should never influence your plans and strategies in any way.

As mentioned, the ability to master his own emotions is the hallmark of the true master. Emotional detachment is one of the keys to developing a powerful foresight, which helps to sidestep the pitfalls of a misdirected morality and the eventual vicissitudes that modern life would eventually throw at men today.

That’s the difference between the red piller and the blue piller: the red piller is emotionally detached to the circumstances that life throws at him. He perceives the circumstances and people he is dealing with properly, and while being moral himself, he avoids the traps of a socially engineered forced morality which might be thrust on him.

The blue piller meanwhile shuttles between two extremes: he either blindly follows the herd’s equally blind morality which is expected of him, or sometimes he follows the other side of the spectrum – hating morality itself , which often further leads to the lack of development of masculine virtue in himself.

Conclusion

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Gratitude need not have to come at the price of one’s dignity, honor and self respect. Gratitude indeed remains one of the core virtues of masculinity, but at the same time in today’s world, more often than not, it is often abused.

But to correctly understand and practice the attitude of gratitude, the solution remains unchanged: it’s imperative that one takes the red pill, for the red pill alone would grant the necessary ability to perceive and judge properly—unadulterated from the illusionary traps which would take away a person’s freedom—to practice gratitude to its highest expression to the ones who deserve it.

Read Next: How To Be A Man

76 thoughts on “The Attitude Of Gratitude”

  1. a thoughtful meditation on a tricky subject. One should be able to give thanks for what one has, and to thank those who genuinely help you out. But free stuff rarely qualifies as such & the world is made up of hidden obligations and traps. We are a low trust society, that ironically needs to become still lower in trust than it is before high-trust can start to be re-built. One might describe this as a need for an epistemological crisis (c.f. Alisdair McIntyre) as the pre-condition of moving from blue to red pill. But disillusion, alienation, and paranoia are traps in themselves that need to be navigated through. Acting in a trustworthy way and demonstrating appropriate non-obligating levels of gratitude to others should cost nothing in terms of taking your eye off the road while yielding dividends in terms of character and social reciprocity. Anyone who doubts that showing polite gratitude is masculine should conduct a little experiment: just stop at a crossing when you’re driving and see whether its men or women who give you thanks for showing consideration

  2. Great article. Couldn’t agree more.
    One of my barometers for the degree of social decline is the violation of the unwritten rule of Reciprocity — the first and most universal of persuasive powers according to Robert Chaldini. People take so much for granted without even the least inclination towards gratitude. No “thank you,” no smile, or even acknowledgement that you’ve done something of value for them. And, some of teh biggest offenders were my religious friends, who used the expectation of grace as a cover for their lack of gratitude.
    Money ruins gratitude as everything is paid for in full when money changes hands. The obligation for gratitude is satisfied, and neither party to the transaction is grateful for the other as there is no social contract with balances owed — merely a monetary transactions which is concluded.
    Children show contempt for parents rather than gratitude, wives the same for husbands, employees for employers, guberments for citizens, and so on. This is the point of no-return for society. It’s time to build islands for one’s self and hope to find a few appreciative souls to join you in your isolation from the inevitable.

    1. and modern society, above all feminism, could be seen as like a teenage rebellion against everything that has been given to them by the past

  3. Gratitude is unnatural. No person does anything except by choice, altruism is a joke. Usually altruism is tied to the need to feel morally superior. The Japanese have several different ways to say thank you, each implying more resentment than the previous. Were only English so honest in this regard.

    1. how then to avoid a female like sense of entitlement. I’m not entirely sure gratitude is about altruism, as opposed to a sense of ‘fair exchange’. The danger with altruism is that it may be a masquerade for hidden self-interest, and that’s what the article tries to address

      1. Simple, the realization that you didn’t do it yourself, and you cannot count on something happening again. Employers are paying for a service, they deserve what’s “in the contract” nothing more or less. Gratitude for employment? Fuck that. You’re completing a task in exchange for money. Pretending people do things for any other purpose than their own purposes, even if the person blinds themselves into thinking they’re doing it solely for good, is foolish. Doing “good” let’s people feel a certain way, and that lets them feel better about themselves. Usually it’s to assuage guilt over something. Recognition is the key.
        A healthy dose of resentment doesn’t hurt either.

        1. “Employers are paying for a service, they deserve what’s “in the contract” nothing more or less.”
          I didn’t say anything about employers. Gratitude may however be part of a fair exchange i.e. if you show someone some consideration you expect an acknowledgement of sorts – that is unlikely to be a monetary or equivalent reward

        2. “…Gratitude for employment? Fuck that. You’re completing a task in exchange for money.”
          Then I don’t think that you have anything to complain about if your employer decides to move its business elsewhere and, as a consequence, you are no longer employed?
          After all, ‘your’ job was nothing more than you “completing a task in exchange for money” — and you are not ‘entitled’ to employment, you know…

        3. “Then I don’t think that you have anything to complain about if your employer decides to move its business elsewhere . . .”
          Not to your employer, no. When you have a job you are in service. Thinking of your servitude as a personal possession is the very essence of blue pill.
          ” . . . you are not ‘entitled’ to employment, you know…”
          I know. More to the point, it’s something to avoid if you can and escape from if you haven’t been able to avoid it.

        4. Nope. Of course I’m a supporter of being completely mercenary when it comes to employment. Your employer will get rid of you to meet any arbitrary performance number, so you should be prepared treat them the same way. As my mentor taught me in school: if someone offers you 10% more to stab your current employer in the back, feel free to take it and run if you can legally.
          The general rule is: Your employer will fuck you over at the drop of a hat, it’s business not personal. You should be just as prepared to do the exact same to them.
          Are you a socialist suggesting a corporation owes it employees anything? If anything I’d get rid of most employment laws to let people learn a harsh lesson. Of course I’d get rid of employer protection bullshit too, so that any “non-compete” contract becomes completely unenforceable. You don’t want Joe to take everything he knows to a competitor? You’d better pay his ass better so he doesn’t want to leave. You can’t force Joe to not be employed as a technical sales rep at your competitor just because he knows a shitload about your products, anymore than Joe can force you to pay him a certain amount.

        5. That will take some time and thought, as it is more easily observed than described.
          I refer you to the metaphor itself. Neo is not the primary character of The Matrix; he is merely the hero. The story is not about his Love Conquers All relationship with Trinity.
          The principle character of The Matrix is Cypher, and the story is about his relationship with his position.
          He gives away his own life and betrays his own tribe in order to regain an illusory life where he is actually nothing more than some other’s resource – to regain what he feels was stolen from him.
          The Matrix belongs to the machines, but Cypher thinks of his place in it as his property and acts to recover it.

        6. No, but let’s take a look at non-monetary rewards. A person volunteers at a homeless warming shelter. This means they receive zero pay for, let’s say, ten hours of time per week. The non-monetary rewards are not insignificant. Moral superiority, which many people use as indirect payment for other things. For a politician it would be used as a demonstration of superiority over their opponent. For the pious it would be a proof to others they are “living like Jesus” unlike some others in the congregation. This is another way of saying the payment is social standing, used to advance other things in life.
          In a straight up exchange from family (not parents or even grandparents) you are likely caching favors. Your cousin is an electrician, and you’re a doctor, he will ask you for free medical knowledge. Of course the expectation is that they’ll return the favor when it comes to their expertise. You don’t return your “owed” favors and people will start withholding their favors from you. Sometimes favors will be traded between others, you help uncle Steve with something and later aunt Connie helps you because she was helped by Steve at an earlier time. This, ironically enough, is how society worked before money: the exchange of labor.
          Nobody does anything for free really. Nobody does anything the don’t really want to do either. Everything is an exchange for something, even if it’s non-monetary.

        7. I don’t really see the notion that gratitude is a virtue as being in competition with the idea of ‘systems of social exchange’ etc, but as a part of those systems. Its axiomatic that we ‘get back what we put in’, reap what we sow etc., but at the same time, such systems are often complex even infinitely complex: how do you get from an eye for an eye justice to karma, or from bartering to corporate capitalism. Gratitude doesn’t buck the system, but it may oil that system. I think the author is right in placing it within a system of trust, a concept which has garnered a lot of interest in recent years as a form of ‘social capital’, but also as something that is very easy to manipulate by the machiavellian amongst us

  4. Gratitiute is an important skill that one must learn to develop. However, at the same time, it is also one which must be given careful attention towards and used in the appropriate of times.
    For too long I have seen the skill of gratification being used in many different circumstances, both right and wrong. But the key point to remember, is that in order to achieve gratification, it must be earned.
    Gratification should be given when you have been reciprocated with a service (be it personal or professional) and one which has been given at a standard that is acceptable and satisfactory. However, at the same time, you must also remember that the gift of gratification should not be given, especially to those who believe that they deserve it, even though they clearly did not earn it. In otherwords, the skill of gratification can be abused by the third party in question, which in turn, destroys the true value of it.
    Honestly speaking, when look at how society has turned out, it can be said that the concept of gratification is slowly dying, from all perspectives. From one angle, the way that the powers in charge, to the baby boomers have essentially destroyed our world, goes to show you that gratification cannot be given. Then on the otherhand, the way in which today’s kids have turned out, from dressing up like pigs, to not having any real understanding of etiquette and manners and being delusional and spoilt, goes to also showing you that the concept of gratification does not exist in their minds.
    Therefore, it is important that you as a man, understand the skill of gratification is one, which must be honed and used, at the appropriate times.

  5. “…Gratitude is inherently masculine…”
    As much as I’d like to agree with this statement I’m not so sure that’s the case. Dark triads and other selfish pieces of shit probably lack this virtue. I highly recommend a few strong ayahuasca sessions to reboot your core virtues, and remove layers of bullshit social programming. In most healthy balanced men you will find compassion and gratitude alongside courage, strength and honor.
    Other men who indulge in the dark arts are capable of some truly mind baffling acts of evil and abide by a different set of virtues entirely, this is not to say they aren’t men.

    1. I like this article because it moves away from promoting dark triad traits, which I think are inherently destructive. The Manosphere should embrace these other virtues (compassion, integrity, gratitude, honor) that may not be essential for getting you laid, but work towards a greater good for humanity. If all men were selfish dark triad assholes, that would be a fucked up world to live in. If shit hits the fan in this country, I want people I can count on and trust, and not worry about getting stabbed in the back (see ‘The Way of Men’ by Jack Donovan).

      1. There is a term for when all men are selfish Dark Triad assholes — it is called BARBARISM.
        And barbarism and civilization are mutually exclusive.

      2. BTW- Jack Donovon is all well and good, but he promotes both anarcho-Tribalism (cultural backsliding) and homosexual promiscuity… both of which are recipes for nothing more than the end of human culture as we know it.
        Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate his prose and willingness to take a stand, but he’s definitely showing his vested interests… and they have nothing to do with the long-term survival and prosperity of humanity or any subspecies thereof…it’s little more than projection of his own sexual fantasies writ large.

      1. Ayahuasca- a plant based entheogen, used for healing, introspection, and enlightenment. Purifies your mind, body and soul. Not for the faint of heart, and not to be taken lightly.

        1. ahh, I see. A ‘religious drug’.
          *shrug* I figure if you must seek enlightenment through chemical means, then what you are seeking isn’t really for humans.
          Then again, I consider a ‘virtue’ something not to be perfected or perfectable, but rather something to strive towards… succeeding at perfecting yourself leaves nothing left in your life save ending it. ‘rebooting your virtues’ seems to be sort of anti-intuitive in the extreme.
          Then again, I hold absolutely no truck with most mysticism. Unless a belief has a proven, historical benefit to the growth of civilization, it is merely cultist crap.

    2. I think Jack Donovan put it best…
      “There is a difference between being a good man, and being good at being a man.”

  6. I disagree. Gratitude is submissive. GRACIOUSNESS is a decent trait. HONOR is a decent trait… but gratitude? Gratitude implies thankfulness and obligation to anyone that deigns to bestow a boon, EVEN UNASKED. That is heavily Submissive crap.
    Graciousness means acceptance and acknowledgement of a favor, without demanding reciprocity or obligation. it means COURTESY. In my family, it means you act like a gift is appreciated, even if it is not, in recognition of the attempt.
    Graciousness means you attempt to recognize the value of a gift to whoever gifted it upon you. It means that you CHOOSE whether to be obliged, overjoyed, or merely thankful, and not have the choice of response thrust upon you.
    But gratitude? if expected, or demanded, always turns to poison.

    1. Good luck being bitter. The article is VERY clear on ensuring that your gratitude is directed towards people that are deserving. Did you even read the article? Let’s not hairsplit over graciousness and gratitude. The author describes gratitude as a choice, and it is. The idea is that if you live your life blind to how fortunate we are, how many people have done great things for us without us asking, the love of family members, even distant relatives, the people who taught you, friends, groups you belong to — you miss out on the happiness that comes from accepting the good in life. Cynics who are burned by their goodwill being abused shut themselves off to Everyone; because they feel their trust was misplaced, they are afraid of being vulnerable. They live their life in a defensive crouch, begrudging even deserving people of the appreciation they deserve. Scratch a jaded cynic and you’ll find a disillusioned idealist.

    2. Graciousness, in the sense of showing politeness and courtesy, is about appearances and manners.
      Gratitude, on the other hand, is about feelings of thankfulness and appreciation. It is not servility.
      Appreciation is a good thing to cultivate. It keeps a man humble, and it promotes positivity in his relationships with other people.

  7. I dont think gratitude is submissive at all I just think it modern society it has been depicted as such because of everyone’s sense of entitlement. Apparently they don’t have to be grateful for anything because it’s some how owed to them? I scroll through my facebook feed every now and then and people are declaring that free education is now a “human right”… There are no human rights… you are born and the only thing you are guaranteed is that you will die. That’s it.

    1. What do these people mean by “free” education? How is it “free”? Or do they think that “free” education is somehow ‘owed’ to someone by someone else?

      1. They think that because other countries outside of the US provide free college level education, even though that they are heavily taxed, that it should be provided here as well. People are mistaking first world luxuries (public education, unemployment, and etc) for rights. Most of the people doing this are dead beat trust fund hippies anyway though

        1. I understand: it’s the same old socialist scam of something being “free” because the government is providing it (through the largesse of the taxpaying public, which is why the tax rates and various ‘fees’ of those governments are usually astronomical) instead of the private citizen paying for it outright.
          As we have seen with Social Security (and recently with healthcare), anytime you get the government involved in anything, the costs skyrocket, the quality of said service goes down, and the administrative bureaucracy becomes more slothful, inefficient, and indifferent.

    2. I’ve lately been mulling over a (still fuzzy) conceptualization of the way a society/government interacts with people. This is a much more pragmatic approach to “rights,” something that we could call “utilities.”
      “Rights” are supposedly guaranteed by God or Nature or their own Self-Evidence. In practice, these “rights” are given or withheld by governments based on their usefulness. Japanese and German Americans had “rights” that were taken away when it became useful to do so. Not long ago people had more privacy “rights,” which have since been eroded in our post-9/11 world.
      Other “rights” are given because they are useful to society (investments) or they are useful to politicians (bribes). Public education (though the current system needs improvement) creates a more productive, innovative society. Giving handouts to poor and/or decrepit old people does not yield much benefit to society, but helps politicians get votes.
      Our society would benefit a lot by ditching the empty rhetoric about inalienable “rights,” and instead talk about these things as “utilities.” Moreover, the sham of egalitarianism can be dropped, and benefits can be doled out to people on the basis of utility. No more publicly-funded education for fuck-ups, no more government money to hospitalize the decrepit and the terminally ill.

  8. Awesome article Roosh.
    Two things came to mind as i read this…
    “An absolute morality is a set of rules to which an individual is expected to surrender his own happiness.”
    – Do you know my ex-wife?
    “There’s only one thing a man can do – find something that’s his, and make an island for himself.”
    – My happiness strategy has been just this. I found a woman with the least amount of damage as possible (I had to leave the US). Now I guard my family like a Rottweiler over a meaty bone. This involves strict review of all outside influences, particularly those emerging from the US media. Feminist ideologies are viewed as if they were infected Ebola patients.
    So far, it has worked like a charm (knock on wood).

      1. You have to ask yourself a question:
        Best for what?
        There is no best path, only a great many paths, each with their own positives and negatives, which can often only be assessed with hindsight.
        Rather than follow a path, follow a goal, and periodically assess whether the path you are on is still leading you toward it.

      2. The meaning of life is purpose.
        For a mother her child gives her purpose.
        For an investment banker money gives him purpose.
        For a player fucking chicks gives him purpose.
        Find your purpose and you’ll be sorted.

  9. This is the kind of article that should make it to RoK more often.
    Gratitude is a social construct. I do not think we are born grateful. If there was a way to only take and not give, we would do that till the end of our lives.
    But things do not work that way. Everything is a tit-for-tat transaction, where everyone does tit, in the hopes and expectations to get tat.
    We love our mothers because we need them. Our mothers love and nourish us because it satisfies their instincts.
    Your girlfriend/wife sucks your cock because she likes it so she satisfies her self first. And if she doesn’t really like it she’s doing it in the hopes that you’ll lick her back, or fuck her silly, or keep her around and provide for her whatever it is that she needs from you.
    Gratitude must exist and be applied. Without it, it would be much uglier out there. Societies wouldn’t be able to exist.
    Gratitude, appreciation, respect…call it whatever.
    I personally do not think there’s anythi g wrong with showing gratitude. I personally administer it carefully and thoughtfully.
    It is of utmost importance to see through peoples motives and analyze the reasons why they do nice things for you. To achieve mastery of this you have to have the wisdom, people skills, life experience and forever observe and learn. That is, if you don’t want to fall into the subliminal servitude of any girl who will cook for you and shower you with compliments etc, and also in the traps of any “good samaritan” that you might encounter throughout life.
    Ultimately, just like anything in the universe, balance is necessary. There’s no need to be a psychopath and paranoid fucker all your life. If you are a man that wasn’t born yesterday and judge that a certain act deserves recognition/gratitude/appreciation go ahead and give it. After all, it might make YOU feel good in the end.

  10. It’s every man for himself as the J’s have divided and conquered. They claim to be victims but are the real Nazis. Some places will stand. And many won’t.
    God does exist. And those who try and take his place, promoting money and degeneracy in his place, and all the masses who follow such a creed, as all are guilty, should repent, some moreso than others.

    1. Prove God exists. I’m not asking you to prove a negative, like saying prove God does not exist. If God is real, then it should be easy to prove. Remember, people used to day the thunder was God expressing His displeasure. Then they said that plagues were God expressing His displeasure, most recently with AIDS.
      You can’t really do it, because if God is real and good, then the Old Testament demonstrates He is not good. Disproportionate punishments for minor transgressions like curiosity. The absolution of horrible actions because reasons. If you decide to rely solely on the New Testament, then God went from being vengeful and hot-tempered to an absentee landlord. Epicurus would also come into play, but that’s just piling on.
      The effeminate Abrahamic religions, *roll eyes*, how much better we’ll be when they are consigned to what they are: bloodthirsty cults failing to adapt to a world that no longer believes in thunder gods. Even the hippie showing up to change one can’t really save it from the dustbin of history, anymore than the Olympians could have been saved.
      This, yes, was intentionally mean. I’m tired of the pious claiming superiority because that was the whole point of their false piety in the first place: an attempt to claim they are better and thus dismiss or marginalize the opposition. Feminists pull that shit all the time. Just where do you think they got that shit from? Religion can be a great moderator of human behavior, or it can be used as a divisive weapon.

      1. A lot of atheists and agnostics demand some sort of absolute proof that God exists. They dismiss faith as illogical, but they forget that proof is never absolute, and our beliefs require trust (faith).
        The scientist trusts that his tools are accurate, and he assumes the universe is rational, rule-governed, knowable, and consistent. Most of us trust that our sensory perceptions provide more or less accurate data about the objectively real world. People trust that others, like their parents, genuinely love them, and are not just perfect sociopaths. I trust that you, Joe D., actually exist, although I have no absolute proof that you do.
        I cannot give absolute proof that God exists, just as I can’t give you any proof that I exist. But, in a reply to this post, I’ll share with you the best argument I’ve heard as to why you should regard the existence of God as a very real possibility.

        1. At the same time, if one says that God does not exist, the first words from the believer are (more often than not after a bit of spittle flecked rage) “prove it” directed at the atheist.
          Same standard, although you can’t say I’m trying to have you prove a negative.
          I can’t say whether there is an absolute being that watches me, or not. The problem I have with religion is that moral superiority, certainty, from it which people cloak themselves. Feminists got that right from the Religionist playbook, and they use it to devastating effect against men, just like religion. The only difference, in my mind, is that religion Feminism is used purely as a weapon. Of course, if you’re not the “right” religion it is always a weapon against you.

        2. People often describe God as having many properties. Among these properties are 1) being non-physical; 2) having power over all things; 3) being everywhere and nowhere at the same time; 4) having no beginning and no end, which entails: 4a) being everlasting, and 4b) being non-contingent, meaning that nothing had to happen to for Him to exist. God is also said to be 5) rational; and that He has an unstoppable will, such that 6) what according to Him must happen, necessarily will happen.
          I cannot show that God exists, but that something having all these properties definitely exists. Furthermore, YOU have personally experienced it. Human beings are uniquely capable of engaging with this thing, and they use their knowledge of it every day. What could this thing be?
          The deceptively simple answer is math. Humans use different symbols to describe it, but mathematical truth is discovered, not invented. Mathematical truth is 1) entirely non-physical; yet it 2) affects all physical systems. It 3) has no fixed location (is everywhere and nowhere); and it is 4) timeless, because it 4a) will always be true, and 4b) nothing had to happen to create it in the first place. It is also 5) rational, and mathematical truth operates such that 6) if according to the rules of math there will be a particular result, then that result must necessarily be.
          Even the laws of physics seem to be contingent on some properties particular to our universe. But if our whole universe were annihilated, and no physical thing existed, 2 + 2 would still equal 4. And consider that the physical properties of a man are always changing, such that it’s been argued inaccurate to say that he is even a thing that exists at all–just an ever fluctuating assemblage of parts, like a river or a flame, appearing the same but always new. In many ways mathematical truth is more real than you or I.
          Is this proof that God exists? No, but it’s an argument for the solemn contemplation of the power of things subtle and unseen; for mediation upon the full nobility of the human mind; and for the humbling recognition that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.

        3. great post. when i was an atheist, i used to think believing in god meant believing in a physical, conscious being that literally created the universe in the same way an architect designs a building or an engineer builds a machine. obviously that sort of being doesn’t exist, i thought, so all believers are stupid and deluded.
          while i still think a lot of religious people ARE stupid and deluded, i also get the feeling a lot of them believe in a god similar to the one you described (non-physical, has no fixed location, affects all physical systems, analogous with mathematical truth, etc.) does anyone who believes in god care to back me up on this?

        4. Atheists feel no need to prove that God doesn’t exists. They are lazy that way. My comeback is to ask what they believe, why they believe it, and to prove it. They don’t even bother to try, either because they are lazy or because they know they are just as illogical as theists but won’t admit defeat in a fair argument.

        5. Most atheists I’ve met say that flat out don’t know, but it is a fallacy to assume God exists. You could use the same argument to say the universe has always existed without God being necessary and the conclusion is just as valid. Just because you use an S5 modal logic to “prove” something doesn’t make it an actual answer.
          We see the same thing in the legal system, with the different standards of evidence. There is the basic “preponderance of the evidence” used to assign civil “guilt” in proceedings. This is a much lower standard of evidence. You technically only have to “prove” something happened in the most basic way. This is S5 in essence, the plaintiff had something bad happen and the defendant was likely the cause, therefore the existence of the bad thing with the defendant’s proximity, means the defendant is necessarily the guilty.
          The criminal standard (Blackstone) is much higher. The first thing that is different is the default proposition: No crime has been committed. That’s right, in technical terms the first part of “Innocent until proven guilty” is that the crime has to be proven to exist beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, using the same standard, should I say I have a rather prosperous invisible leprechaun living in my garage it is upon me to prove that to be true. The default proposition cannot, and should not, be belief in that statement. I can prove it using S5 logic, will you admit to the default premise?
          There are a group of people that would like to change that, and they get major portions of their playbook from religionists: feminists. They would love for the default proposition to be if a woman says a rape happened, then logically it must be true.
          Using S5 modal logic cannot, and should not, be seen as prove God exists. It only proves that belief in God is as reasonable as the universe always existing. Of course it doesn’t specify which God, it might be Yahweh, Zeus, Odin, Brahma, or Mumbo Jumbo the cannibal. Heck, it can be used to prove the existence of invisible dragons that are the cause of all death when they eat a sixth dimensional portion of the body humans don’t perceive yet.

        6. Oh joy, the gradeschool Gödel ontological argument. Because it’s “necessary” for something to exist, proves the “truth” of its existence. One can use S5 logic to prove many things, it’s not really proof. Plavinga used similar logic, and did it to show that belief in God was “reasonable” according to that logic system. Of course one can argue, using the exact same system, that the universe must always have existed without God. Neither can be used to establish or prove the conclusion. Or one could use it to prove the existence of dragons, because pretty much every culture has a giant serpent mythology.
          First off, we’re starting with one major assumption: God is necessary. Considering that we’ve already shown that order and chaos don’t work like the gradeschoolers in religion like (see: evolution, also applies to the second law of thermodynamics), one can reasonably conclude (with just as much validity as your presumption) that math is no more the language of God than Sanskrit is the language of ants. Order does not, and therefore math does not, require the existence of God. Chaos does not, anymore than death, require the existence of Midguard Serpent.
          That feminists have nicked this from the Religionists, and the fact you probably (with good reason imho) don’t like their idiocy, should probably be a good reason for you to reevaluate your idea of “necessary” and “proof” here.

        7. I disagree. Most self proclaimed atheists know more about religion than many “believers” because they always have to defend their arguments. I think it’s a lot lazier to straight out believe something because you were raised that way. Don’t forget, it’s always easier to be the sheep, and always harder to go against the herd. An atheist says I’m happy to believe in God if he comes down from heavens, but until then I’m in charge of my own life, there no God to have my back. Richard Dawkins “God Delusion” is great reading. Another reason why many inmates turn to God after they’re trapped in a cell and don’t have anywhere else to go. Nope, he doesn’t have your back bro!

        8. I don’t think you read my post very carefully, because I offered no argument for the existence of God. (And for what it’s worth, I am wholly unconvinced by ontological arguments for the existence of God).
          More accurately, I argued against physicalism, the belief that the only things that exist are physical things like particles, forces, energy, fields, etc. Atheists often deny the possibility that anything with the properties I discussed could exist. And yet, mathematical truth exists (we use it all the time), and it has all these properties.
          If we know that one thing can exist having the properties I described, then it is reasonable to admit that there could exist other things (such as God) that have those same properties.

        9. No, it’s actually a post fallacy. The existence of one item does not make the existence of another item (physical, metaphysical, doesn’t matter) any more reasonable. The existence of the universe, as we perceive it, with mathematical congruities no more implies the reasonableness of a creator than of the void. Just because people can levitate things in a lab doesn’t make it reasonable the rich secretly have cars that levitate but are kept from the general public because reasons.
          FWIW, I argue like this against atheists as well. There are more than a few of them that use foolish S5 modal logic arguments.

        10. Self-proclaimed atheists appear to learn about religion from reading Dawkins and the like, or citing George Carlin as a theological authority. Sheep. Online atheists are generally unread in philosophy and in particular the philosophy of science and the philosophy of religion.
          .
          Dawkins is no philosopher. He can’t articulate or defend any of his own beliefs without invoking some delusional nonsense. Hitchens is a much better writer, but he conflates belief/religion with ideology. He hates ideology and was ostracized by the left when he turned on radical Islam and supported the Iraq war. Daniel Dennet is probably the most erudite atheist around.
          .
          You’d really have to talk to a Christian rather than me about God having their back and how they view that. Perhaps convicts have the time to contemplate some of the implications of atheism and how empty it is. It’s a bit delusional to think anyone is in control of their own lives if you buy into atheism because is creates all sorts of problems regarding free will and choice.
          .
          An atheist saying that they are happy to believe in God if he comes down from the heavens simply shows their ideology and the circularity of their thinking. Realistically, the atheist would poo-poo any religious experience as having a natural cause – lack of oxygen, too many Twinkies, whatever – unless the experience was independently verified by numerous other atheists.

        11. I’m not sure what you mean by a “post fallacy.” Maybe “post hoc fallacy?” Regardless, You again misconstrue my argument, insisting on shoehorning it into some formalist contrivance. Let me try to distill my argument further:
          “Atheists often insist that only physical things (matter, energy, forces, etc) exist. As such, non-physical things (like God) cannot exist. I argue that mathematical truth is a non-physical thing that exists, and therefore atheists should keep a much more open mind about the kinds of things that can exist.”
          I will leave you with this: knowledge about formal logic is useful for organizing ideas and clarifying the relationships among them. However, the act of formalizing the casual arguments people make is itself an act of interpretation. Many people, knowingly or unknowingly, formalize arguments not to reveal truth, but in an effort to prove that they are right. Over the years I’ve seen how easily formal logic becomes a tool of sophistry. Use it sparingly.

        12. An open mind is fine, in fact preferred, as far as ideas go. We cannot allow the desire to avoid a formal discussion to be used as a de facto discussion. Religionists, anti-Theists, Feminists, Marxists, Capitalists, et al., often use the indirect argument as a way to promulgate their views and deny (or crush) dissent. They do it because it is far simpler than actively discussing them with a critical eye, no proof is required to continue spouting “truth” and sticking your fingers in your ears while humming loudly like a child when someone opposes you.

        13. If they say they don’t know then they are agnostics. “Atheist” as a useful term, used by people who proclaim to be atheists – particularly on the internet – are almost universally philosophical naturalists.
          .
          I’m not really familiar with S5 (I’m more of an Informal Logic kind of guy). I’m not saying that there is any logical argument that proves God exists. On the other hand, there is no logical argument that can prove God doesn’t exist nor is there any logical argument that could prove a statement like “I am a moral atheist” or “my life has meaning” or “I freely chose to be an atheist”.
          .
          There are philosophical problems with the notion of an eternal universe.
          .
          You would have to elaborate on how feminists use S5 logic in the same way theists do. I think the simpler notion is that feminists provide a bunch of problematic premises (such as “women never lie about rape”) and then follow them to their illogical conclusion.

        14. Allow me a clarification because I was unclear in my statement. First you are correct, if someone claims they don’t know, they are agnostic. However many atheists I’ve met, the honest ones anyway, freely admit they don’t know of a way to absolutely disprove the existence of God. They use the lack of proof in existence to say God is an unproven idea and, given human history, likely false. Their basic argument is that it is technically impossible to prove a negative. At the same time, their “opponents” have utterly failed to prove the positive. This is fairly inconsistent with the Holy books of many religions, particularly the Abrahamic.
          Don’t be so quick to assign morality to Religionists, or religion in general. Don’t think that you can assign meaning based on the same. Free will, is also more problematic to when you have “an intangible parent figure saying do it and I’ll fucking spank you.” (That was a funny movie line if over the top.) Morality is very, shall we say, very flexible in pretty much any religion particularly when dealing with unbelievers. Still, don’t forget the divine punishments for the most minor crimes. Let’s just say that picking on a bald person might not be the best idea if they bald one a devout believer of Christianity.
          Feminists use fallacies quite a bit. Just look at rape hysteria, the use of a priori arguments is particularly egregious. These tactics are taken from the same playbook used by many Religionists, anti-Theists, Marxists, and Capitalists. Othe tactics include starting with a conclusion, finding “facts” (dubious enough themselves in many cases) to support the conclusion, while ignoring any contrary information as irrelevant. The above statement about math “proof” of the metaphysical is pretty good: find something “similar enough” to the subject, declare that because X = Z, Y = X because reasons, therefore Y= Z automatically.

        15. What atheists don’t seem to understand is that the proposal that there are no gods, no spirit, no supernatural phenomena whatsoever is pretty radical. If presented with only two choices – Christianity or Atheism – the latter is more likely to be true. However, when considering atheism against all possible metaphysical realities, then atheism is false, more likely than not.
          .
          All I am saying about non-atheists is that they believe in moral standards that exist outside their own individual preferences or idiosyncrasies. An atheist, believing only in matter, energy and forces, cannot logically believe in any moral standards beyond what they personally prefer. This is not to suggest that any particular religion gets it right, or that the personal preferences of some atheists can’t conform to universal moral standards, but a belief in universal moral standards themselves requires one to reject atheism.
          .
          The existence of consequences doesn’t alter the fundamental fact of free will, if it exists. However, as with universal moral standards it is basically impossible to be an atheist and believe in free will as a fact. Rocks don’t have free will. Machines don’t have free will. “Thinking” machines don’t have free will, they merely do what they are programmed to do. Atheists believe that human beings are very complex, biological thinking machines. There is no spirit or soul animating our choices. There is no ghost in the machine making decision. It’s all just nature and nurture, a mishap of evolution with maybe some quantum fluctuation thrown in to keep us all guessing.
          .
          I still don’t see the particular link between feminist ideologues and theists other than that neither’s belief’s can be proved scientifically. Then again, many beliefs that atheists appear to hold regarding these problem areas – free will, morality, meaning and purpose – can’t be proved scientifically either.

        16. “The criminal standard (Blackstone) is much higher. The first thing that is different is the default proposition: No crime has been committed. That’s right, in technical terms the first part of “Innocent until proven guilty” is that the crime has to be proven to exist beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, using the same standard, should I say I have a rather prosperous invisible leprechaun living in my garage it is upon meto prove that to be true. The default proposition cannot, and should not, be belief in that statement. I can prove it using S5 logic, will you admit to the default premise?”
          Legal standards of proof are not, and have never been, advanced as philosophical instruments. They are at best practical tools which evolved across roughly 1,000 years of English history, whose ultimate aim was to help society hold itself together.
          In particular the criminal standard, as Blackstone understood it and as John Adams went on to explain it, arises out of the presumption of innocence — the default proposition — that it is better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be imprisoned. That presumption has nothing philosophical attached to it: it is there solely to encourage lawful behaviour, since without it an upright citizen could only say to himself “It matters not whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.”
          The civil standard is a lower standard chiefly because it is generally an individual against another individual. Where it is the State trying to put a person in jail or fine someone – as with all criminal charges – because of the State’s theoretically boundless resources and coercive power, the State is always put to a higher standard of proof – that of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Again this is a working rule designed to stop the State from picking off its political opponents one by one, and is a bulwark of the separation of powers. For the same reason, the State bears the onus of proof, i.e. the State has to prove the charge, not the individual disprove the charge or prove his innocence.

      2. Hey, nice fedora man.
        On topic though. God as a sentient being does not exist, rather god is in everything. He is not some bearded guy up in heaven, god is the origin of everything that has been, is, and will be. While we are all individuals, we are at the same time the spawn of god. Thus god is everywhere, knows everything and has created everything.

        1. I have an invisible leprechaun living in my garage. He has been there forever, and has owned every piece of gold on the planet at one point or another. He knows an invisible dragon that has told him that the universe sprang into being from the vast nothingness due to a mistake Brahma who slew his 2nd cousin, twice removed, Yahweh. Brahama was thinking it would be fun to have a cosmic frisbee but made a mistake creating said frisbee and the universe was born.
          My statement is as valid as yours.

        2. Actually, I’m displaying your illogic in a way you don’t like. I can say I have an invisible leprechaun living in my garage, and you can’t disprove that. Just because one can make a logical argument that something must exist, doesn’t (remotely) prove it ever existed. This is the same problem atheists have with arguing that the universe has always existed, just without God.
          Both are valid, logically sound, utterly reasonable, and completely without proof.

        3. Must a thing have proof as obtained by scientific method — with Popper’s falsifiability restricting science, as we know it must — in order to be said to exist?

  11. The west is fucked.
    The moneychangers have destroyed our connections to each other and the land.
    A spiritual revolution in how we view each other and our relationship to money is required.
    But there is one group of people dedicated to not letting that happen, all of one ethnicity/religion at the top of that hierarchy, and they have been accused of this for the last 4000 plus years, dividing us all against each other.

    1. “A spiritual revolution in how we view each other and our relationship to money is required.”
      Once upon a time, people maintained a job in order to maintain their household.
      Now, people maintain their household in order to maintain their “career.”
      The monkey on your back is grinding the organ you dance to.

      1. “The session at Friends Seminary, on East 16th Street, was led by Derrick Gay, a 39-year-old diversity consultant.” lol god save us.

    2. A nation of fools is easily subverted. We are sitting ducks in the west, gentlemen. I’ve spent several years with this thorn in my side wondering who the hell is behind the atrocities of the world. Something just isn’t right.
      Now I know what “group” of money changers you speak of. A most gruesome tale of death an destruction. Reading about it has given me nightmares.
      In case one wants to know where we’re headed, check out “Under the Sign of the Scorpion” by Juri Lina. Also, David Duke has written some eye opening books as well.

  12. True gratitude comes from the Seven Cardinal Virtues.
    But gratitude has its limits. A civilized man will recognize his obligations and pay them as he can. He will be thankful for favors and blessings, both divine and human. However, to prevent being placed into servitude by obligations incurred from favors one must ask what the value of the favor really is that another man gives.
    Once that is determined, that is the level of obligation to return the favor when able, or pass it on to another man if it cannot be returned. If one finds out that the favor was only given to entrap, then there is no obligation and a strong man will simply cancel the formerly perceived obligation in his mind and life.
    On the spiritual level all we have comes from God, and we should acknowledge this by thanking Him daily in appreciation for all his favors and benefits, known and unknown. For even life is a gift and can be taken away.

  13. I like this article.
    I just want to say though that gratitude should NOT be limited in being grateful towards other people. I think gratitude should expand beyond that, towards the universe.
    Be thankful you have your eyes and limbs. That you’re alive, that you have food in your belly. That your breath allows you to live AND be calm and gives you clarity (if you do it right).
    I think limiting gratitude towards people will only hurt your perceptions of what the universe wil provide.

  14. I don’t think he hit hard enough on “generation ME” and the sense of entitlement these days among the left and in particular the youth. They want free university tuition and then expect a six figure salary after 4 years of partying and a few years of experience.
    .
    Public service unions hold the public hostage with strikes, extort premium wages from the government, and then skew elections by actively supporting candidates who are enablers, and actively attacking candidates or even elected officials who disagree all because they feel entitled. Their argument against a citizenry who objects is to claim that everyone is entitled to government sized incomes and pensions despite the economic impossibility.
    .
    That, however, is an editorial choice.
    .
    Where the article goes all wrong is in saying that morality is a fetter to happiness or implying that the only true morality is within one’s self. Objective morality is, by definition, outside of any individual. The alternative is subjectivity, relativism, and perhaps even solipsism or nihilism. The whole idea goes in circles when confronted with a murderous psychopath who is happy to kill people according to his own moral standards. Oh, but he is a “bad” guy but I am a “good” guy, so that isn’t the same. Really?
    .
    Humans are flawed creatures. We can never know, with scientific precision, the entire moral code of the universe. Secondly, even if we did, we are all flawed enough that some aspects would not make us “happy” all the time and in every way.

  15. Gratitude has been called the one-word secret of happiness. There’s much truth in that. But like all maxims, a qualification is necessary: you should not be grateful to someone merely because he has refrained from abusing you, or has ceased to abuse you. There are many persons who’ll try that on you if they think they can get something by it. Most of them are female.

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