Kill Your Children Well

According to Stewart, in those parts of Hawaii to which the influence of the missionaries had not penetrated, two-thirds of the infants born were murdered by their parents within the age of two years. In Tahiti, three women questioned by Mr. Williams acknowledged that they had killed twenty-one of their children between them. Another at the point of death confessed to him in an anguish of remorse that she had destroyed sixteen of her children.

Frazer, James George. 1922. The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Vol. 2 (of 3): The Belief Among the Polynesians, Chapter III: The Belief in Immortality among the Samoans, § 1. The Samoan Islands, Footnote 24. McMillan and Co.

Wow!

This is the typical life among those noble savages some folks on this blog cheer on. Hunter-gatherers had no birth control, so children came all the time. There’s just not enough food around for every woman to have 12-27 kids. It’s not going to work. And honestly, it’s better to kill one child who has barely seen life than to let the whole group die of starvation. The greater good and the lesser of two evils and all that.

Among the Ache of Paraguay, 100% of Ache children witness their mothers murdering one or more of their brothers or sisters, often before age four. You wonder what sort of effect that would have on someone.

Essentialists or Determinists, which include some psychoanalytic types, would say that certain things that a human experiences in life have inevitable damaging effects on the psyche. So if a child witnesses his mother murdering his toddler sibling, this will have an inevitable scarring effect on the psyche no matter what. Similarly, if a child is molested by an adult before some set age (which feminist crazies keep pushing upwards), there will be serious and inevitable damaging effects on the psyche of that child no matter what. Some things are just inherently damaging psychologically 100% of the time.

Culturalists would take another approach and say that the psychological effects of certain experiences depend on the culture.

So while seeing one’s toddler sibling being murdered by your own mother is no doubt rather traumatizing, if you grow up in a culture where all children witness these scenes, it simply because one or the norms of growing up in that society, children simply accept it as normal behavior and there is little if any psychological damage.

Similarly, there are hunter-gatherer cultures where almost all of the children are molested by adults before age 12. Generally there is no physical damage. Culturalists would say that if you grow up in a culture where all the kids get molested by adults, you simply accept that as normal behavior and the acts cause little if any harm.

Where do you stand, with the Determinists or with the Culturalists? Are some experiences inherently damaging to the psyche or is it all culture-dependent based on what your culture defines as normal behavior?

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10 thoughts on “Kill Your Children Well”

  1. Seeing your mother kill one of your siblings would have to disincline one to turn his back on Mom. However, in all truth, is that not saner than trusting her? It isn’t paranoia if they’re likely to hurt you. I can’t see it as psychologically damaging.

    Some writers on psychology seem to think that a man who can kill at all is somehow defective. While self-restraint is a virtue, sometimes killing someone is the right thing to do.

    At this point, I expect someone has lost their shit. Let’em.

    As for adults molesting kids, if no physical harm is done, then it’s not the acts performed that hurts the kid. I think the harm is done by the kid being treated as a victim of something they enjoyed. Even if they never tell about it, there is still some social pressure to look upon oneself as a victim.

    We can see the harm done in our society by identifying so many people as victims. How many crimes were caused by the criminal’s false sense of victim’s entitlement? Look at the case of the gay black murderer just the other day.

    Oh, Jason. It’s “I’ve” and “noble”.

  2. sounds a bit strange maybe but I thought about similar things a few days ago. In the newspaper there was an article about the rising share of cesarian sections among births. The article concentrated on the risks which are connected to cesarian sections, one of them being that woman felt they missed something because they could not hold their babies directly after the birth, but 5 min later, when the cut was closed again. Some kind of spiritual bonding situation. The article mentioned some women who even went to psycho therapy because of this. When I read this I immediately thought that this is a very cultural thing. I am sure that in many cultures people do not even imagine that there could be some psychological damage for women because of that. I think the culturalist view point is true.
    Also many people think that there is a negative impact on child development when they are born with cesarian section, because they lack the experience of successfully “pushing through to life”. I do not think that an impact actually exists.

    1. Curiously, I know four siblings who were each born Caesarian. The girls have had four kids between them, none by Caesarian, in their teens and twenties. They seem no crazier than most women today. The boys grew up to be a gay who works hundred hour weeks in a tech industry and an asexual basement dweller.

      Recalled a conversation with a born-again I had once. I had asked him what was wrong about sex with the young. His answer, translated from Jebus-speak was that they didn’t want the young to discover too early they enjoyed it, before they had been indoctrinated.

      I interpreted this as simply a dogma from the anti-fun forces. However, there is a good point to that. One shouldn’t cause a pregnancy if one is not ready and able to support the child.

  3. <There’s just not enough food around for every woman to have 12-27 kids.>

    Or even one child. The rich 18th century merchant Thomas Coram created the first secular orphanage out of the sheer disgust at seeing the banks of the Thames regularly strewn with the corpses of disposed infants.

  4. Polynesians were not hunter-gatherers. Actually agriculturalists had higher birth rates than hunter-gatherers. And what about those classic ancients like the Ancient Greeks and Romans, who also before christianity practiced regular infanticide? Why no one criticizes them? Christianity seems to have ‘tamed’ peoples, but I don’t have enough time to devlop my hypothesis in this comment.
    As for the trauma, yes, I believe that it could be upsetting for a child, but he would quickly adjust to it. Another hypothesis of mine is that if you don’t get exposed to alternative paradigms outside your culture, you don’t feel that there are bad things in your culture or that you are oppressed. You may feel somewhat inconvenienced, but not oppressed. When seeing your neighbor doing things differently and suffering less, only then you will feel oppressed.

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