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Open Thread 133.75

Pandemos 4. The flayed skins of sacrificial victims that had been worn by priests for the last twenty days were taken off and placed in these dark, magical caverns. Honestly, I do think that today a shocking, taboo-breaking, transgressive fiction piece would be one where the Aztecs are villains! I see a glorious future when child sacrifice becomes the next great progressive cause, and Aztecophobia the next great thoughtcrime.

Well, you coulda fooled me with the cover art for various editions. Nancy Lebovitz, your description makes me more inclined to give it a try. I really loved the Murderbot series, but it made a lot more sense as a series than as standalone stories after the first one. I thought Artificial Condition was probably the weakest of the four novellas so far. Please chime in. This results in competing dictatorships. I have limits to how much violence I want to read about, and those limits are probably inconsistent and Unfair to Authors. Still, book 1 had altogether too much horrible death and book 2 had altogether too much torture.

I suspect the tone of the writing was too even and the the characters talked too much like each other. There are two. Jendao becomes part fcnprfuvc and I found that oddly satisfying. This one is fairly good, but I was selecting for fun and having the main character being blackmailed for having an anxiety disorder and hanging on by her fingernails is not my idea of fun. Anyway, a meteor destroyed a lot of the Baltimore-Washington area in the 50s and as a result, the space program is accelerated.

A lot of the book is about her getting work fit for her talents. I think that it would have been plausible for her to be up against more antisemites. Instead, she worries about antisemitism and has to be polite to Mengele? This is odd because the survival of the human race is at stake. In any case, this is sufficiently SJW that any happy ending will have to be good for the vast majority of people, not just a small handful surviving. Maggie Hoskie has some magic and hunts monsters. If you like paranormal romance at all, you should read this. The sequel is even better. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Bechy Chambers— third in a series, but stands alone well by itself.

Most of humanity has left earth because of environmental disaster and has a moderately communal society in colony ships. People have made contact with a richer and more individualistic galactic culture and are figuring out how to deal with being able to buy cool stuff. The book seems generally reasonable and emotionally satisfying a lot about funeral customs and I found it refreshing to hove a plot turn on one death rather than the usual sf body count. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik— set in fantasy eastern Europe.

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The complex plot expands to include peasant who are working for her and the czarina. The human race is forced to compete. The thing is, I think most sf humor is pretty dire— the merest stereotype-shuffling and joke-shaped objects. This book has me laughing every ten pages or so. And there was some light parodying of Social Justice, too. I think this one is on my wishlist. Or did most of humanity die off?

It goes extensively into the culture of the Exodus Fleet, yeah. It is, in fact, theoretically possible to launch utterly ridiculous amounts of mass into space with known materials science. The foundations for the base stations are going to be under load in a big way, and you need something like 8 EPRS feeding it power, but if you want to launch stuff into space by the millions of tonnes, there you go, much more reasonable requirements than a space elevator. Oops, sorry! Bring it on, Space Eurovision! For whatever dragged on the most. I gave mine to Revenant Gun.

The big battle at the end was awful— i kept feeling like there were so many pages to turn. Actually 20 or so, I think. Weirdly, the denouement was easier going. After 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed by a suicide attack earlier this month in Indian-controlled Kashmir, a poignant cartoon started doing rounds on Indian social media: It showed an armed Indian soldier, pressed back-to-back with a group of civilians. The civilians, giggling over their phones, appear to be pushing the soldier into battle.

Here is another article, from Reuters, about misinformation on social media during the last flareup in February. How do you expect the situation in Kashmir will ever resolve itself when the most divisive takes have a systematic tendency to go viral? Not just us, but the rest of the globe too. I feel it necessary to point out that we need not actually do anything that implicates the First Amendment to get rid of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All that is necessary is a strong set of social norms against using them.

Imagine if tweeting carried a similar sort of social stigma as tweeting racist jokes. In short, if you want to get any respect as a serious journalist, you do not use Twitter. A Twitter-user is probably a gossip-pages hack, or something just as unsavoury. Without the signal boost from traditional media, Twitter would cease to be relevant for national discourse. What is the tit for tat here? Besides which, like with healthcare insurance, the industry is too deeply rooted, meaning that they will fight tooth and nail to keep surveilling and mining data to sell.

Yes, large, powerful, information controlling governments have never been a threat to international peace. All you have to do is remove legal protections for social media sites: Section of the Communications Decency Act. Boom, serious people having civil discussions rule social media. As a bonus, social media business models are no longer driven by maximizing engagement. In terms of international peace… right now we are in a Pax Americana period which is unusually peaceful.

This is not the first time a large, powerful government has created international peace. Check out Pax Romana and Pax Britannica. The social media site has an incentive to develop e. If the person is a serious person having civil discussions, their likelihood of triggering a defamation lawsuit is low. Even assuming this to be true, the converse is not. People say lots of things that are neither actionable defamation nor civil discussion.

Repealing it would merely shift the liability from those who have direct knowledge of who they are and direct control over their own actions, to those who have neither. My intuition is that, if were repealed, social media sites would just reinstate it via other means — elaborate disclaimers, clickwrap agreements, relocating servers to countries with different laws, etc. In a way, has kept us from finding out what happens when you sue Facebook, which might still turn out to be nothing. If someone libels me on Twitter, no agreement between Twitter and its users can shield Twitter from liability to me, a non-user; it has to be law.

If Facebook tries to limit its liability to libel by agreement with its users, the first lawyer walking into court with a libel case from a non-user is going to feel very confident that agreement will not affect the case. If you say so, counselor. But I still think your confidence is misplaced. In the second place, huge corporations with huge legal teams seem to have a knack for getting things to work out. But this new as in not contained in original comment proposal has nothing to do with Thomas Jefferson or any other dead slaveholder.

Sorry for the slaveholder thing, it seems to have derailed the discussion. I agree that social media are messing up public discourse in a lot of ways. But I think various ways to either shut down destructive discourse or try to legislate what communications technology should look like in the future is going to do more harm than good. I come at this as someone who holds some pretty unpopular views on questions of fact, which I think are correct and important.

I expect that any mechanism to shut down socially destructive public discussion will shut down discussions of human b-odiversity long before they get around to shutting down the kind of rage-fueled clickbait that IMO is poisoning a lot of public discourse. Similarly, I expect that discussions that are upsetting to powerful people will be targeted for shutting down—opposition to popular wars, demands to hold war criminals accountable, critiques of busing or affirmative action.

Those fora often bring up issues that never show up in mainstream US media, and even more often bring up perspectives that show up in mainstream venues only as ideas to be condemned without a hearing. Further, a lot of the most destructive discourse rage-inducing stories written for clicks, often with major factual distortions are staples of mainstream media outlets, and have been for a very long time. Neither Rachel Maddow nor Tucker Carlson is a product of social media. I think as a culture and as institutions we need to develop a kind of cultural antibodies to the kind of destructive side of social media.

The fact that social media is impacting elections makes this even less likely—everyone is going to be looking to help their side in the next election, regardless of the long-term effects. Look at it this way: is your social media better or worse than five years ago? I mean, your little corner of it.

Your personal experience using it. Better or worse? If worse: think about why. Pick an experience you had that illustrates how awful social media is. If it was an offensive post from your uncle, you could block your uncle. Doing those things, avoiding the shit, is the antibodies. Social media has communities based around broadcasting and amplifying hatred, and it also has communities based around regifting out-grown baby clothes to neighbors who need them, and people are still sorting themselves.

Give it time. One of my interests is a topic that the blue tribe considers evil weaponry , resulting in YouTubers covering that topic being excluded from recommendations, monetization and such. This clearly exasperates the YouTubers covering this topic and requires extra effort on their part and on the part of the fans. The point is that the blue tribe considers many red tribe politics and hobbies to be hateful and are trying to use their power to prevent those communities from existing. So the issue is not that these communities are insufficiently sorted, but that there is intolerance on the part of the blue tribe for the very existence of things that go against blue tribe orthodoxy.

I see no indication that the tolerance is increasing, rather the opposite, with social media increasingly trying to eradicate the other. Exaggerations and persecution aside, you just said that there would be more videos about your hobby on youtube if more people liked it.

That seems pretty axiomatic. Other than the weapons the belligerents will have access to, how is this any different than Hearst pushing us into the Spanish-American war? Jingoists have played up national grievances to incite war forever. And your phrasing makes you an obnoxious troll who should be ignored rather than engaged. All will try to abridge freedom of speech in the name of a worthy cause, and the answer should always be the same: No. Freedom of though is more important. Everyone here knows that, if the situation with big tech were reversed, that they were censoring liberals rather than conservatives, almost every single liberal would be demanding government regulation.

Regulation of social media companies is no more an abridgment of free speech than regulation of paper-making is an abridgment of freedom of the press. Are there regulations that require papermakers to sell paper to all comers regardless of politics? As to the other side winning, Citizens United is still good law despite any outcry against it, was decided by a strong majority, and none of the changes in justices since then seem likely to provide votes for a reversal. So for all I know there are strict rules like this in the paper industry.

I unironically think Josh Hawley is spot on. I expect many agree with him, but they have already left social media:. I did choose to be slightly provocative with the dead slaveholder phrasing in an attempt to inject some ideological diversity into this forum. Although this style of argument is very popular outside the forum, I almost never see it here. I do feel that if someone has made clearly mistaken moral judgements e. So I think my argument here does have some merit, even if arguments made with this shibboleth are typically obnoxious arguments made without merit.

But in any case, the point is important enough that I wish I had not been unnecessarily provocative this way, so consider that bit rescinded. If you come off sounding like trolls, then you are going to be treated like a troll. This seems to be a non-sequateur. That sites with a particular ideology take expressions of alternative ideologies as provocative does not justify a deliberately-provocative presentation on a different site.

If I express an alternative ideology, people will take it as provocative. So if everyone tries to avoid saying anything provocative, we get groupthink, moral tribes, and filter bubbles. Yesterday, you were a troll. Has nothing to do with left vs right, but with promoting anger and shouting vs.

Try not to be a troll next time you start a discussion. When is a factually true but unflattering statement offensive? Am I no longer allowed to say anything bad about dead people? Would it be offensive if I pointed out that Stalin killed millions, for instance? Just because someone thinks the outgroup has a point now and then does not mean they are speaking in bad faith. Citation: many SSC posts. You wanted to load up the traditional idea of freedom of speech with lots of negative associations, so you described it as the idea of a long-dead slaveholder. The point was pretty obviously not accurately describing anything, but rather to weaken the idea by associating it with something everyone now agrees was bad.

Nobody here is going to complain if you bring up the fact that Jefferson was a slaveholder in a context where it makes sense. The only reason to bring it up is to try to weaken the concept by association. And here we see the classic troll tactic of dissimulation, pretence, and outrage-baiting.

Fascinating to observe the traditional, even instinctual, displays that the creatures demonstrate when engaging in threat displays, mock combat, and other bluffing strategies. I would dearly love for this to happen. But I dearly love freedom of speech even more. You can have both though: If social media websites go away, we will still have free speech in the sense that the founders intended.

Pacific Rim got blasted over this for having a jaeger called Gypsy Danger, to the point where some people writing fanfic changed the name to Lady Danger. Interesting heresy. Did Donatists not buy into original sin at all? Oh, Donatists were very big on sin, especially if you fell short after baptismal regeneration; St Augustine — whom Calvin thought was on his side when it came to damnation — argued against them because they sought an impossible standard of purity and made themselves the judges of who was and was not perfectly pure.

Rather reminiscent of some social media, come to think of it. Now, if he turns up drunk or high before the operation, then yeah we judge his morals, but otherwise no. Donatists insisted that only those with a perfect level of zeal and purity could be clergy, and moreover that the efficacy of the sacraments depended on the personal purity and belief of the officiant. Internationally, of course, the same dynamics are even worse.

Enough of the Lyme disease subthread. A new study just came out about Growth Mindset working. Thought this would be good information to add to the ongoing discussion. You really buried the lede here. If I was a villager in some Near Eastern village in the 7th century, and competing Muslim and Manichaean proselytizers came to town, I think I would probably find both their religions more compelling than local paganism. But I think I would find it pretty suspicious that Allah is allegedly all-powerful and all-benevolent, and yet we still seem to have famines, plagues, and wars.

By contrast, it would sure make a lot of sense that there are competing good deities and bad deities. That would neatly explain why there are sometimes good things and sometimes bad things. But it seems like Islam and Christianity managed to ultimately convince a lot more people than competing faiths with easier solutions to this problem. Furthermore, at least to me, it seems that if you take such a radically skeptical position with regards to evil, it very well might also logically lead you to extreme, heretical skepticism about alleged revelations and prophets.

If God wishes to test the alleged free will of humans, such suffering seems largely irrelevant to that purpose. And for Christianity, even this suffering is partially voluntary in the short term. Most biblical rules have to do with being nice, avoiding conflict-causing behaviors, sharing with needy people and not eating shellfish. Meanwhile absolutely all suffering is voluntary in the long-term, which is what the whole heaven bit is about.

Still, most of our own suffering is self-imposed in the short term, in that humans treat each other poorly. We are all offered an escape from temporary and eternal unhappiness to eternal happiness, in any case. At any rate, this is a lot closer to what Christianity is than pretending that free will and an incomplete understanding of God are its only explanations for suffering while simultaneously representing the free-will portion of the explanation as something different than what Christianity represents it to be. But they were your great-great-great-…-grandparents, who ate a fruit!!!

Any omnipotent and infinitely loving being would react the same way. That sounds like a Protestant weakman. Archetypal Man and Woman made a choice to participate in evil, each individual recapitulates that, the New Adam Jesus Christ saved them, and the Church commemorates this with icons of Jesus breaking the gates of Hades and Adam and Eve coming out in the lead. For the record, a correct reading of the Adam and Eve story is that God made a world where there was no good or evil, no good or bad, no better or worse. That was the world he intended for humans.

But he gave them a choice of rejecting that world for a world of good and bad. They chose that world and the rest is history. The world itself did not change. There is still no good or evil. However, people think there is. The cool thing is that at any time we can choose to reject the idea of good and bad, better and worse and live in a world without this.

That world, by the way, has no suffering. Outside of the biblical representation of Jesus, no such person exists. The text has Adam and Eve surrounded by perfectly adequate fruit they are allowed to eat. They are told not to eat a fruit that will make them die, and they do so anyway and enter into a world in which death is a thing.

Barely into the metaphor is a clear choice between perfection and imperfection, between a world run by God or a world run by man. It was a response to a strawman, and an exhortation to at least argue against the actual beliefs held by the people you disagree with instead of a made-up version designed to be easy to defeat. I would consider the doctrine of original sin to be a particularly unconvincing subset of free will theodicy. To me, this seems more charitable to monotheism than judging its response to the problem of evil on the basis of the veracity of Biblical stories.

But the mythology is, in part, one somewhat-more-concrete approach to answering that philosophical question. If you want to argue that adherents to a religion are stupid because their religion is internally inconsistent, you have to, you know, acknowledge what the actual internals of the religion are. I stated that monotheists have not come up with a really satisfactory solution to the problem of evil, and addressed in an aside what seemed to me to be the most common attempted solutions.

This is especially relevant here because Islam, a comparably large monotheistic religion, does not seem to have a doctrine of original sin. One is alleged free will: humanity is only suffering because of its freely willed choices, and thus God can still be omnibenevolent and omnipotent while allowing suffering to occur. Your response, which explicated what I understand to be the specifically Christian doctrine of original sin, was one such form of this argument.

I believe that it is a particularly weak form of this argument, so in the spirit of charity I refrained from picking on it in the OP. Nonetheless, you seem to feel that it is really, really important to consider, so, very well, I shall:. The Garden of Eden story requires belief that there was a point in the history of the universe during which men, and perhaps other conscious creatures as well, did not suffer at all from such maladies as disease, war, extreme weather, hunger, and so on. Why should a disinterested observer believe that this period existed? Evidence from archaeology and population genetics suggests that the world was imperfect and suffering was frequently occurring, say, 50, years ago.

In fact, the Cretaceous—Paleogene extinction event suggests that suffering was occurring tens of millions of years ago. What source of information did the composer s of the Book of Genesis less than 3, years ago have access to about events occurring more than 50, years ago that we today do not? Since God is, in Christian theology, all-powerful and all-knowing, how could He not have known that Adam and Eve would disobey Him when He created them?

How then can He justly punish them for exercising the nature He gave them in a way that He knew beforehand that they would exercise it? Why do Christians who fully accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and thus reject the choice of Adam and Eve still seem as capable of suffering unjustly as everyone else? You wrote above that no person other than Jesus has been able to completely do this. It relies on a questionable allegorical story that, even if true, seems to posit a God with less than infinite power or benevolence. And there you go! This is MUCH closer to not being a strawman.

Boring, and also no way for me to change your mind, nor mine yours. This is a good question — much better than you give it credit for. When he yells randomly, I punish him in some way or another usually just scolding to get him to stop. I could keep him from screaming at random times by making him wear a gag; I could similarly keep him from screaming by paying a psychologist to drug him. I could also have kept him from yelling by just not having him. And in that he wants to exist without being drugged into a near-coma or wearing a gag, he knows that when he yells randomly, some form of punishment might be coming.

But to the point: When he yells, yes, I knew to a near statistical certainty he was going to yell. This is what free will is. The Christian God values it; so do you. You are suggesting God should have made meaningless obedience robots, but he already had those. They are called trees. In that he wanted anything with any meaningful level of free will, there was going to be disobedience. You are treating this, too, as a simple question, but this, too, is not.

The promise of salvation is an end to suffering at the gates of heaven. And then this gem:. I mean, come on. Carl Jung. In this case, preferably contemporary documentary, archaeological and genetic evidence, for instance, could be used to help convince me or at least raise my estimation of the probability that the Garden of Eden literally existed and that men literally did not suffer in it. I was questioning the truth of one specific part; I could be convinced that that part is true without necessarily also being convinced that all the other parts are.

Upon reflection, it is, however, relatively orthogonal to the discussion that I was interested in pursuing, namely regarding the contrast between monotheism and other forms of religion like dualism and polytheism. Specifically, this is because proving the literal veracity of the mythologies of other forms of religion would seem to me to be a comparable challenge, and thus it says little about why monotheism was more successful than them. I am thus happily willing to sign a ceasefire on this issue for the time being.

To be clear, the relevant question is not only whether an entity with foreknowledge that another entity will do something harmful is responsible for that thing, but also how much power the former entity has to stop it and how much responsibility is attendant with power.

This will be highly pertinent in judging the validity of your analogy. It would indeed be silly of me to suggest that your foreknowledge alone absolves your son of all blame for disturbing others by yelling. By contrast, you did not consciously create the desire to yell randomly in your son; the process that led to the creation of that desire was not under your absolute control or absolute comprehension.

He did not previously have this desire, you can choose to remove the desire at any time, and, if you did, your son would either thank you for it or be indifferent about it. However, you choose not to do this, and your son yells randomly at times. In that case, I think you would be absolutely responsible for his yelling, and I would contend that your son ought be fully absolved of moral responsibility for his predicament.

God knowingly created Adam and Eve with the desire to sin; they did not ask God to give them this desire. He could have created them without the desire to sin, or given them competing desires that would have outweighed it; their agency would have mattered as much or as little in this case as it did in the canonical Biblical case.

Incidentally, I realize that of course your analogy was only meant to demonstrate a philosophical point, but considering it made me think about how much I love my own father, and what a profound source of joy our relationship is. Apropos of nothing, I wish you and your son all the best in the years to come, and hope that your relationship is too such a source of joy. I often worry that I am not worthy enough for this great challenge, and will strive to make myself so worthy in the years ahead.

I should clarify that, while I have not researched this extensively, my current position on free will in the philosophical sense that is relevant here is that it is not only nonexistent but conceptually impossible, a position that I understand to have been most fully developed by Galen Strawson.

If God had created men without the desire to sin, and they chose not to sin, they would be exercising their wills as freely as Adam and Eve exercised theirs to sin. If God had created men with the desire to sin, but with a stronger desire to be virtuous, and thus were tempted to but ultimately did not sin, they too would be equally freely exercising their wills.

Therefore, I do not see how God creating an Adam and an Eve who did not desire to eat the apple would have created subjects any less free than His creation of an Adam and Eve who did want to eat the apple. A possible rejoinder is that God did not know whether or not Adam and Eve would sin of their free will and that He had to give them an indeterminate desire balance of good and evil whose end result He did not know.

Furthermore, if not even God Himself with access to all possible information could have known whether Adam and Eve would choose good or evil, and why they would choose what they did, it raises an interesting question of what the basis for their choice would be in that case. Would it be perfectly, truly random chance? In that case, it would hardly seem to be a very compelling exercise of free will, to be jerked around by randomness.

And of course if there was a non-random reason for their choice, God would seem to necessarily have to have understood, predicted and instigated their choice. All of existence is His sandbox. Evil has no independent power in a monotheistic universe; it only has the power that God gives it. The epic struggle between good and evil, the sort of thing that LMC described above about Jesus redeeming Adam and Eve and breaking open the gates of Hades her word with them in the lead, has to happen in a dualistic or polytheistic universe, because evil has an independent source of power with which to challenge good.

It is furthermore a deeply meaningful struggle because it is not clear that good is preordained to triumph over evil. But a monotheistic universe is deeply, deeply different in a way that seems to challenge our intuitions hence my original query. Good has already completely won at the very beginning of its existence; a benevolent force already has all the power. If evil is created, it is known to be preordained that it will lose against good, which would seem to render the struggle much less meaningful. The tracked, house-arrested and monitored former criminals are perfectly capable of doing good and demonstrating reformed, virtuous natures, even under the constraints you specify.

Which one suspects could be removed if they so demonstrated. One is perfectly capable of being constrained from doing evil in a way that still permits one to do good. He was just a reasonably virtuous, very gifted and very lucky man. I also think that more people than you might suspect would be willing to accept that society, considering that e. I think that Steve said that the plot was driven by the possibility that the machine or psychics or whatever had once made a mistake. But Steve waggishly suggested: So what?

Having reflected on the matter, I will freely admit that I was too hasty in my attempt to lay out what I believe to be the contradictions between the doctrine of original sin, the allegation of free will and the existence of suffering in the presence of God. I dealt with the relevant Christian theology too flippantly, and for that I apologize. I will try to better understand it and think more carefully about what critique if any I have of it.

That said, I still have a very strong intuition, though this may change upon study and attempting to explicitly form it, that there are too many variables in this system of equations for it to close. Even if one ignores the above external evidence critique and internal fundamental problem of evil critique, I think there is still a further internal contradiction in the proposed relationship between original sin, suffering and alleged free will in Christian theodicy. However, I will refrain from attempting to make this critique until I better understand the relevant theology and can better articulate and defend a contrary position.

Many monotheistic, and relevantly here Christian, thinkers, like CS Lewis in The Problem of Pain , have acknowledged that it is a difficult question while continuing to retain their belief in an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. I was hoping that a civil discussion could be had around this shared premise by people of different beliefs, without becoming a debate about the general and fundamental veracity of religion, and judging by the many high quality responses to my post I was vindicated in this hope.

I was indeed confirmed in my expectation by the many extensive, polite and informative discussions in response to this post from commenters of various different beliefs. How much is there to explain? There are only three big universalist missionary religions. Two of them are monotheist. If Manichaeism had won, would you think up something else it had in common with another winner?

And these are hardly independent events. Islam is a descendant of Christianity. How many of the details it copied matter and how many are decoration? I think this actually reveals a very profound potential locus of disagreement that applies to many other debates about tradition. Therefore, things that survive probably have something going for them. In this case, a relatively arbitrary first-mover advantage, or a genuine past advantage with little relevance in the future, can have a profound effect on future developments.

Some from Column A, some from Column B?

OTOH, while Islam had clear advantages on spreading itself in a pre-industrial world, is it just harmful forward from that? Considering that e. Also, if anyone wants to jump down the rabbit hole of esoteric Nazi goofiness, the book Black Sun documents, from the outside, the various strains of it. You see, in the final days of the war, the Nazis launched a UFO to the Moon with ancient Indian technology in order to raise Thule with the help of ancient aliens, which will happen any day now… or something.

You sound like a man with a hammer looking at everything like a nail. Islam and Christianity have a lot in common, not just monotheism and the problem of evil. Hinduism and Buddhism have a lot in common. The obvious hypothesis, as several said, is that it is fit to be a universalist missionary religion. Although Hinduism is also fit! How many such religions have had enough success to be worth talking about?

Are religions subject to a lot of peril? If they fought it out every year, I think the world would look pretty different. We do see Axial religions eat away at pre-Axial religions. I believe that there is a discrete jump in fitness between the two types. Their position on the leaderboard is caused by being carried by empires. The expansion of empires is driven by a few big wins, not a lot of peril. I think NNT calls that a top-down phenomenon that leads to power law outcomes. But those traits were not universalism or missionaries.

Polytheism- dualism may get a leg up on problem of evil, but monotheism is a stronger on a range of philosophical points. These are subtler and less emotionally salient so for popular appeal are relatively unimportant but they help with the elite I guess. Which points are you referring to? Dualism tells us why evil exists, but sacrifices the justification for preferring good over evil in doing so. Think of the fight as being Red vs Blue, not Good vs Evil, if you want to think about it in the neutral terms dualism posits.

If you go hard into divine command theory and say that good is whatever the God of Good says it is, then sure, having two gods just gives you two divine commands to choose from. But I think most people are okay with having a separate definition of morality, in which case your reason to follow the God of Good is because he commands good things. Yeah, but this then raises the old conundrum: where does Good come from? Is Good more fundamental than God? If so, it diminishes the notion of God. Note that Plato and almost all Platonists taught that evil is not ontological.

But try hard to think of them as a Red and Blue God. North and South America were colonised by monotheists and are populated by people of such beliefs with near universality, but the necessary parts were inherent in Europeans learning about it and sending people there first, not because monotheism is uniquely suited to colonisation. In a world where the billion people in the Americas today got there through India, you might have wondered why Hinduism was such a prevalent thing.

One thing all the monotheisms have in common is that they proselytize, and most? There might well be a lot of truth to that. Though it does seem like dualism would have similar mimetic advantages. As for why it beats polytheism, polytheism leaves room for competitors to come in and take over and is less able to have a clear message of salvation. Zoroastrianism is also dualistic, was a major religion until very recently, and has no Abrahamic roots.

This problem has led some Zoroastrians to slap a god of time and space on top of their regular good and evil god twins. Neither of the men has any chance of finding love together until a friend intervenes. Will they ever find their own happy ending? And can love blossom where only hate exists? Third book in the Unexpected series. Best read in order! But, Blaise does something to me. But I will figure out how to put it out because if that spark grows into a flame, it will consume us both.

The Devil in the Red Suit is a deliciously dark omegaverse romance. It contains themes some may find disturbing. Love Pains by Marissa Holt. Sonny Love has turned into a bit of a loner now that both his cousins, Phoenix and Jaxon, have settled down with boyfriends. But a boyfriend is the last thing Sonny wants. Animosity between Porter and Sonny quickly picks up right where it left off eight years ago when Porter fled town after graduating high school.

Even more troubling is the underlying attraction that has always hid beneath the surface. Despite unresolved tensions, both men succumb to desires neither can fight. Tragic circumstances soon threaten their turbulent relationship, forcing Sonny and Porter to confront emotions for each other they never imagined.

Can be read as a standalone. Several books are free in honor of National M-Preg Day! Click the image above to get your copies! Like all centaur shifters, Sheriff Calhoun is the epitome of honor. He protects his small town of Stallion Ridge and its people from any threat large or small. What he did not expect was having a charming, whiskey-eyed outlaw dumped in his lap that challenged everything he thought he knew. All He Needs by Ann Grech.

When a former pro-snowboarder finds himself caught between two men who have stolen his heart, it takes heartbreak and a hit of reality for him to start believing love is truly all he needs. Life, Karma, whatever—it was testing me. Pushing me to the limit of what I could endure and beyond. But in the steaming pile my life had become, I felt it. The spark. Like my soul met its counterparts, or whatever the corny saying was. Mace and Rick were…. Then I had to leave. My sister needed me. But going to stay with her in Florida meant leaving them.

But I was trying to redeem myself. Gracie, my niece, needed me to be a better man. If only there was a way I could have both—men to love and a family close by. Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together. One closed off alpha, two emotionally scarred omegas…three men who make a beautiful discovery and will do anything to make it work.

Perry and Roberto both survived terrible childhoods. But one night at a swingers party, they catch a scent that neither of them can believe: a fated-mate alpha—for both of them? Free of his ex, Jedrik vowed to never let himself get hurt that again. He keeps his head down and works hard at his own custom furniture business. But he never expected to run into two scents that would change his life. Jedrik blows off the party and takes the omegas home with him for a mind blowing night.

None of them even believed it was a real thing—until now. Filled with juicy, MMM, Mpreg goodness, heart melting romance and Kindle melting steam, action and suspense but a wonderful HEA that will have you reaching for the tissues. Worse, Adam finds himself inexplicably drawn to the elusive, terminally-clumsy, gorgeous, Micah Ryan. Micah Ryan has been coasting on auto-pilot since his family was killed in a car accident a decade earlier. He runs a web business and has an irritable cat.

He hardly leaves his house, unless it is for his afternoon espresso. His world tips upside down when Adam Klay rolls into town. For the first time in years, he feels alive. Someone has a secret. Someone is exploiting the vulnerable youth population in Skagit. Teenagers are disappearing, young women turning up dead, the dirty secrets of Skagit are surfacing.

Dominus by JP Kenwood. On a whim, he purchases a spirited young Dacian captive and unwittingly sparks a fresh outbreak of the Dacian war; an intimate struggle between two sworn enemies with love and honor at stake. Allerix survived the wars against Rome, but now he is a sex slave rather than a victor.

Worse, the handsome general who led the destruction of his people now commands his body. When escape appears impossible, Alle struggles to find a way to preserve his dignity and exact vengeance upon the hated Romans. This is the first book in an alternate history series—a tumultuous journey filled with forbidden love, humor, sex, friendship, political intrigue, deception and murder. Obedience Submission Book 1 by Jason Collins. After almost crashing my car in the Alaskan wilderness, I wake up in the muscled arms of one of the locals. When his plane breaks down and traps us together, his untamed dominance emerges.

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Readers can expect an extra spicy MM romance with several steamy scenes. Heat level: Between his gambling debt and being a widowed father, he can never seem to get Lady Luck back on his side. Desperate for a winning hand, Cooper starts hitting saloons and tempting fate in order to keep the bloodthirsty Spades at bay. When a black-clad gunslinger enters the game promising a slice of freedom, Cooper realizes all too late what he is actually playing for.

Between the Studs by Brigham Vaughn. Why bother with a mediocre date when she can relax in a tub with a glass of wine? Although both men have caught the eye of many a homeowner, they never mix business with pleasure.

News, etc.

Much less two. As the project continues, Aimee, Matt, and Josh find themselves drawn to one another. Can Matt and Josh broach the subject without losing their customer? And will Aimee decide she just wants a fling with the hunky contractors, or is it time for her to take a leap of faith on something more? No amount of makeup would cover that up. Enter James who is the handsome bisexual version of Richie Rich. Instead of burying his head in the books, his plans are derailed when he stops a bully from manhandling Will.

Despite walking away, James makes up his mind he and the cutie will get better acquainted. Not until the impromptu meeting at the mall snowballs into something more. Extra kudos for wearing skinny jeans and nail polish.