Imagine a couple of islands. Although they share many similarities — a similar climate and a similar population, for example — in terms of their values they could hardly be more different.

The Island of Self-Restraint has what you might call a distinctly Christian ethos, especially in matters of family and relationships. For instance, marriage is seen as a sacred, lifelong covenant, and the overwhelming number of men and women on the island take their vows very seriously.

In the island’s churches, husbands are routinely exhorted to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Likewise, wives are regularly exhorted to “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).

Parents pass these values onto their children, teaching them the meaning of marriage, the place that sex has within the marriage union, and that members of the opposite sex are to be treated with honour and respect. As you may have gathered, sex outside marriage is considered by most of the islanders to be wrong, as are drunkenness and drug taking.

The Island of Self-Gratification could hardly be more different. Although the idea of marriage still exists, it is what might be called “the done thing”, rather than being a matter of principle. Adultery hardly raises an eyebrow anymore, and faithfulness is not considered to be a particularly important indicator of a person’s character.

As for pre-marital sex, it’s the norm, as is pornography, which is now commonly viewed even by young children. And the island is littered with nightclubs where young people go to dance, drink a lot or take the easily available drugs, with the aim for many being to end the night by “getting laid”.

Now, here’s a couple of questions: Which island do you think has the highest incidence of sexual assaults? And which island do you suppose has the highest rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Those questions aren’t actually very hard, are they? Unless you’ve been thoroughly conditioned to believe that all the evils of the world are contained within the patriarchal family, you probably won’t have any difficulty identifying the Island of Self-Gratification as being the one with the highest incidence of drink problems, drug problems, STIs, and sexual assault.

That’s not to eulogise the Island of Self-Restraint. Its problems are many, with hypocrisy and self-righteousness especially prone to lurking around some corner or other. But given the genuine commitment most of the island’s inhabitants have to keeping their marriage vows and passing the same ethos onto their children, STIs and sexual assault are likely to feature much lower on their sin list than the Island of Self-Gratification. That’s fairly obvious, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, since both islands are entirely fictional, we cannot know for sure that this is the case. Yet it is at least logical, isn’t it? It is intuitive, isn’t it? You would expect a society that has freed sex from the boundary of marriage, which is awash with pornography and drugs, and which teaches children how to have sex at about the same time that they are learning to tie their shoelaces — you would expect that society to have more sexual problems than the other one, wouldn’t you?

But apparently we just can’t get this concept into our heads. Having severed sex from marriage and procreation, and having built a culture that encourages casual relationships in all sorts of ways, apparently we are then shocked to discover that there is a lack of honour, respect and civility between the sexes, with many young men in particular seemingly fine with acting like predators towards females, rather than the protectors they are meant to be.

But predators many of them are. This from Metro:

“Sexual harassment is part and parcel of most nights out, a depressing study has found. Almost three-quarters of young people have witnessed sexual harassment during a night in bars, pubs and clubs.

A YouGov poll of 2,013 adults — aged between 18 and 24 — found nearly two-thirds (63%) of women and more than a quarter (26%) of men had been on the receiving end themselves of sexual harassment. Inappropriate comments, unwanted touching or groping and inappropriate behaviour had been experienced by 79% of women. And a concerning 72% said they have seen sexual harassment in some form; including ‘someone being on the receiving end of inappropriate sexual comments or abuse’, ‘someone being on the receiving end of inappropriate sexual touching’ or ‘someone receiving other inappropriate or unwanted physical attention or touching’.”

Well who’da thunk it? You mean that if you create a society where marriage is diluted into nothing, and where sex is a game completely divorced from procreation, more and more men will come to see women as cheap and easy targets ripe for harassment? You mean that if you create a sexual free-for-all, it might just be taken by some as a green light for a sexual free-for-all? File it under the ever-growing list of things modernity is having to painfully discover for itself marked “So Actions Have Consequences After All.”

CS Lewis saw this sort of thing wonderfully well:

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Exactly so. We actually think that we can mess with marriage, cheapen sex, coarsen the culture, and still expect that young men will behave with the same kind of decorum and respect towards females that their grandfathers would have had at the local village dance back in their day. Isn’t going to happen. Won’t happen. Can’t happen.

But of course we still think it can. Drinkaware have launched a campaign that bears a remarkable similarity to trying to treat lung cancer with an Aspirin:

“Drinkaware’s campaign lead, Janet MacKechnie, said: ‘For far too many people, drunken sexual harassment is now sadly part and parcel of a night out. Being drunk is no excuse to grab, grope or make inappropriate comments to strangers on a night out after a few drinks.’

The charity is calling for bystanders to step in, if safe, to support anyone being targeted. ‘If people see someone being sexually harassed, asking them if they are okay can make a big difference whether they’re a friend or a stranger,’ Ms MacKechnie explained. ‘It’s time to put an end to unwanted drunken sexual harassment. Asking someone if they are okay and giving them support sends a clear signal that this behaviour is no longer going to be tolerated.'”

She’s right, drinking is of course no excuse. But excuse or not, in a culture that has eschewed virtue, it is going to happen, and no amount of “Are you okay” campaigns and the like will make a blind bit of difference.

Here’s the bottom line. The most fundamental change in our society since the end of the Second World War is that we have moved from a value system based more or less on self-restraint to one based more or less on self-gratification. You can see it everywhere if you look. Well, here’s the news: you can have a society that places a high value on self-restraint, and your will probably find that people by and large exercise self-restraint. Or you can have a society that exults self-gratification, and you will probably find that more and more people tend to ignore self-restraint in order to self-gratify. But what you can’t have is a society that laughs at self-restraint and exults self-gratification, but then expects those who have imbibed this ethos to suddenly discover self-restraint when it’s needed. You can have one or the other, but not both.

That being the case, why would it surprise us to see people attempting to gratify themselves, even if it means violating the honour, the dignity and the body of other people? You reap what you sow, I think it says somewhere.

7 thoughts on “SHOCK: The Island of Self-Gratification is Surprised to Find its Inhabitants Lack Self-Restraint

    1. Hi GV,

      I don’t think so. If social expectations are that people be self-restrained, this will feed into social restraint, which will then feed back into self-restraint. Call it the restraint loop. And on the other side, if social expectations are that the goal in life is self-gratification, this will feed into self-gratification, which will then feed back into self-gratification. Call it the gratification loop.

      On a different note, I had hoped to reply to your comment on my previous piece (And all the church cried out to God?), that it has been such a joy to see you still reading the Bible, and — forgive me if I have completely misunderstood — coming to accept Christ as your saviour. If I am right in thinking that, I am so thankful to God and pray for him to continue to bless you.

      You also raised some important and difficult issues in that comment, and if I ever get the time, I will try to address them in a piece.

      Best wishes,

      Rob

      1. Hi Rob
        I agree with your analysis of the comparison between the world of self-restraint and the one of self-gratification but the world of self-restraint in your story has never been part of the real world. Later in the article you make reference to the pre- and post-war eras and you write that these periods “more or less” resemble the comparison.
        I’m totally with you that after the second WW we have lost our common values and our society that is build on Christian values started “really” decaying (it was not something that happened overnight but has been in process for three centuries). Every civilized society is built on moral values that have become common and widely accepted and there’s no necessity that the values are based on the rules of the true God. The decay of the values will ultimately lead to the collapse of our society.
        However we also know that the crime rate has been declining for many centuries though it moves in waves. One of the upticks was after WWII but since 1991 the crime rate was falling again but I’m quite convinced that we’ve reached the bottom for other reasons.
        The analysis of the crime rate is very difficult and pinpointing the reasons even more. For example sexual crime has indeed increased but after analysis I have my doubts to say the least (new statistical rules for the UK in 1998, some surges can be explained: HIV 1984, feminism and the introduction of “indecent assault” that expanded sexual violence, …). Basically my point here is that we cannot know whether there was really a difference.
        And frankly, I accepted quite a while ago that there has been little difference. Not because your presentation of an idealistic society truly based on Christian values is wrong, quite on the contrary, but because I cannot believe that the pre-war era was even “more or less” such a society. A thin veil of hypocrisy covered reality and the veil was widely accepted but underneath there was a stench.
        This is the main reason why I wrote that the moral values over the past centuries were mainly the result of social-restraint, the consequence of widely accepted values they were supposed to respect but that were not really in their heart and mind.
        I don’t agree at all that the baby boomers revolted in the sixties because they were spoiled and only looked for self-gratification. It was an awakening that mainly found its cause in the behaviour of our parents who lived through the war and threw off the veil of hypocrisy without really being able to abandon the social-restraint.
        I can summarize this in one question: “Do you believe that there were far more “true” Christians in the pre-war era than in the post-war era? My take: I believe there are far more true Christians now than before. Knowledge, the spreading of knowledge, being liberated from the yoke of traditional social behaviour and revealing our true nature, … Christ not only opened the door to forgiveness but he’s working very hard for us to be able to move in the right direction, for that he’ll break down barriers, barriers for which we kind off long now because they were a stronghold. We live in trying times, not because this is a dangerous world but because we’re desperately looking for a new identity.
        Okay, way too long already

        1. Hi GV,

          There is actually a ton of stuff that I agree with you here.

          Before I get there, though, there is one thing I would very much question, which is the assertion that of the crime rate declining, especially since 1991. I simply don’t believe this to be true for a number of reasons.

          Firstly, it is now far, far harder to get sent to prison than it was even a few decades ago. Unless someone commits a very serious physical crime (and sometimes not even for that), almost nobody gets sent to prison for a first offence now. In fact, for things like theft, you are unlikely to get sent to prison until you have been caught multiple times. So in other words, crimes which would have got you sent to prison for a first offence back in the 1950s, for instance, will not get you sent to prison now.

          Secondly, there are lots of crimes that are simply not recorded now. Police forces (or services as they now prefer to be known) do not record a host of actions which they would have recorded in the past.

          And thirdly, many crimes are downgraded to less serious offences now. I’ve noticed this trend a lot in murder cases, and I have no doubt that it is also the case for less serious offences. It is extremely rare for people to be convicted of murder these days. A growing number of cases which would once have been prosecuted for murder are now downgraded to manslaughter. So a mother who smothers and kills her children and who would have once been prosecuted for murder will almost certainly now be prosecuted for “manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility” because there is now a cottage industry in explaining away such actions using various excuses.

          The bottom line is this: if we still recorded crime and prosecuted crime to the same standard that we had back in the 1950s, the prison population of England and Wales would not be 80,000, as it now is. I think it would more likely be up in the several hundreds of thousands.

          Here is a good piece which goes into more details to show what is happening:

          http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2013/11/the-fiddling-of-crime-figures-vindication-of-my-warnings.html

          But having said all that, I’m not so much interested in crime figures as I am in the low level, coarsening and cheapening of society and culture. It is these things that are the real barometer of where we are, but unfortunately you can’t really measure them statistically. It is more a thing of intuition and keeping your eyes and ears open. But I would say that if anyone over the age of about 30, as I am, hasn’t noticed that society is far more coarse and less gentle than it was, they really haven’t been paying attention.

          Where I really do agree with you is on the baby-boomers and their parents thing. You are absolutely right. It’s not the baby-boomers that caused the rot. It was, if anything, their parents and perhaps grandparents generation (or we might even say the legacy of Victorianism). I am generalizing here of course, but as a whole, if there was anything “Christian” about them, it was a horribly legalistic Christianity, the filling up of society with rules, rules, rules, and often bearing more resemblance to Phariseeism than real Christianity.

          And yes, their children saw it and rebelled. Unfortunately, they rebelled the wrong way. They could have said our parents’ generation have a veneer of Christianity, but it is ugly and stiff and cold. Let’s get the real thing, which is not about rules, rules, rules, but about love, mercy and forgiveness.

          But that’s not generally how it works. They mistook counterfeit Christianity for the real thing, and because it was ugly, they wanted nothing to do with it. They’re still without excuse before God for believing the lie about him, but there is at least an explanation for it.

          And so yes, you find a kindred spirit in that assessment, and I can only hope and pray that my own walk with God is the real deal, and that my children and those around me will know it to be so and come to see the love and beauty in that.

          Best wishes as ever,

          Rob

  1. People are easily led, deceived, herded like sheep, and corrupted. The various so called charitable, but totally bogus ‘Foundations’ that the Rockefellers and Rothschild Bankers and their like, have intentionally used to drive the cultural Marxism, using their ‘Tax-Exempt Foundations’ as a weapon to demoralize the West for their ends. They have bribed academics into indoctrinating their gullible students with nonsense , and lies, even re-written the history books in some cases,bribed politicians with millions of counterfeit ‘Fiat’ currency, and bought judges to do their bidding, who also were all easily manipulated. The major media is owned by 6 ‘groups’ all under the control of the one who like to call themselves ‘the elite’, when the opposite is true. They are the scum of the earth. The whole disgusting concept of social engineering projects that their precious and grand sounding ‘The Tavistock Institute ‘ and their selected universities pride themselves in are the ones we all should tackle head-on and rid ourselves of their evil intent. Children learned it from their elders. They didn’t stand a chance from the moment they entered the education systems dictated to by the Central Bankers and crackpot and sex-starved psychologists.

  2. We suppose in the world of self-gratification we could come up with a code of sexual honor which might alleviate some of the problems.

    First, there would have to be the asking of permission. Both parties would have to agree and to the extent of activities and these would have to be honored. To decline, a simple, not today, thank you, should suffice and end the subject.

    Second, there should be an open dialogue about sexual diseases. Do you have any? How long ago was your last sexual encounter and have you exhibited any symptoms? How promiscuous are you? Let’s be friends first and get to know one another for several weeks before we take that step. Why pass on disease? It seems that even those seeking self-gratification wouldn’t want disease.

    Third, men need to be taught that it is their responsibility to prevent unwanted children and that they should not put their seed into women until such time they are married. Not so much fun? Well, too bad. You can have fun, just do not put your seed into her.

    In a society of self-gratification, a society lost to the Alien Mind working to destroy humanity, rules are so very important. Just ask any teacher. The trouble kids need rules and lots of them. Write them in stone. Live by them yourself. It’s a stepping stone to learning to live responsibly.

    1. Jenny,
      I don’t think your suggested scheme would work because in a society of self-gratification people will rather flout codes of honour than restrain themselves. Concepts such as honour, duty, obligation, justice, rule-keeping, and the well-being of other people get ignored in favour of self-indulgence, self-expression, and self-convenience.

      The supreme example of self-control is the Lord Jesus. He resisted the temptation to turn a stone into bread after not eating for 40 days. At Gethsemane he sweated drops of blood in agony at the prospect of bearing the blast of God’s wrath for man’s sin but he did not run away. When he was ridiculed, spat upon, slapped in the face, and struck on the head with a rod he could have asked his Father to destroy his persecutors on the spot, but even on the cross he prayed for the forgiveness of those who abused him. His self-discipline was matchless and majestic. What a wonderful human being! He makes all the rest of us seem squalid and ignoble in comparison.

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