The Fundamental Masculine And Feminine Intelligences – And Stupidities

There is a lot of hot air and angry discussion at the moment about gender differences and intelligence. Some say men are smarter, some say women are smarter, some say both genders have exactly the same degree of intelligence in all areas.

This essay will argue that there are two entirely separate kinds of intelligence, and that the masculine one is best expressed by men and the feminine one is best expressed by women.

Psychologists have long known that men and women differed predictably when it came to certain tasks that their minds were optimised for. Men are predictably better at maths and logic where women are predictably better at language and psychology.

Less broadly known is that the brains of men and women were optimised by differential survival pressures into tendencies towards slightly different behaviours.

The biological past was a brutal place for humans. Survival was marginal at the best of times. Massive predators shared the same jungles as us, and we had nothing in the way of natural defences against them.

Human survival was primarily a matter of intelligence. Individual humans, as a general rule, are intelligent, because it was intelligence that gave humanity the edge necessary to overcome survival pressures in our ecological niche.

Acquiring the necessary food resources for the maintenance of bodily metabolism was always the main challenge for our intelligence. This was primarily achieved in two ways: hunting and gathering.

Hunting requires something very similar to a masculine intelligence. In order to successfully hunt (as a hominid at least) you need to be able to keep quiet for as long as possible, and then to suddenly explode into tightly co-operative action that has a direct and obvious goal (killing something).

As a consequence, men evolved to be very good at delineating a target from the background of visual stimuli that surrounded them. In other words, we adapted to become good at focusing and discriminating.

The flip side of this is the relative inability of masculine intelligence to consider the holistic picture. It simply isn’t necessary, when trying to club a goat to death, to consider any other factor than the immediate task at hand. In fact, it would be a tremendous disadvantage to waste cognitive resources on such things when food was right in front of you and any hesitation could see it escape.

Because more successful hunters were inevitably more successful at surviving and reproducing, this has led to the evolution of a kind of masculine intelligence that allows its holder to focus their attention on a target.

So because the vast majority of hunting in the biological past was performed by men, this masculine intelligence is mostly – but far from exclusively – possessed by men today.

Gathering, on the other hand, requires something very similar to a feminine intelligence.

In direct contrast to hunting, gathering is a noisy endeavour. A group of primates engaged in gathering are constantly twittering to each other information about what they see in front of them, about who has found what, about where to gather next, about the dominance hierarchies of the group, and all manner of chatter.

This means that the selective pressures on women were different to those that shaped men. A gatherer has to do the opposite of focusing.

For women, it was much more important to not be discriminating, to not focus, to stay open. When gathering the important thing is to keep one’s senses as open as possible so that if an example of the thing being gathered came into view it would be noticed.

The flip side of this is the relative inability of feminine intelligence to identify threats in the immediate physical or temporal environment.

Not only is it generally unnecessary – the idea being that the males on the periphery of the group’s territory will keep you safe – but it is actually a cognitive waste, because it’s much better to keep your field of awareness as open as possible, to best notice any nuts, mushrooms and berries.

From this, it’s possible to describe the two intelligences more simply.

The fundamental masculine intelligence is the ability to correctly focus one’s attention (and to see a narrower picture), and the fundamental female intelligence is the ability to correctly unfocus one’s attention (and to see the wider picture).

This probably explains why the bulk of surgeons, who have a very specific task to deal with, are male but the bulk of general practitioners, who must take as holistic a perspective as reasonable, are female.

It also explains why the national Australian women’s soccer team can’t beat a local representative side of 15-year old boys, and why men commit the vast majority of crimes of truly unnecessary violence.

We can also surmise from this that there is a fundamental masculine stupidity and a feminine compliment of same.

The fundamental masculine stupidity is to over-discriminate, and this takes form in prejudices like racism and sexism. Masculine stupidity draws hard and fast lines between things that do not need to be kept separated. This is also why the majority of autists are male.

The fundamental feminine stupidity, then, is to under-discriminate, and this takes the form of making inadequate threat assessments.

And so, in our modern world, we can see all of this in relation to the issues of the day, such as immigration.

The masculine stupidity draws hard and fast lines between the immigrants and the natives and will not let them mix. The feminine stupidity draws no lines and lets everyone in without due care to whether or not they fit properly or want to cause trouble.

Both of these lead to conflict and violence.

The masculine intelligence, by contrast, learns about history and anthropology so it can make more accurate decisions about who to let in and who to keep out. The feminine intelligence gets to know the immigrants and tries to intuit whether their mentality is something to be trusted or not.

Both of these lead to peace.

How to Self-Evaluate Your Own Religious Integrity, in Eleven Premises

Premise 1: My religion represents the exclusive truth.

By way of an answer, consider this: which of the following scriptures have you devoted to rigorous and charitable study: The Koran, The Bible, The Torah, The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Gnostic Gospels?

Consider approximately in hours, days, months, weeks or years your devoted study to each, and then review your assertion of Premise 1 from a space of honesty and integrity. You will review this yourself with no higher authority than your own to judge.

Premise 2: My religion is unique.

Every religion is unique in its own way. This by itself does not lend a measure of truthfulness. For example, only Buddhism holds that if a statement should not accord with your own sense of reason, then you need not accept it, even if is spoken by Buddha. This may make Buddhism unique, but it does not immediately qualify it as true.

Islam holds that Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged horse. Again, this qualifies Islam as unique, but it does not immediately qualify it as true. Even the belief that Jesus was the son of a virgin and died upon the cross for our sins is not unique to Christianity, as this mythology was already present in a much earlier religion called Mithraism.

Premise 3:

I feel very strongly about my religion/
I have perfect faith in my religion/
I know in my heart that my religion is true/
I have special access to the truth/
I have had special spiritual experiences with this religion that confirm my belief

So does everyone else who adheres to a religion, even to the extent that they would sacrifice their own lives for their faith, Sikh, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Mayan. They each have heaven, miracles, saints and holy days. If their faith is as strong as your own, can it be possible that you are both correct? Are you both wrong? Is there another possibility? What are to be your standards for judging, given that you are the advocate of only your own religion?

Premise 4: When I am uncomfortable, something is wrong and I should therefore avoid it.

False. Something is not wrong when a dancing bear has the ring removed from its nose, and something is not wrong when a woman is in childbirth. When you question your convictions, you are stepping into your own authority and demanding that your assumptions meet the appropriate conditions – namely, that they reflect truth. The most wonderful and transformative change is often initially uncomfortable, this does not mean it is not worthwhile.

Premise 5: Those who encourage me to question my faith are agents of of evil or are otherwise trying to lead me astray.

To the extent that you believe this, you will remain in a spiritual cell. The only thing you have to lose by questioning your beliefs and convictions is illusion – you get to keep anything that is true. No one imprisons you but you, and by your own free choice. Are you worried about losing the illusory? Are you worried about losing what is false?

Recognise this responsibility to yourself and to those who depend upon you. There is no one to reply to, object to, or argue with in this situation, because the only person you need to answer to here is you.

Premise 6: The truth of my religion is established to the extent that we have faced persecution.

This is assumed by every religion. Every religion faces persecution from every other religion, and yet each religion assumes the role of passive victimhood. This is simply not true. All religions both persecute and are persecuted, and all have a history of violence.

Premise 7: My religious community shares love with each other and that is real.

It may very well be true, but so does every other community, religious or not. How do you treat those who choose to leave your community? Do you judge them? Often the love shared between members of a church or a religion is actually conditional. We are happy to give love, care and attention to others within our group just so long as they live up to our expectations by believing what we believe and behaving in ways acceptable to us.

If they leave, then what happens? If their religious commitments change, then what happens? If your religion teaches that they should be treated any different, does that resonate with you on the deepest level?

Premise 8: The holy scriptures that my religious beliefs are based on are very old, and can be proven authentic because within those scriptures is the promise that it is true.

Again, this is ‘true’ for every single scripture-based religious tradition. Each relies upon a circular argument. “God has divinely authored a book in which he promises he was the author, and God would not lie”. This is self-contradictory, and the absurdity of it is clearly seen when the same assumptions are championed by other religions with entirely different assumptions.

Premise 9: If I did not maintain the beliefs, traditions and practices set out by my religion, then the world would collapse into moral anarchy.

The sad irony is that the world is already in a continually worsening state of moral collapse, largely due to interfaith conflict. Please read this last sentence more than once, because it is imperative that you understand. If multiple groups are being guided by inflexible moral rules that are in fact mutually exclusive, then conflict is the inevitable result. Period.

Premise 10: I would rather be wrong with my own religious group than right by supporting beliefs that I experience as heretical, distasteful or challenging.

This is very important to review for yourself, because herein lies the crux of the issue of personal moral and epistemic integrity. That which is true will not always conform to your expectations, preconceptions, and certainly not your comfort zone. Read this last sentence twice, please. It is imperative to understand. If you choose to be wrong with your own group, you are not in your integrity, because what you are in fact choosing is to be in your comfort zone rather than in respect to Truth.

Premise 11: Other religions and belief systems are immoral and misguided.

Now, if you are fundamentalist of any kind this has to appear to be true for you, because you have concluded that the rules set out by your own tradition are exclusively correct. You may be surprised to find with a little honest research that some traditions are very much aligned to your own. They may have an attitude of high respect and tolerance for their ingroup and an attitude of disapproval and even violence of their outgroup. They may even walk the talk better than your own tradition.

For example, the Islamic practice of stoning adulterers and homosexuals is frowned upon by moderate Christians, even though the moral law is expressly the same in the Koran as it is in the Old Testament. Fundamentalist Christians may not necessarily be so far off in disagreement with Radical Muslims.

There are also very loving and moderate religious traditions that may agree with your own teachings about expressing love to outsiders, forgiving wrongdoing and respectfully allowing others of different creeds to live in peace without imposing one’s own views and constraints upon them. Does that really sound so bad? If your teachings inspire you to anger and malign against others, can you honestly say that those beliefs are in the better interest of mankind?

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Simon P. Murphy is a Nelson-based writer. He is the author of the short story collection His Master’s Wretched Organ and the forthcoming Lexicanum Luciferium (both by VJM Publishing). His fiction is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and Alchemy, placing a central focus upon the theme of our navigation of an occulted reality through the use of archetypal symbolism.

What Does It Really Mean to Be Honest?

To honestly assess information, we need to fully inform ourselves.

We have all heard ‘honesty is the best policy’ and, ‘you shouldn’t lie’, but what is honesty at the deepest level, and why is it so important?

Honesty, at the deepest level, is a form of integrity.

Integrity asks you to be spiritually courageous, and involves using your wisdom and discernment even in the face of great pain. Being honest is not always easy. Sometimes being honest means moving away from the comfort of beliefs that we hold great stock in, beliefs which we have been taught over a lifetime, beliefs which inform our our daily lives, actions, decisions, and relationships to a profound degree.

The truth is, none of the comfort or emotional well-being derived from any belief is indicative of its truthfulness. There is simply no connection between what provides comfort and what is true.

Why is any of this important?

Believing things which are untrue can be very harmful, even though we may derive enormous personal comfort from the familiarity and promises of these beliefs.

If someone comes to your door and explains that they believe something without providing charitable counter-arguments, alternatives, or competing explanations, then this is a very strong indication that that person is not acting in their integrity, their honesty.

An evangelist will stand at your doorstep and faithfully show you everything that they believe, including why it makes sense to them, and the path they have taken to arrive at those conclusions. If they present you with any material that entertains a competing explanation, such as another very different religious system, it will always be used to show that other explanations are false.

This is a very, very important point, because this is how we discover whether someone is acting in their integrity or whether they are deluding themselves or others.

For example, a Jehovah’s Witness will not charitably discuss the merits of Catholicism or Islam, regardless of how many believers there are in these faiths worldwide. Other belief systems will only be referenced in passing in order to show that they are mistaken relative to the interpretation of the evangelists’ own religious commitments.

A missionary does not go into the jungle to deepen his understanding of tribal spirituality, at least, not intentionally. He goes in order to persuade others of his culture’s views which he assumes to be superior prior to any philosophical comparison.

Now, again imagine you are an Evangelical Christian and a Muslim comes to your door behaving in precisely the same way as you might. They offer you only an explanation of how Islam is exclusively true and holds spiritual superiority over other faiths. They will not hold competing faiths, including your own, in a favourable light, nor will they provide any charitable explanation of how these work, or the benefits they provide people with globally.

In short, they are not acting out of integrity.

Let’s go back to why honesty and integrity are important.

If you are not genuinely honest about your beliefs and why you believe them, then the relationship of those beliefs to reality will be muddy at best. If we do not allow our beliefs to conform to the best available reasoning and evidence, then our worldview is at risk of stagnating for lack of congruence with reality.

Just think what this would matter to divinity – I am not speaking of religion, but of divinity itself that people on earth should not act upon their integrity. This divinity may not take offense at having been wilfully misunderstood, but it would surely not condone people believing falsehoods without question and not honestly considering different answers, particularly if those false beliefs were harmful to others.

A Baptist who comes to your doorstep to preach about the bible has nothing glowing to say about the Koran, the Talmud, The Upanishads or the Bhagavad Gita, irrespective of how valuable these may have been to millions of other lives over thousands of years.

The reason for this is clear – once people believe they have found answers that suit them, they tend to stop considering the legitimacy of other explanations, and feel justified in confidently discounting the validity of those worldviews without feeling the need for further analysis. This is not a Christian problem or Jewish problem or a Muslim problem or an atheist problem – this is a human problem.

When a politician comes to you, whether on television or in person, he isn’t telling you why his competition are wonderful and can help you in your life. He comes to you because he wants your support, he wants your vote. Your belief in his policy is a kind of transaction to him. In fact, it usually does not even matter to him that his policy should make you or your children’s lives any better. All that matters to him is that you vote for him. It is the same with religion.

There are other important reasons that people once deciding upon a belief system do not carefully and charitably explore alternative explanations, and this is because of something called cognitive dissonance.

If you already believe something, particularly if you have believed it for a long time and/or these beliefs inform much of what your personal life is built around, then there will be very strong resistance to changing or even questioning those beliefs, even if those beliefs have been harmful or false.

If an animal in a zoo has been kept in captivity for its entire life, even though it may have been kept enclosed in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, then the world outside will seem terrifying, even the wild where it belongs. Its natural freedom will terrify it to the point where for the sake of its imagined comfort, it will choose to remain caged out of fear and the comfort of an abject yet familiar environment.

We even limit our own children in order to indoctrinate them into our own views. This can be done in many ways, by limiting the friendships they have, monitoring the books they read, the movies they watch, or even schooling them ourselves, bypassing the perceived problem of our children receiving and understanding alternative ideas and explanations.

Christians frown upon Muslims for doing this, and vice versa. If anyone was truly operating in their integrity, in respect for truth they would never limit their children in this way. Now, of course we all love our children, and of course we all do for them what we think is best.

However, if we truly believed what we say we do, then we would allow our children the freedom of education that would naturally lead them to seek the truth, and if what we believe to be true was indeed true, then they would reach the same conclusions as we have.

The fact that people force their own beliefs upon their children is a form of dishonesty. It is symptomatic of a lack of faith in one’s own beliefs and assumptions.

Many religious parents, although somewhat uncomfortable with the inherent dishonesty of indoctrination, reason in the following way: “Yes, I am limiting their beliefs and freedom because I love them and I do not want them to be affected by evil, whatever the cost, because in my doing so I spare them from sin and damnation”.

However, this is precisely the same reasoning that keeps other authoritarian religious traditions which you disagree with in business. If you are a Fundamentalist Christian, you disagree with Fundamentalist Muslim children not receiving a free education.

Yet their parents reason in the same way that you do, only they consider that beliefs in departure from Islam lead to damnation, while you believe the same regarding Christianity.

In honesty, you cannot have it both ways – either you agree that all religions should indoctrinate their children, or you believe that children should be allowed freedom to seek the truth.

Questioning beliefs and assumptions costs energy. If we re-evaluate what we believe and why, then the resulting change can be very difficult, which is sadly why people, particularly those with strong beliefs, have a strong resistance to this.

It is more important to most people to remain comfortable, in familiar territory, and amongst people who believe the same things than it is even to pursue the ultimate truth of reality, who they really are and why they are really here.

They are afraid that if they question their beliefs, then they will betray their family, friends, church, tradition, culture, God.

All that is actually happening is that that person is no longer putting comfort and familiarity first, and is now stepping into the courage and integrity to hold all of their beliefs subject to a rigorous questioning. People do this out of a deep respect for themselves, for others, for truth, and for divinity. Unfortunately, many see it as easier to die for their convictions than to live questioning them.

To the extent that people do not do this, they choose to remain asleep. This is why we have traditions spanning thousands of years, and yet no peace to show for it. Violence, both physical and ideological, is rife, as is suffering, neurosis and fear of death, insanity and damnation, all despite the proclamation of great faith and righteousness. It is not loyalty that keeps you in chains, but fear.

To value and practice honest questioning and integrity is to value spiritual awareness, to be awake to the truth in whatever form it may take.

The time to remain asleep is over for those who choose to awaken and hold to question every assumption that separates us from our brothers and sisters.

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Simon P. Murphy is a Nelson-based writer. He is the author of the short story collection His Master’s Wretched Organ and the forthcoming Lexicanum Luciferium (both by VJM Publishing). His fiction is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and Alchemy, placing a central focus upon the theme of our navigation of an occulted reality through the use of archetypal symbolism.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Tenure of Dwelling

As alluded to in the previous section, a New Zealander’s tenure of dwelling is primarily a function of their socioeconomic status, with the wealthy likely to be freehold, the next most wealthy likely to be mortgaged, and the poorest likely to be paying rent.

That Kiwis of European descent are well-established as the land-holding class is a fact well known. The correlation between being of European descent and living in a freehold house was a very strong 0.78. There was also a positive, but not signficant, correlation of 0.11 between being of European descent and living in a mortgaged house, and a strong negative correlation of -0.68 between being of European descent and living in a rented house.

There were significant negative correlations between every other ethnicity and living in a freehold house. Even the correlation between being Asian and living in a freehold house was significantly negative, at -0.34, despite that the average Asian in New Zealand is fairly middle-class. The correlation between being Maori and living in a freehold house was -0.52, and with being a Pacific Islander and living in a freehold house it was -0.56.

Because we know that most recent immigrants to New Zealand are Asians or Pacific Islanders, these statistics tell the story of how opening the immigration taps has been immensely profitable for the land-holding class, who were then able to charge much higher rents on account of the much higher demand for housing.

Even stronger, and perhaps even less surprising, is the correlation between median age and living on freehold land – a whopping 0.90. The obvious reason for this is people saving their wage or salary for much of their lives for the sake of being able to buy some land and no longer being forced to pay rent.

Mirroring this was the almost as strong negative correlation between median age and living in a rented house – this was -0.86. There is equally little surprising about this statistic because the majority of New Zealanders leave home as soon as they are able, and very few of these move directly into a mortgaged house (much less a freehold one).

Curiously, a person with School Certificate as a highest academic qualification is more likely to live in a freehold house than a person with a doctorate. The correlation with the former is 0.23 and the correlation with the latter is 0.07.

Some might find this very surprising considering that there is a strong correlation between education and wealth and another strong one between wealth and homeownership. The reason for it is that, when it comes to living on freehold land, age trumps both of those things, even added together.

Likewise, it can be seen there is a stronger correlation between living on freehold land and working in agriculture, fishing or forestry (0.32) than there is between living on freehold land and working in a plum industry like information media and telecommunications (-0.38), financial and insurance services (-0.30) or professional, scientific or technical services (-0.16).

Again, the reason for this is mostly because working in those latter three industries generally requires an advanced degree, and these degrees are mostly held by people too young to have saved the capital to secure freehold land.

One statistic that seems amazing when taken out of context is that only Kiwis in the $15-25K income brackets have significant correlations with living in a freehold house, and that only Kiwis in the $50-70K income brackets have significant correlations with living in a mortgaged house.

That might seem strange until one notices the very strong correlation of 0.82 with living in a freehold house and being on the pension.

Seen like that, it seems a bit strange that pensions are much higher than student allowances, despite being paid to people who also do not have to pay rent out of their benefit as a general rule. Then again, the General Disenfranchisement Rule tells us how such a state of affairs came to pass.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

If Doctors Stopped Lying About Cannabis They Might be Believed on Vaccines

The Government’s stupidity with regards to cannabis is hard to overstate. Its 40-year long War on Drugs, conducted against the people of New Zealand at their own expense, has destroyed tens of thousands of lives at the cost of billions. Signs are that they are soon to stop lying about cannabis – but the distrust they have caused will linger for decades.

It’s also hard to overstate the loss of trust that comes from realising that you have been lied to for many years about the effects of using cannabis. For many, this trust is impossible to replace.

At first it’s kind of surreal – if you are from a family background that has many cannabis users in it – to learn that so many diseases and negative outcomes are attributed to use of the plant.

It seems obvious that cannabis is of value to people who can’t handle alcohol, and that if they smoke instead of drink then no-one gets beaten up. This seems so obvious that it’s really astonishing that our entire public recreational culture revolves around the violent drug and not the peaceful one.

Most Kiwis have had the experience of being at school and being forced to listen to a Police officer lie to them about the supposed effects of the drug. That sort of thing is relatively easy to brush off – after all, you’d have to be stupid to trust a Police officer in the first place.

At high school you learn the basic lesson of Animal Farm, which is that the ruling class are pigs and they maintain control and order by setting the dogs onto the other animals. So most people are capable of eventually accepting that politicians and cops aren’t really the good guys and never were, and so their lying to you isn’t that big of a betrayal.

It’s harder to brush off when it’s a doctor lying to you.

An ever-growing number of Kiwis have, over recent years, come to bring their discoveries about the application of medicinal cannabis to the attention of their doctor, only to be firmly told that cannabis has no medicinal value, or even negative value.

This sort of thing is much more difficult to cope with because doctors are generally seen as impartial sources that can be relied upon without politics or money interfering. In many ways, doctors have replaced priests as the kind of person that Kiwis have come to confide in in dark times.

Unfortunately, New Zealand doctors will happily lie to their patients when they are ordered to by politicians who are taking money from pharmaceutical, alcohol or tobacco interests who want to use the law to eliminate a competitor.

This is why they stubbornly refuse to concede that cannabis has medicinal value, even thought it was legalised in California in 1996 and has recently been legalised for medicinal use in Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and other places that New Zealand likes to think itself more developed than.

The unexpected consequence of this lying about the medicinal value of cannabis is that many patients, having become aware that their doctors are lying to them, lose all faith in those doctors, and then stop trusting them on all other matters, such as the need for vaccines and so on.

These medical hyperskeptics are disproportionately young, for the reason that it is almost entirely old people who continue to maintain the fiction that the Drug War is fought for the benefit of the New Zealand people. We know this because there is a correlation of -0.55 between median age and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014.

The problem with this is that these young adults are precisely the same demographic that does the vast majority of the breeding, and therefore comprise the vast majority of the people tasked with making decisions about the immunisation schedule of infant New Zealanders.

Here the danger is evident. These people, tasked with making important medical decisions for the sake of their children’s wellbeing, cannot have confidence in what their doctor tells them because they know that their doctor has been less than honest on the cannabis subject.

Let’s not understate how incredible it is for a doctor not to know that cannabis is medicinal. It’s just as astonishing as meeting an astronomer who didn’t know that the Earth rotated around the Sun.

If the New Zealand medical profession is serious about preventing an outbreak of a once-eliminated disease, such as the kind that has been kept from breaking out by mass immunisation, then it needs to take care to repair the damage that its credibility has suffered from 21 years of lying about cannabis.

Californians decided that there was enough evidence to make medicinal cannabis legal 21 years ago.

It’s in the public interest of every Kiwi to see to it that our ridiculous drug laws are reformed as soon as possible.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of the Non-Christian Religious

Although the majority of religious people in New Zealand follow some kind of Christian denomination, there are enough non-Christian religious for it to be worth looking at them as a discrete category.

The Spiritualism and New Age movement is perhaps the most interesting group of non-Christians because they are the hardest to categorise. They are like the others in many ways and unlike them in many ways.

Perhaps the most striking set of correlations relating to the non-Christian religious are those with being foreign born. The correlation between being Buddhist and being foreign born was an extremely strong 0.90, and speaks to how little immigration to New Zealand there has been from Buddhist countries until recently.

There was also a significant positive correlation between being foreign born and belonging to any of Islam (0.75), Hinduism (0.74), Judaism (0.41) or other religions (0.34).

Interestingly, though, there was a moderately strong negative correlation between being foreign born and following Spiritualism or New Age traditions – this was -0.45.

Given that it is very likely any given non-Christian religious person is an immigrant, we can also see trends that are true of immigrants replicated with the non-Christian religious. For instance, the non-Christian religious are significantly better educated, especially in the case of Buddhists and Jews.

The correlation between having a Master’s degree and being a Jew was 0.78; with being a Buddhist it was 0.68; with being a Muslim it was 0.37 and with being a Hindu it was 0.34.

However, the correlation between having a Master’s degree and following a Spiritualist or New Age tradition was negative, at -0.07. This is probably because this particular tradition appears to have its own, New Zealand-specific focus and so they are less likely to be from highly educated immigrant groups.

Again replicating the patterns, all of the foreign non-Christian traditions had significant negative correlations with being on the invalid’s benefit, in contrast to Spiritualism or New Age, which had a significant positive one.

Likewise, all of the foreign non-Christian traditions had correlations of at least 0.50 with never having smoked cigarettes, but the correlation between being a Spiritualist or New Ager and never having smoked was -0.41.

All of these five non-Christian traditions had positive correlations with being on the student allowance, which may suggest a generally higher intelligence among this group. The correlation between being on the student allowance and being Buddhist was 0.30; with being Muslim it was 0.29; with being Jewish it was 0.22; with being Hindu it was 0.19 and with being a Spiritualist or New Ager it was 0.18.

Some might be able to predict the very strong correlations being being Buddhist or Jewish and working in one of information media and telecommunications, financial and insurance services or professional, scientific or technical services. Being Buddhist had a correlation of at least 0.55 with all three of these industries and being Jewish had one of at least 0.60 with all three.

One curiosity is when it comes to how people get to work. Hindus and Muslims are significantly more likely to take a private vehicle to work; Hindus, Muslims and Jews are significantly more likely to take a bus to work; Jews, Spiritualists and New Agers are significantly more likely to walk to work and Spiritualists and New Agers are significantly more likely to bike to work.

The fact that Spiritualists and New Agers have a high incidence of being on the invalid’s benefit but are among the most likely to exercise on the way to work speaks of the large proportion of psychiatric casualties among this group.

Here’s one for the conspiracy theorists: the correlation between being a Jew and having a personal income of $150K was a very strong 0.83. The only other non-Christian tradition to have a significant positive correlation with being in this income band was Buddhism, at 0.40.

For Hinduism, Islam, and Spiritualism and New Age the correlations ranged from 0.00 to -0.12.

The main reason for this can be seen if one looks at the correlations between following a particular non-Christian religious tradition and working as a professional. This had a correlation of 0.70 with being Jewish, 0.48 with being Buddhist, 0.13 with being Muslim, 0.12 with being Hindu and 0.11 with being a Spiritualist or a New Ager.

As a general rule, people following a non-Christian religious tradition were marginally more likely to become sales workers or clerical and administrative workers.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Poetry K-Hole 2: Oi, God

Big old poof, sittin’ in the sky

Bossin’ us ’round,

Dunno why.

I guess He doesn’t have enough to do,

Can’t sort His own shit out

So He has to give us arseholes

About feeding skinny kids

In Africa.

Why doesn’t He feel bad?

He’s the one who made them,

Racist, too, since he made all the poor ones black.

Or did he make all the black ones poor?

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Simon P. Murphy is the author of His Master’s Wretched Organ.

Soft Prohibition is Still Prohibition, and It Will Still Fail

The New Zealand Government, in its limitless beneficence, has decided that we innocent Kiwis need to be protected from the insidious horror drug that is tobacco. The means they have chosen to protect us with is by taxing us more when we purchase cigarettes. Speaking honestly, this strategy could be rightly described as soft prohibition – and it’s just as stupid as hard prohibition.

The logic goes like this. A person’s willingness to buy a good such as tobacco is a function of the price of that good. Because tobacco is not considered medicinal, its use is considered to do nothing but cause disease. So, its use costs taxpayer money in the form of healthcare. Therefore, if you increase tobacco taxes, people will use it less and tax money will be saved on dealing with the effects of the diseases tobacco causes.

The fact that this had led to the absurdity of the Government claiming to impoverish tobacco users for their own benefit hasn’t stopped them from raising the taxes anyway.

The rise in tobacco tax has, predictably, led to a spate of robberies of dairies and other places selling tobacco. As Dan McGlashan has previously written for this newspaper, the majority of regular tobacco smokers were already doing it hard, even before the tax increases.

As this column has previously argued, tobacco ought to rightly be seen as a mental health medicine. The main reason it isn’t is because of the total dominance of materialist dogma in medical and scientific circles – the same materialist dogma that has created our prehistoric mental health system.

It doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to be able to predict that making an expensive drug even more expensive, when many desperate people rely on it to cope with the stresses of the day, is going to lead to robberies and violence.

Ridiculously, if the Police were to apply the same logic to tobacco that they apply to cannabis, they would say that tobacco itself causes crime and that the dairy robberies are evidence that tobacco should be made illegal.

Obviously, alcohol prohibition failed and cannabis prohibition failed. Not only did they fail, but they did so at the cost of many billions of dollars, the destruction of many millions of lives, and the eradication of any faith that the younger generations may ever had had in the competence or good will of the Government or the Police.

So why on Earth would we want to repeat those two catastrophic errors with tobacco?

The most likely answer is that our politicians are as thick as pigshit and are either too stupid to learn anything from history or too arrogant to think that the laws of reality through which history unfolds apply to them.

Increasing the taxes on tobacco, with the intent of gradually making it prohibited, will increase the amount of violence and crime around the substance to a commensurate degree.

Just like prohibition did with alcohol. Just like prohibition does with cannabis. It will fail, just like prohibition always has done and always will do, because human nature will never concede that a bunch of old control freaks in Wellington have the right to prohibit the people from the free use of medicinal plants.

This won’t stop them from trying, of course. The politicians know that they are not affected by the consequences of the laws they pass. Thus, they know that it won’t be them getting robbed and slashed with machetes – they get their six-figure MP’s salary no matter what.

The real concern is what actions might be taken by those who are getting robbed. Already, dairy owners know that they are widely perceived as a soft target thanks to both not being armed and stocking large amounts of valuable tobacco.

The usual response to this degree of risk of violent robbery is for the dairy owners to start keeping firearms behind the counter.

Politicians in New Zealand don’t have the courage to admit that the Drug War they have conducted against the New Zealand people for 40 years has failed, so we know they will not have the courage to admit that their attempt to make tobacco illegal is also failing.

Probably they will keep raising the taxes until someone gets shot dead. After all, it’s neither them nor their families suffering.