Doublethinking Lust III: Trying to Harness Seduction

Simon Grey–a favorite and friend of mine–takes me to task for what he sees as a host of errors in my recent posts about Game. Most of his accusations miss the mark because they are cascaded from his unwillingness to acknowledge that word seduction has a negative connotation; that seduction is a negative connotation. He writes:

Let’s start with consulting the dictionary.  Merriam-Webster’s defines seduction as, “the act of seducing; especially:  the enticement of a person to sexual intercourse; something that seduces; something that attracts or charms.”  Astute readers will note that this definition of seduction makes absolutely no assertion towards the morality of its ends.  Seducing a woman for sex can be good (like getting your wife into bed) or it can be bad (like getting someone else’s wife into bed), but there is nothing intrinsic to seduction that makes it good or bad.  So, Cane’s understanding of seduction is not great because he apparently doesn’t even know what the word “seduction” even means.

Let me fix that bolded sentence for Simon: “Mildly astute readers will make a half-assed effort and then congratulate themselves to note that this particular definition of seduction makes absolutely no assertion towards the morality of its ends.”

We can know this a few ways.

1. The etymology of the word means “to lead astray”.

2. The KJV, ESV, NASB, and NKJV only and always use the word seduction or seduce in the sense of “lead astray”. It is not without reason that we are taught that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”; rather than, say, “Believe in yourself to have the right answer.”

3. Most damningly, his own provided definition for seduction starts with: “the act of seducing”. Clicking to the definition of seducing returns the definition of seduce, as we would imagine. Please do look, and notice that there is a blue blurb box that gives you an incomplete definition of seduce; a sort of Twitter version of the definition. Below that, in the white box, it reads:

Full Definition of SEDUCE

1:  to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty
2:  to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises
3:  to carry out the physical seduction of :  entice to sexual intercourse
4:  attract
se·duc·er noun

Ska-doosh. The important part of seduction is not the part about attraction or persuasion, but about disobedience, disloyalty, and leading astray. If we want to talk about attraction or persuasion, then we use the words…attraction and persuasion.

Someone who instead picks the word seduction wants to entangle harness a particular meaning. Just so: Someone who wants us to choose the word seduction wants to harness entangle us to be lead astray. Some of those people went to college. Some of those people even teach at college. Some of those people write dictionaries.

For this reason, those in Christian homeschooling circles often and wisely recommend the use of Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English language. Here is that definition of seduction:

1. The act of seducing or of enticing from the path of duty.

We ought not be the sort of people who can’t distinguish between harnessing, and entangling.

11 thoughts on “Doublethinking Lust III: Trying to Harness Seduction

  1. Etymology. Right. So your new revelation of the day is that if a concept can somehow be associated with a word derived from a root that’s not nice, then God hates that concept. Because all God cares about is the OED, or rather because you’re still desperately refusing to address the only real issue here, and that’s today’s stunt. We don’t believe language proceeds the world. That’s Islam, down the hall. And don’t come back.

    The Bible commands you to lead your wife. Women are naturally rebellious (read the Bible sometime, when you’re done making up your own), but they can be brought to heel. Just because a PUA came along and reverse-engineered the way in which God created women to be led, that does not excuse you from leading your wife.

    Your crazy defiance on that point is where this whole thing started. The rest is all smoke and BS. It’s irrelevant.

    I understand your shunning of sinners, because you’re so much holier than Jesus was (LOLZLLOLLLL) but the rest is a bit much.

  2. @Steve Baker: A genuine question here: where does the “[t]he Bible command[] you to lead your wife”? I’m familiar with the biblical statement of fact that the husband is the head of the wife (true whether either of them acknowledge it or not), the command for the husband to love his wife, and the commands for the wife to submit to and respect her husband. I’m not familiar with a command for the husband to lead. Can you elaborate, please?

  3. The point Cane Caldo has been making about foundation, root, etymology, etc. is not something we can brush aside.

    You can have two different foundations pointing towards getting the same thing. In the Christian manosphere obsession that thing is a wife. Both foundations may both attain that point but they lead you elsewhere as well.

    For all you system lovers. Imagine a graph with Cartesian xy coordinates. There is a point on the y-axis at (0,1) called “wife:. Now you have two different equations. One of them intersects the x axis at (1,0) and the other at (-1,0). The y intercept of the slope is (0,1) ie. they both get you a woman. But the slope is different. And despite having that one point in common, the lines lead you elsewhere too.

    A foundation, a root (Christ himself) leads you to one destination: salvation, heaven. Where do the other foundations and roots lead? That is the question you should be asking. Sure, game can get a woman just as biblical truth can, meaning they intersect on that one measly point. But game also leads you another direction. We make the fallacy that we could separate the root from its teachings. Now what did Jesus Christ say about bread and yeast, wine and wineskins? The yeast, the seed, the root, the etymology of seduction is bad in the first place, eat the bread, harvest the crop, graft yourself to that root, and use that word?

    [CC: Welcome. Let me know if I edited it incorrectly.]

  4. The hysterical nature of posts defending Game do not show the Game community in a positive light. (Exhibit A: Vox’s shrill, neurotic outburst in the comment thread on his post about Cane.)

    Grey accuses Cane of dishonesty, yet he argues that seduction does not possess a negative connotation. When did you last hear a person speak positively of an attempt to seduce them or another person? There is a difference between seeking to be more attractive to women and seducing them. If I seduce them, I lead them astray, i.e. fornicate or commit. One cannot lead their wife astray by having sex with them.

    It is very dangerous to take a system formulated by seducers and attempt to adapt it for Christian purposes. Game is fundamentally concerned with seduction.

  5. Ugh, I hate it when someone does a halfway job of a definition. It’s no good to say “seduction only means ‘to seduce’ and doesn’t have any connotations”, if you don’t follow through to the root verb and look at THAT. Shoddy scholarship, unworthy of Simon.

    And you are correct, Cane. The first and foremost meaning of “seduce” is to lead away from duty or moral rectitude. You LITERALLY can not seduce someone to virtue, straight up, nor to performing a duty–both of which are what is proposed by applying “seduction techniques” to marriage. You can persuade, you can influence, but you can’t seduce.

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  7. Etymology is irrelevant when the usage of a word has changed radically, as it has in the cases of “seducer” and “seduction,” which now can also mean “entice to sexual intercourse.” This new meaning doesn’t necessarily include leading astray.

    Biblical usage is irrelevant when considering a non-biblical usage which varies radically from the biblical usage. The Bible doesn’t say anything about whether one ought to entice one’s wife to sexual intercourse or not. Since it doesn’t have anything to say on the topic, one ought not to expect it to use the meaning “entice to sexual intercourse” for “seduction.”

    Since “entice to sexual intercourse” is the meaning Simon Grey uses and is the one at issue, you have failed to prove your case. It is uncontroversial that one ought not attempt to lead one’s wife astray; enticing one’s wife to sexual intercourse is not leading her astray–however, it IS seducing her, using meaning 3.

    “Seduce” CAN have a negative connotation (and certainly DOES in the context of PUAs), but it doesn’t necessarily have a negative connotation.

    “You can persuade, you can influence, but you can’t seduce.” But can you entice? If so, then you can seduce.

  8. TAG:
    Yes, just like what we used to call “murder your child in the womb” is now called “choice”. All this semantic quibbling over language is silly; can’t we all just get along?

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