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'bating misogyny NoFap precious bodily fluids

No-nut November NoFappers Need to Know: Am I not-nutting correctly in the eyes of God?

By David Futrelle

As No-Nut November nears its climax, one reactionary Catholic tweeter is asking those who’ve given up nutting to porn whether or not their intentions are pure.

Avoiding the lake of fire, if such a thing exists, might seem to be a perfectly valid reason to give up any number of sins, but not everyone seems to agree. Indeed, some of the most contentious challenges to Classical Theist come from fellow reactionary Christians raising thorny theological questions.

https://twitter.com/FrogBaptist/status/1197384326297661440
https://twitter.com/CommunitasRerum/status/1197530772242087937

I’ll leave the finer points of this discussion to those who have a better understanding of God’s feelings about people wanking it than I do. But I will point out that Classical Theist not only disagrees with these commenters, but also himself, or at least the earlier version of himself that tweeted a somewhat different, and rather less dramatic, version of his argument back in September.

In case you’re wondering, yes, Mr. CT has opinions about all sorts of other things. Like contraception.

The ordination of women:

And the proper storage of female intellectuals:

Well, that’s enough theology for today. Please return to whatever you were doing, or not doing, as the case may be.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

Wait, so not doing things that make you go to hell because they’ll make you go to hell is not right? I’m confused. I thought the whole idea of hell was a punishment to make people not do certain things.

Did anyone else notice that the last tweet was in response to neo-Nazi Nicholas Fuentes?

Also, I looked at his Twitter and he also has some thoughts about Jews. In one, he thinks that since Jesus was a Jew, criticism of Christianity is antisemitism but that modern Jews are not real Jews because they don’t worship Jesus. Reminds me a bit of the Jews for Jesus.

Moggie
Moggie
10 months ago

You’re not a real Christian if you’re not telling other Christians that they’re Christianing wrong.

Weasel-Rah
Weasel-Rah
10 months ago

This guy seems super tense and aggressive. Maybe he should give himself some self-care time.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
10 months ago

@Naglfar:
I think the idea is that if you’re doing (or not doing) something solely to avoid Hell, then you’re doing (or not doing) it out of fear of Hell, not out of love of Christ, and thus it’s still wrong.

As for ‘the whole idea of Hell’, really, it’s almost entirely ‘biblical fanfic’ and accrued tradition anyway, with some of the earliest references probably describing a trash heap. (Meaning ‘going to Hell’ would have been less ‘being punished for sins’ and more ‘being forgotten for wasting your life’.) It’s barely mentioned in the Bible at all.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Weasel-Rah
Or he should just stay off the internet indefinitely. I feel like no amount of “self care” can help this asshole.

@Jenora Feuer
Is hell in any way a syncretic creation based on the beliefs of other cultures Christians encountered? Like how Christmas is based off of Saturnalia?

That's a Moray
That's a Moray
10 months ago

“If you think sex is a good enough reason to have sex, then you’re equating yourself to God” is the weirdest take I’ve heard on any topic in my life.

FlyByKiwi
FlyByKiwi
10 months ago

@naglfar “biblical fanfic” i love it and will definitely use it ASAP! THANKS

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@FlyByKiwi
You might want to thank Jenora Feuer, as they are the person who originally called it that. But, you’re welcome, I guess.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
10 months ago

@Naglfar
Ooh, ooh, I know that!
(Sorry for being so excited, but it’s rare to actually be able to answer something here based on my university knowledge.)

There is some good likelihood that the origin of the idea of Hell as it appears in late Jewish apocripha and early Christian writings (which of course are quite related) is in Zoroastrian beliefs. It’s hard to know this 100%, because as always in culture stories and ideas move around, but if you look up texts such as the story of Arda Viraz, there are descriptions of afterlife punishments for sinners that are very similar to those which would later appear in Jewish and Christian thought (and later on, Mslim thought), so it makes a lot if sense that this was the source. Because, yes, the original Bible (OT) has nothing like that, or really not much in terms of referring to the afterlife at all. If you check, most of the biblical promises of reward and punishment refer to things that hapoen in this world, either in the person’s lifetime or in that if their descendants.

I could go on but should really go to bed.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
10 months ago

Gah, all those typos and no edit option because my browser is acting up!
Oh well, good night.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
10 months ago

… in a perfect, ideal Christianized society…

Don’t think this mental midget realizes this may be the world’s longest oxymoron.

As for me, the quote above is my definition of Hell–ugh. No theocracies for me, thank you kindly.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Penny Psmith
Thank you for the information. As a Jew, I’m not very familiar with Christian and Zoroastrian texts, so thank you for filling me in on that.
In Jewish discourse (or at least that which I’ve participated in) the concept of hell doesn’t really ever come up and so I don’t know too much about it as an idea, so thank you for telling me more about the concept.

Definitely not Steve
Definitely not Steve
10 months ago

*Squints at picture of Office Jesus*

That’s not a mouse. That’s a sperm.

Allandrel
Allandrel
10 months ago

@Definitely not Steve

*Squints at picture of Office Jesus*

That’s not a mouse. That’s a sperm.

Well, every sperm is sacred…

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

So, Devin Nunes may be (fingers crossed) about to go down.

https://twitter.com/weareoversight/status/1198082758926651392

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1198063986819895296

Two stories in one night. Ouch!

Lainy
Lainy
10 months ago

I hate that I have to share my religion with these people

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I hope I didn’t do a stupid thing. I wanted to take Ibuprofen because it brings down the inflammation in my sinuses and I need to sleep and dry up the nasal passages. So I took an Ibuprofen PM. But I’ve also had three beers and three glasses of wine. It was over the course of 8 – 9 hours, so I’m more buzzed than drunk even though that sounds like a lot of drinks, but still, it is drug mixing.

I did some Googling and it doesn’t appear that the Benadryl and alcohol combo is dangerous from an OD perspective, it can just cause dizziness and enhance the drowsiness. But still, I feel a little nervous.

Oh, well. I’ll check back in tomorrow after a coffee I’m sure I’ll need. Right now? I’m feeling an interesting combo of a little bit Millie and a little bit Lindsay.

comment image

I hope some people get Freaks and Geeks references.

Kevin
Kevin
10 months ago

‘As No-Nut November nears its climax…,’ comedy gold, David.

Two quite amusing sources for the ‘do the right thing for the right reason’ idea are C S Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters and the film Bedazzled.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
10 months ago

@Naglfar

I’m Jewish too! 🙂 And yeah, a lot of these concepts are pretty alien to Judaism (although it’s been catching up, slowly but surely, through the influence of Christian/Muslim ideas). Like I said, in the Tanakh you don’t even get promises of reward/punishment in the afterlife; even when the promises are far into the future, it’s always in this world, not in the next.
But in the apocrypha (which start at around the same time as the latest books of the Tanakh, such as Job or Daniel – and that’s also close to the time Christianity starts) you do have apocalypses[*] that include descriptions of an afterlife, and in some of them (I want to say the Apocalypse of Baruch as an example? I’m not sure, though, I’ll need to look it up in my old coursework) you get descriptions of a Hell with all sorts of fiery punishments for sinners. Few, but they’re there.
And if you look at these descriptions and look at similar Zoroastrian texts (there might be others besides Arda Viraz, but that’s the only one I know; some years ago I took a fascinating course on Arda Viraz and Dante), there are definitely a lot of things that are quite alike.
So, seeing as how the Zoroastrian texts are earlier, and how the (largely Zoroastrian) Persian Sassanid empire was a major force in the area both politically and culturally, and considering the way that stories tend to travel between places, it does make sense to trace the idea of Hell as we currently see it in the Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity and Islam, but as I said, Judaism has been catching up) back to Zoroastrianism. I’m not sure if I’d call it a syncretic creation per se, but that depends a lot on definitions.

[*] In the original sense of “divine vision”; many apocalypses do talk about the eschaton, the endtimes, which is probably what led to the confusion in modern terminology (plus, “post-apocalyptic” just sounds somehow better than “post-eschatonic”, you know?), but others have different kinds of visions.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
10 months ago

@ penny

In the original sense of “divine vision”

As I’m sure you know, the literal meaning of apocalypse is just ‘to uncover’ and it was used metaphorically to mean ‘drawing back the veil’. It’s the literal opposite to ‘occult’.

So the whole point of a ‘revelation’ was just to let people know what had previously have been hidden from them; and that of course could include the eschaton.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
10 months ago

Speaking of where the idea of Hell came from, one of the guys at the Patheos set of blogs had a piece that explored where the idea for eternal punishment in the afterlife came from. His conclusion was…not from the Bible itself. Interesting read, in my opinion.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/keithgiles/2019/10/where-the-hell-did-hell-come-from/

numerobis
numerobis
10 months ago

WWTH: I’m a doctor, but not the kind that helps people.

Nevertheless I’m on the Internet so I can say that my understanding is that Benadryl + alcohol means it would be dangerous to operate heavy machinery in your dreams.

numerobis
numerobis
10 months ago

Penny Psmith: picking a nit, the Sassanids only took over in the 3rd century CE, so the period you’re talking about would have been Parthians, or before that the Seleucid (who were Greek but didn’t care that much about the state religion), and before *that* the Achaemenid.

Moggie
Moggie
10 months ago

@WWTH:

So, Devin Nunes may be (fingers crossed) about to go down.

Nunes! With each passing day, John Oliver’s term “Stupid Watergate” seems more apt. Nunes has the intellect of a banana: I wouldn’t send him out for groceries, much less get into a criminal conspiracy with him.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
10 months ago

@numerobis:

You’re right, I should have looked that up (or just written “Persian empire” like I was going to before I decided to expand that). I usually deal with the immediately pre-Islamic to early Islamic periods, so obviously have learned to connect Persian to “Sassanid”, but should have known that makes no sense in earlier centuries.
The part about them being a major force still stands, though!

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
10 months ago

@Alan:

I did know that, but thanks for adding the detail, it’s very cool (and there are only so many nesting footnotes one can do without readers getting lost, at least when one doesn’t have Pratchett levels of talent and wit).

[Apologies if this comment appears twice, I think I messed something up.]

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Sorry for the weird ramble last night. I was a little stoned I guess! But it zonked me out for 8 hours and I really needed that.

Allandrel
Allandrel
10 months ago

There have been a lot of fascinating books written on the “history of hell.” It’s remarkable how much of what various groups believe is found in their holy books is actually derived from other religions, or (especially in the case of hell) taking fanfiction as canon.

Dante and Milton wrote fanfiction, and lots of people took that as canon. There’s no other way to put it.

And that’s just some of the really widespread “not actually in the Bible” stuff. The amount of extra-Biblical material the the Darbyite “Rapture believers” go in for is even more impressive, especially given that they tend to also be big on “the Bible as sole authority.” (Or not to mince words, “THEIR READING of the Bible as sole authority, so really THEM as sole authority.”)

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
10 months ago

@WWTH:

So, Devin Nunes may be (fingers crossed) about to go down.

https://twitter.com/weareoversight/status/1198082758926651392

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1198063986819895296

Two stories in one night. Ouch!

In Soviet Washington, swamp drain you!

Mels
Mels
10 months ago

@ObSidJag

midget

Hi. That’s a slur. Please don’t.

Joseph Zowghi
10 months ago

I have family in Iran. I’m worried.

On that cheery note…

I’m not a Zoroastrian myself or a major expert, but I can tell you all a few things. Would you like to start with similarities between Zoroastrianism and Christianity or a rough timeline of Persian interactions with neighboring societies?

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
10 months ago

@Naglfar, FlyByKiwi:
And I’m pretty sure I got ‘biblical fanfic’ from Fred Clark over at Slacktivist, who has made some pretty pointed comments about how unbiblical depictions of Hell are. Not to mention how unchristian the whole idea of being smug about other people going to Hell actually is.

@Penny Psmith:
Thanks for that; you’ve obviously gone into it in far more detail than I have.

@Alan Robertshaw:
I knew that it meant ‘to uncover’, but I hadn’t thought of the ‘exact opposite to occult’. That makes perfect sense, and actually potentially ties a few other old things together, even though both words have shifted in meaning since then.

@Allandrel:
Dante wrote fanfiction, yes, but it was at least vaguely official fanfiction, given that the Catholic Church was pretty much watching over his shoulder. He wouldn’t have been able to publish it had it been considered heretical at the time.

As for the Darbyites, yes. It is truly amazing just how modern much of what they believe is. There was an incredible profusion of weird Christian sects in the U.S. in the 1800s (due in part to there not being an official state religion to try and stamp them out) and several of them are still actively around today. The Seventh Day Adventists started out as a doomsday cult that had to explain why the world was still here. The Mormons ‘found’ their own ‘newer testament’. The entire modern concept of the ‘rapture’ comes from the footnotes made by essentially one conspiracy theorist back in the 1800s

Fred Clark has commented on how the ‘plain reading of the Bible’ is a problem, because it is still just a reading of the Bible, except that the people involved aren’t admitting it’s just a reading. Which means they insist that any attempt at arguing against them is arguing against the Bible itself. Problem is, this has been going on long enough… well, there’s an old joke that the difference between a cult and a religion is that in a cult, there’s somebody at the top that knows it’s all a scam, while in a religion that person is dead. The whole ‘Darbyite’ readings have long since become a religion in that sense, in that most of the people running things seem to be true believers rather than just in it for the control.

Phaos
10 months ago

It should be noted that their whole basis for masturbation being a sin is not even understanding what Onan did wrong in the story in question. ‘Spilling his seed on the ground’ was a shitty thing to do because by tradition he was supposed to get his brother’s widow pregnant, at which point her first child would be considered to be his brother’s. He was taking advantage of the fact that she was expected to have sex with him and dragging things out by making sure she wouldn’t actually get pregnant.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Phaos
I can’t speak for the Christian view on masturbation, but the Jewish view is a bit more complex, as this Wikipedia article explains. Like any issue in Judaism, there is a lot of debate among rabbinic authorities, with some calling it the worst sin possible and others saying it is acceptable for some or all purposes. My view, as a somewhat less observant Jew, has always been (possibly TMI): “it’s fine, I just don’t do it myself because dysphoria.”

Snowberry
Snowberry
10 months ago

I’m kind of curious what no-fappers think of women masturbating. Or if they even consider that at all.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Snowberry
If I had to guess, I’d say they probably think that women are incapable of getting the supposed effects of semen retention because they don’t produce semen. That’s just a guess based off of what I know about their thought process, so I could be wrong.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
10 months ago

A while ago, there was a Guardian story noting that the NoFap community is only about 5 % women but the women members tend to have a lot of interaction (mostly respectful?) with the men. Presumably, a good portion of male NoFappers consider the movement at least somewhat applicable to women.

Based on the examples David has quoted, it seems there are plenty of male NoFappers who never notice/acknowledge the women in their movement or consider gender inclusivity. Naturally, these people tend to be more on the “deeply misogynist weirdo” side of the NoFap community.

The more extremist SemenRetention community is probably very much a male only club.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
10 months ago

Mels:

midget

Hi. That’s a slur. Please don’t.

😳Whoops😳! Sorry, my bad. Will attempt to do better in the future.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Lumipuna

A while ago, there was a Guardian story noting that the NoFap community is only about 5 % women but the women members tend to have a lot of interaction (mostly respectful?) with the men. Presumably, a good portion of male NoFappers consider the movement at least somewhat applicable to women.

I’m not quite sure how that would work. The whole basis of their movement suggests that women are evil and out to get your semen, so I’m not sure how they could get along with the women respectfully. Maybe it’s because I’ve only seen the extremists, but I’m rather curious how and why women would be involved with such a movement. Does it mean that some of the men have wives who support their involvement? I do know that some women complain about their husbands using porn excessively, so maybe they suppose the whole thing because it helps their husbands stop using porn?

Allandrel
Allandrel
10 months ago

@Joseph Zowghi

Let’s start with the similarities between Zoroastrianism and Christianity. It’s one of the major religions that I didn’t get to study in college, and it’s been on my To Study list ever since.

Hope your family stays safe.

@Jenora Feuer

Fred Clark’s work has been invaluable to me in understanding Evangelical thought (or what passes for it, since they discourage thinking). As a Quaker, I’m always more aware of my how beliefs differ from those of other Christians than of what I have in common with them.

Catalpa
Catalpa
10 months ago

Presumably, a good portion of male NoFappers consider the movement at least somewhat applicable to women.

I’m not quite sure how that would work. The whole basis of their movement suggests that women are evil and out to get your semen, so I’m not sure how they could get along with the women respectfully.

The NoFap movement isn’t necessarily synonymous with the Semen Retention folks. (Though admittedly there’s a lot of overlap.)

It’s my understanding that some of the NoFappers are part of the movement because they previously overindulged in porn and it had a negative impact on their lives, so they’re trying to go cold turkey, sort of like alcoholics.

Given that it’s a group on the internet mostly composed of men, I’m betting that there’s still a lot of misogynistic ideas within the group. But the basic concept of it isn’t that women are evil or semen will give you superpowers, but that they should abstain from something that made their lives worse.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
10 months ago

IIRC, the Guardian story interviewed one young woman who said her life had indeed suffered from porn use.

Generally, these people seem to conflate masturbation with porn use, as well as conflating masturbation with male ejaculation. It’s like they mostly watch or used to watch porn compulsively, with masturbation as a side habit.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Lumipuna

IIRC, the Guardian story interviewed one young woman who said her life had indeed suffered from porn use.

That makes a bit more sense. I typically tend to associate the NoFap movement with semen retention, which is a much more misogynistic movement.
If people’s lives are being negatively impacted by porn, I support them overcoming their issues. However, it seems that this NoFap movement has a lot of misogynistic pseudoscience and might not therefore be the best approach.

A lot of anti porn groups are made up of either TERF/SWERFs like Gail Dines (or, as others here call her, Professional Liar Gail Dines), or Christian conservatives like Fight the New Drug. The OP appears to be from the Christian conservative type.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
10 months ago

It still astounds me how people can turn something as simple as not masturbating into something so complicated.

The first time I heard about nofap (I don’t even know if it was called that back then) was through a guy on the Internet saying what boiled down to “I stopped masturbating for [time period] because [reasons]. If you relate to [reasons], maybe try this too?” It seemed like such a normal thing to say, because you couldn’t really lose anything by trying since you could go back to whatever you did before if you felt no benefits. Where’s the harm?

I never anticipated later learning that people have theological debates on the subject. Though, typing that out I realise that of course religious people would, so I guess I never thought I’d come across it without looking into it.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
10 months ago

@Allandrel:
I recall you mentioning being brought up Quaker before.

Me, I was brought up Anglican Church of Canada (what’s basically the Episcopalian church in the U.S.; the modern U.S. ‘Anglican’ church tends to be composed of more conservative folks who thought the Episcopalians were being too touchy-feely). As a(n also Anglican) friend of mine put it, ‘The Church of England is basically Catholicism Lite: all the ritual, half the guilt!’

That said, after the priest who was going to do confirmation classes had a heart attack, I never really got back into it. Much like my father, I basically ‘decided religion was not for’ me. (Quoted because the Church bulletin on my parents’ 50th anniversary literally said that about him.) There’s no big deconversion story, and no active ‘the church is doing things wrong’ bit going on.

(Well, my mother isn’t happy about the newer Book of Common Prayer, but that’s more to do with the poetry of the language in the original rather than anything to do with religious beliefs. She’s much more of a ‘church as community centre’ sort of person than ‘church as rules handed down from on high’.)

As you say, Fred Clark has helped grant insight into how these people think, as it was something I’d never really been exposed to. Despite attempts, that level of religious intensity isn’t really a major political force in Canada, at least not anymore. Heck, in the last federal election, one of the points the election swung on was whether or not the Conservative party was going to try and re-open the abortion debate. The leader of the party mostly tried to dodge the question, because while he would probably like to, and so would a number of the other Conservatives, he (unlike some of the other party members) realizes that would be pretty much a death knell for the party in a lot of the country.

Moon Custafer
10 months ago

@Jenora Feuer:

I used to know a lot of people who did re-stagings of late-medieval English religious plays, and/or studied them as scholars, so the first thing I heard described as biblical fanfic was the Mary Magdalene from the Digby manuscript, which— well, I’d go further and call it crack!fic (she goes off to Marseilles and converts the pagan French! There’s a comedy pagan priest and his sarcastic acolyte! The King and Queen go on a pilgrimage and get shipwrecked!)

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
10 months ago

Speaking of Christian folklore as fanfic gives a whole new meaning for terms such as “canon” and “word of God”.

(/s)

Catalpa
Catalpa
10 months ago

The term ‘canon’ originally started as a way to refer to bibical canon, actually.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
10 months ago

From the Jewish angle – I’ve heard midrash and agada described as our own kind of biblical fanfic (this seems to be a fairly common description among my religious geek friends). Which, if you know a bit about them, is really quite accurate. It’s taking the biblical stories and either reinterpreting them (“No, when it says that Abraham did X, what it really means is that he did [a version of X that is more in keeping with the religious mores of the time]”) or just making up whole new stories that supposedly also happened.
Then, being a fandom of sorts, they start arguing whose story is better, or more canon, and expanding upon the previous expansions (which again, start off as basically headcanons) and so on.

Naglfar
Naglfar
10 months ago

@Penny Psmith
I haven’t heard them described that way before, but the term definitely fits. I’d say that we could also consider the Zohar to be a kind of fan fiction, seeing as it was written later and expands the ideas of the original sources.