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"why do I not want to share peaceful parenting with my friends and family?"


0:00 - Introduction
6:49 - Examining the Philosophy of Parent-Child Relationship
12:47 - The Grim Answer: Why People Like Us
15:28 - Why Are We Liked? Utility and Compliance
20:34 - Love Is the Whole Person
24:42 - The Illusion of Love in Collectivism
26:43 - Love Based on Virtue and Honesty

Long Summary

In today's discussion, I delve into the deep question of why individuals may hesitate to share the concept of peaceful parenting with their friends and family. The root of this hesitation lies in the historical neglect within philosophy to examine the use of force in the parent-child relationship, despite a longstanding opposition to the initiation of force in all other realms. I highlight the paradox of philosophers focusing on ethics and choice while overlooking the parent-child dynamic, which is the epitome of moral choices and voluntary interactions.

I explore the significance of the parent-child relationship as the most moral and choice-driven connection, yet philosophers have sidestepped delving into this crucial area. The profound impact of childhood experiences on individuals, coupled with philosophers' dedication to morality and choice, makes the absence of discourse on parenting practices all the more striking.

Furthermore, I question the underlying motivations behind individuals' reluctance to broach the topic of peaceful parenting with their loved ones. This hesitation stems from a fundamental inquiry into why people are liked or loved - whether based on utility, conformity, or a genuine appreciation of the individual as a whole.

Examining the dynamics of love and conditional acceptance within relationships, I emphasize the importance of honesty, virtue, and the acceptance of the entirety of an individual in fostering genuine connections. The discussion extends to societal constructs and the illusion of collective love that often hinges on conformity and suppression of dissenting views.

By shedding light on the complexities of human relationships, philosophical paradoxes, and the pursuit of genuine connection based on mutual respect and honesty, I provide insights into why addressing the concept of peaceful parenting can be met with resistance and reluctance in personal interactions.


[0:00] Introduction

[0:00] Good morning, everybody. Stefan Molyneux from Freedomain. Fine, fine, fine, truly fine question from a noble listener at I hope you will check out the community. It is really great.

[0:14] You can also go to slash freedomain and sign up there as well. So the question is, why don't I want to share peaceful parenting with my friends and family? Why oh why oh why do i not want to share peaceful parenting with my friends and family and that is a very good fine and deep question and i appreciate it being asked and the answer is as usual a fairly terrifying because the question is not just why don't i want to, share peaceful parenting with friends and family the question is most philosophers have been opposed to the initiation of the use of force since the dawn of philosophy. Why has it taken three to five thousand years for a philosophy to examine the use of force in the parent-child relationship? I mean, people, this is the beef, a minor beef I had with libertarians many years ago. If you guys are very much into the non-aggression principle, then if you want to oppose the violations of the non-aggression principle, you should look for two things. You should look for, number one, the most prevalent violation of the non-aggression principle, and number two, that you can do the most about, right? So the most common violation of the non-aggression principle that you can do the most about is what you should be focusing on.

[1:42] Now, that spanking, that's child abuse and so on, right? It's not illegal to not spank your child and it is the most prevalent violation of the non-aggression principle around. Why don't we work on that? But, and listen, I understand, I sympathize. It's tough to give up the addiction to politics. It's tough to give up the addiction to politics. Working on politics, 99 times out of 100 gives you the illusion of progress while actually protecting the child abusers because you're not talking about what they're doing. So I sympathize, I understand. So the big question is why? Why did it take the concept of peaceful parenting to merge philosophy and the relationship with the most moral choice? The parent-child relationship is the most moral relationship in that it involves the most morality and it is the most voluntary relationship. Even in the ancient world, you were not thrown in jail for not beating your child.

[2:50] And parents spend a lot of time morally lecturing their children. It really is the essence of parenting, is to transfer a sense of virtue and integrity and morality to your children. So all philosophy is centered around moral philosophy, at least the core of philosophy is centered around moral philosophy, because science has a philosophy to it. But philosophy existed long before the philosophy of science. And the one thing that philosophy does that no other discipline does do is focus on ethics and virtue so the core of philosophy is morality and the most moral relationship in other words the relationship centered the most on morality is parenthood and it also has the most choice parents can choose to parent in any number of different ways so it really is quite a remarkable thing that a discipline centered on morality and choice has for its entire history avoided the most moral relationship wherein there is the most choice. And I don't mean choice on the part of the children, but on the part of the parents.

[4:04] Parents don't choose where they're born. They don't choose the families they're born into. They don't choose their language. They don't choose their culture. They don't choose any of that. They don't choose their height. They don't choose their physical appearance, and its sort of bone structure. But what parents do is transmit morality and have an infinity of choices in how they parent.

[4:27] So again, just to reiterate just how remarkable and incredible and shocking and stunning this is, that a discipline focused on choice and morality, since they're two sides of the same coin, A discipline focused on choice and morality has talked about everything under the sun and moon except for the most moral relationship in which there is the most choice, which is, I can't tell you. Like, it's standing on the cliff edge of peaceful parenting, looking down into the fiery furnace, furnace, Aztec-based, child-consuming, rip the hearts out of their chest and scatter them on the four winds of politics. It's looking down into hell. looking from peaceful parenting into the history of philosophy is looking into hell because philosophers have talked about oh a whole bunch of things that are deep and meaningful and powerful and incredible and wonderful and are are we are we really in the brain of a demon is there such a thing as a reality can you get an ought from and is what is the nature of the divine divine. Where can we access this higher reality wherein is ensconced all the deep and wonderful things in the universe?

[5:47] Is a life of perpetually scratching a perpetual itch the very best possible life? What is the nature of love? Are we, in fact, two souls separated at birth that we just merge together? Oh, my God.

[6:03] Where exactly do human rights come from? And what is the nature of political power? And what is our relationship to the collective? And is there a world spirit that animates particular nations to rule others? And what is the justification for a just war? And I mean, honestly, I could do that for an hour or two. All of the stuff that philosophers have talked about, philosophers are very concerned with two things, morality and choice. Oh, and the determinism thing, that's not philosophy, that's just defense of a bad conscience. But philosophers are very, very, very concerned, you see. With morality and choice. And childhood is not a foreign country.

[6:49] Examining the Philosophy of Parent-Child Relationship

[6:50] Well, you see, I couldn't have studied morality and choice in the family because that stuff was all written in ancient Aramaic, and I know speaky ancient Aramaic. Sorry, it's so horrible that a wry laugh is occasionally, to me, the response. You see, childhood is not a foreign country that you need to visit, it and learn its ways for 20 years in order to speak of its contents. Childhood is not an ancient language that you have to piece together with scraps of the Rosetta Stone.

[7:24] Childhood is something we all experience and have lived through for 20 years. I mean, you can say a quarter century if you want to count final brain maturity, but let's just say 20 years. So you put these three things together. Philosophers are about morality, choice, and everyone has experienced childhood automatically for 20 years. And then, of course, you become a parent and you parent your children and so on.

[7:56] So something which every philosopher, every one, experiences for 20 years, the philosophers focus on morality and choice, and they completely ignore something which they experience for 20 years. They completely ignore the relationship wherein morality is inculcated and wherein there is the most choice. The most moral conversations in the world, all throughout history, the most moral conversations occur between parents and children because parents are consistently saying, you did wrong, you did bad, you're naughty, you need to be punished, you disobeyed, you're sinful, you're full of sin, you're sinning, and it's all morality, all morality. You're selfish, you don't listen, you deserve, I deserve this, you should treat me with respect. And it's a constant cavalcade of endless moral moral, invective. I mean, schools do it too, but parents do it even in the absence of formal schooling. Parents do it, right? There's a constant stream of morality, and parents have an infinity of choice on how to raise their children. So, of course, if you are concerned about morality and choice, then you should focus on the parent-child relationship, as I did from, From, I think, what was it, show two, I started talking about the morality of childhood, or at least after I read my essays. It's wild.

[9:26] Philosophers all have childhoods, all experienced 20 years of childhood, and are very focused on morality and choice, and they steadfastly and relentlessly and permanently until this This conversation permanently avoided.

[9:47] The most moral relationship with the most choice, while promoting morality and choice. And they cannot claim a lack of experience since we all experienced it for 20 plus years. And thus, it would seem to me that almost all the history of philosophy is centered around enabling child abusers and avoiding child abuse. Yes. And of course, there could have been countless philosophers in the past who wrote about these things, and all their work was burned, and they were exiled or killed. I mean, so, obviously I'm not saying I'm the first, but it's certainly the first in what is on the record. And again, I'm not saying that no philosopher has ever talked about childhood, but in terms of a philosopher who's centered on the morality of childhood. I mean, I know Locke talked about childhood a little bit here and there, and Rousseau, of course, talked about it quite a bit, but he was a rampant, he was a child murderer, basically, so he tossed his kids into a almost fatal, almost certain to be fatal state orphanage, Fiverr for kids, if I remember rightly, so, yeah, I mean, it's not a very credible thing, and so on, right? And I'm also aware that the internet has made this sort of thing possible.

[11:09] I'm also, I mean, it would be interesting to know, because a lot of philosophers left thousands of pages or tens of thousands of pages of writing. It would be interesting if any of them had done any treatises on childhood that remain in the archives had never been published for fear of blowback or, you know, whatever happens when you start to promote the rights of children and thus puncture the power of the rulers. Promoting the rights of children is puncturing the power of the rulers. My novel Just Poor was based upon a fear I had that my thoughts would vanish. And, you know, it's funny when you try to advance an argument that is inescapable and unacceptable.

[11:55] That's when you really get hammered, right? When you advance an argument that is both inescapable and unacceptable. Acceptable it's accurate and anathema then people really get get angry and of course my novel called just poor is about a brilliant person who can't find any scope for her intelligence in society because society is so arrayed against the accuracies and perceptions that she has and much like my novel revolutions it was my fight against hatred of the hypocrisy in society you You know, society claims, oh, we care about children, oh, we care about virtue, oh, we don't like to use violence. And then the moment you point out what happens in families, everybody's like, they close ranks and they exclude you. So, why don't you want to talk about peaceful parenting to friends and family?

[12:47] The Grim Answer: Why People Like Us

[12:47] It's part of a larger question. It's why have philosophers as a whole, moral philosophers focusing on ethics and choice, not talked about the most ethical and choice-based relationship that they experienced for 20 years. Why? Why?

[13:04] Well, it's a grim answer, but a necessary one. So the grim answer is that there's a foundational question in why do people like us? Why do people like us? Why do people like you? Why do people like me? Now, do they like us because we're useful or funny or we comply, we appease, we nod and we agree? Is it because we have money? Is it because we have good looks? Is it because we have status? Is it because we have something to offer them? Is it because our presence reinforces their own bigotries, errors, prejudices and immoralities? is, why do people like you? Why are you liked? Isn't this really a foundational question? Why do people like you? And there's a tension. There's a great tension.

[14:01] And if, of course, you remember that almost all of human society, almost all of human history was all based on violence, then individualism is suicide because you need a group, you need a collective in order to survive, right? So individualism is suicide and therefore conformity with the collective based upon the violence that other collectives are able to summon through. You know, if you've got someone who can use collectivism to raise an army of 10,000 men over the hills with the swords of a thousand men, right? Then he's going to, they're going to carve up the individuals like turkeys. So individualism throughout most of human history was kind of suicidal. I mean, that's the arguments of Socrates, you know, think for yourself and then look what happens, right? Think for yourself, let us cast aside our illusions, is a form of suicide. It just means you get taken over. Individualism throughout most of human history was just suicide. And therefore, the powers that be or the culture worked to oppose individualism very strongly so that they would not be taken over by collectivist societies, right? Individualism is a fatal weakness in a sea of armed collectivism. One guy can't fight against a hundred guys.

[15:28] Why Are We Liked? Utility and Compliance

[15:29] So, how are we liked? What are we liked for? What do people like about us? Well, in the past, it was, you serve the tribe, you serve the group. You are, you know, isn't there a bee that his basic job is to guard the door? That's his job. He just guards the door. Or you've got the worker bees and you've got the honey bees, like the honey making bees and so on. And everyone has their role and there's no individualism there, right?

[15:57] So why are you liked? Well, in most relationships, I would say virtually all relationships, most people are liked for utility. You're liked because you're useful. You're liked because liking you is a reward given for obedience and subjugation of your identity for the sake of the blank interchangeable requirements of the collective that you are liked because you serve. If your parents mistreated you and i've heard this in countless call-in shows if your parents mistreated you then they like having you around because having you around allows them to credibly pretend to themselves that they treated you well and were great parents so you are liked you are invited over on the condition that you don't talk about what you actually experienced and what actually happened. So you are liked because you serve the vanity, and the vanity requires the suppression of the conscience, and the suppression of the conscience is achieved by inviting you over and pretending that everything is great. If you're a guy and there's some girl who's just pretty, and you date her because she's pretty, then you like her because she's pretty. Maybe she's a status symbol, maybe she makes you look good, and so on.

[17:25] And I remember I once dated a girl who was so pretty that everyone referred to me as the bodyguard. You know, you walk into a bar, you walk into a restaurant, you walk into a mall, you walk into a movie theater or something, and everyone's going to assume that you're the bodyguard. And I thought that was actually very funny.

[17:46] So why? Why do people like you? Why do they want to spend time with you? Well, maybe it's because you're all addicts, right? You're all drinkers, or you smoke pot, or maybe you're all avoiding life, and you need other people to avoid life with you so it doesn't feel so lonely and sad to avoid life, to sort of hide out. As Arlo talks about this in the present, I'm just hiding out at the feet of the dinosaurs. I'm just running for cover. So maybe you're part of a collective whirlpool, or were. I think we've all been there. In my early teens, I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons for a couple of years. And I was hanging out with people who were avoiding girls. And sadly, I think a good half of them ended up avoiding girls permanently. I sort of broke out of that orbit and started talking to girls and dating and all of that. And encouraged them to do that as well. But they just preferred to stay in the fantasy world.

[18:45] And it's very sad. that. Why do people like you? Now, if you come to people with something like peaceful parenting, you'll find out if they like you or not. When people say, I like you, they're saying me as an individual have evaluated you and found you positive. I like you. I love you, right? So, if you come to them with something that is unpleasant for them in the moment, but they love you, then that will not break the relationship. In fact, it will strengthen the relationship, right? So if your wife comes to you and says, you know, I think you gained a little bit of weight, let's weigh you and check and so on. Maybe we need to fix your diet or our diet or something like that. Well, I mean, is that pleasant to hear in the moment? No, no. But it means that she cares. It means that she wants to be healthy, that she wants to spend more time with you. It means all kinds of many wonderful good things. Although it's unpleasant in the moment, it strengthens your relationship. Because if she just let you get fat and didn't say anything, well, that would not be good, right? That would show that she didn't really care if you were healthy or not, didn't care if you had energy or not, didn't care if you could get it up or not, didn't care about any of these things. Just kind of let you get fat and, right, that That would be cold and weird and uncaring, right?

[20:14] You go to your dentist and she says, oh, your gums are a little bleedy, you need to floss better, or whatever they would say. It's unpleasant to hear in the moment, but it makes you happier in the long run. And if you follow your dentist's advice and your oral health improves, then you like your dentist more and you're more loyal, right?

[20:34] Love Is the Whole Person

[20:34] You're more loyal to that dentist. is so if you come to people who claim to love you with something that you genuinely think and believe and accept and talk to them about it and they then turn on you it means they never loved you because love is not something you you carve people up into well i like this part i really hate this part of this part is good this part is bad that's trying to make them schizophrenic almost it away in my view right because you're trying to splinter their personality and condition them into suppressing parts of themselves and exaggerating other parts of themselves and this is good this is bad i like this part i hate this part that is uh that's not good right that's not good when i say i love you it's got to be the whole of you right i mean there's no part of my wife I do not love. So, if you go to people around you, and it doesn't have to be peaceful parenting, it could be any number of things, you go to the people around you and you say.

[21:40] I value X, I believe in X, X is important, and they turn on you and they attack you or ostracize you or roll their eyes or turn away or signal that they don't want to talk about it and then they never bring it up again, then they're saying that they don't love you. Because love is the whole person. Love is the whole person. It's the whole thing. It's the whole being.

[22:04] Because you say I love you. It's a very simple statement. I love you. You. Not, well, I love it when you conform to me. Oh, I love it when you look pretty. Oh, I love it when you make me laugh. Oh, I love it when you spend money on me. Oh, I like, that's not what you say. People don't say that. If they did say that, maybe be more honest. I love it when you comply with me. I feel uneasy about how I raised you. So I love it when you come over and we pretend everything's fine because it makes me feel better and keeps my conscience at bay. People say, I love you. It's a simple statement, which means the entirety of me loves the entirety of you.

[22:41] When people say I love you we get this warm cuddly feeling that we are accepted and so on and it's easy to get addicted to that warm cuddly feeling and there's nothing wrong if it's real but we don't want to to interfere with the supply of the drug if it turns out that people really don't, love us they only like that we make them feel good and if we bring something to their attention that has them feel bad, then they hate us or they want to punish us, they want to hurt us, they want to train us out of making... So they don't love us. They love some positive reaction that we generate within them that is highly conditional, right? If you don't upset me, if you don't bother me, if you don't ever point out that I might be doing something wrong, if you don't bring any difficult moral truths to me, if you don't do this, if you don't do that, well then I have a positive experience of you and therefore I love the positive experience. Are we dopamine delivery mechanisms or are we authentic people loved for who we are? Are we little happy joy joy juice conveyor belts or are we loved for who we are in our entirety as human beings? That's a pretty big question.

[24:02] It's a pretty big question. Now, the challenge is that collectivism only survives on the illusion of love. Why do you say, well, I love my country? Well, no, your country's done some pretty awful things. All countries have, right? But if you believe that you love your country, then you will serve your country. If you believe that you love your king, you will serve your king. And so collectivism is driven by the illusion of love that is highly conditional, and all deviances are punished. So.

[24:36] Challenging, a very foundational relationship that feels extremely dangerous and is and has been throughout almost all of human history.

[24:42] The Illusion of Love in Collectivism

[24:43] Extremely dangerous, and that time, of course, seems to be returning, but I hold to the truth. I mean, there are already billions of liars in the world. Why does the world need one more, right? So, that's the question. Why don't you want to bring peaceful parenting to those around you? Because you don't want to find out if they love you, or if they only like you when you please them, right? And then for them to be honest, they wouldn't say, love you. They'd say, like you when you please me, which is a whole lot less compelling. And if the truth weakens a relationship, it wasn't a relationship. It was an exploitation. I mean, parents the world over genuinely feel that they can hit their children because the parents are frustrated. In other words, the children aren't doing what they want, and therefore the parents are frustrated.

[25:41] In other words, frustration is a bad feeling. I mean, it is actually a good feeling because it helps you get the energy to push through on things. But frustration is a negative emotion. We don't love it. It's a negative emotion. And so parents think, well, I'm going to hit my kids because they make me frustrated and hit my kids because they make me feel bad. And I'm going to hit my kids so they stop doing the things that make me feel bad and do the things that make me me feel good. Well, that's, I mean, there's no such thing as conditional love. Or to put it in a better way, sorry, that was a bit inelegantly phrased. Love is conditional upon virtue. And virtue is imperfect.

[26:22] And therefore love is on the striving towards and relative achievement of virtue. That's, love is based upon that. So love is conditional upon virtue. But virtue is conditional upon honesty, right, this is the paradox. Can you be loved by someone you are lying to? Not really.

[26:43] Love Based on Virtue and Honesty

[26:43] Because love is conditional upon virtue and honesty in relationships is a virtue.

[26:50] And therefore, if somebody demands, I only love you if you lie to me, they're saying, I will love you for falsehood, for corruption, for fear, for subjugation. But that is not loving a person. That's loving the absence of a person. If people love you because you conform to their preferences, then they're loving the absence of you because you're and so of course you want to be in relationships where you spontaneously want to serve people's happiness and and so on but you know it's got to have virtue in the general ocean in which you swim but you know if if we all have this in school right if the teachers punish you for speaking out of turn or bringing facts inconvenient to their propaganda propaganda, then you are punished. In other words, you are rewarded for compliance, which is the absence of you, and you are punished for independent thought, which is the presence of you. And therefore, people say, I like you when you're not there. I like you when you are an empty vessel of dopamine delivery to me. And that's what's so kind of twisted about human relationships, is that the language is all virtuous and the behavior is, in general, utterly corrupt.

[28:11] People say, I love you, which is a way of saying I, as an individual, love you, as an individual. I love you, not anyone who pleases me.

[28:22] Like Leonardo DiCaprio, I love your 24-year-old cheekbones. I will not love your 25-year-old cheekbones. It's not love, right? Well, the way that guy grew up in the world of show business, I mean, he's no capacity to pair bond. I mean, that's one of the prices you pay. So, yeah, are you loved for who you are? Well, if you're loved for who you are, then everything you think should be welcome. And if it's unpleasant or difficult for other people, they should welcome that too. do, in the same way that we welcome the dental scraping, which keeps our teeth healthy, even though it's unpleasant in the moment. It strengthens the bond. And we need a bond, right? We need pair bonding. We need the bond of love and virtue so that we can flourish in adversity.

[29:07] So why don't you want to bring up peaceful parenting for the same reason nobody's wanted to bring up peaceful parenting in a moral context? I mean, there are people, of course, who've talked for centuries about being nicer to children and so on, but they all tend to be totalitarians in their political mindsets. So they are lovers of violence in a different sphere, right? So a lot of the people who want smaller government tend to be harsh on children. A lot of people who want nicer parenting tend to be sociopaths politically. And so though, that neither of those is a great solution, to put it mildly. So I hope this helps. I really do appreciate the question, and thank you for letting me unpack it with you. And slash donate if you find these conversations helpful. And just remember, until the end of the month, you get the Peaceful Parenting AI, you get the audiobook and the ebook versions of Peaceful Parenting to read, love, like, share, and consume as you see fit. Thanks everyone so much. slash donate. Bye.

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