Dating Prostitutes?!? Transcript


0:00 - Introduction to Listener Questions
6:49 - The Enigmatic Habit of Starting Books But Not Finishing
11:58 - Etymology and the Organization of Thoughts
12:02 - Disturbing Incident at the Local Park
14:59 - Understanding the Behavior of Torturing Animals
19:24 - Feedback on Dating and Value in Relationships
21:41 - Clarification on Misquoting and Misinterpretation
23:31 - The Importance of Making Choices and Taking Action
25:39 - An Obsession with Hypothetical Scenarios
26:20 - Questioning the Relationship Between Looks and Morality
28:10 - Desperation in Questions
38:11 - Fear of Being Moral
44:06 - Emotional Impact of Parenting
47:50 - Transition to Giving Value
48:55 - Political Ideologies and Propaganda
51:04 - Facing Evil in Politics
51:43 - Defining Philosophy
55:25 - Support and Donations

Long Summary

In this engaging podcast episode, we explore various thought-provoking questions raised by our audience at We begin with a listener reflecting on the challenge of starting but never finishing important books, prompting a discussion on merging theory with practice to truly internalize concepts like peaceful parenting. The conversation delves into societal norms around child-rearing, emphasizing the importance of expressing love through active listening and respect, especially in navigating moral issues.

We then shift to linguistic nuances and the speaker's approach to language, highlighting the impact of precision in communication. Addressing a distressing incident of animal cruelty, we discuss seeking professional guidance to handle such situations effectively. The conversation then delves into extreme scenarios and applying philosophical principles to real-life challenges, emphasizing empathy, critical thinking, and ethical integrity.

Moving forward, we tackle a question regarding dating low-value individuals, stressing the emotional risks involved. The discussion touches on unchosen attributes versus chosen behaviors, encouraging striving for improvement even in challenging circumstances. We examine extreme scenarios like elephant men, questioning their relevance in moral contexts, and delve into moral principles, personal growth, and fear's role in moral responsibility.

In another episode, we delve into therapy, journaling, and the impact of parental dynamics on personal growth. We discuss societal influences on our development, the emotional impact of childhood experiences, and breaking cycles of parental behavior. The conversation extends to workplace transitions, family relationships, addictive behaviors, political ideologies, and philosophical reflections on moral principles and self-knowledge.

Moreover, we explore crafting narratives, challenging assumptions, and seeking truth in philosophical discussions. The dialogue culminates in a call for support in sustaining critical conversations on philosophy, psychology, and personal development. The journey to self-discovery and growth is ongoing, and your engagement in these reflections is invaluable. Let's continue embracing moments of introspection and growth together as we navigate life's complexities.


[0:00] Introduction to Listener Questions

[0:00] Good morning, everybody. These are some great questions from the fine listeners at Please, please, please come and support philosophy, You can sign up, get access to all the premium goodies. All right.

[0:13] Some of these were questions asked after I asked for questions, and some of these are posts, but all are fascinating. First off, hello, all. I'd like to get a discussion going regarding parallels, regarding that parallels the release of the Peaceful Parenting book. I've been itching with anticipation for its completion since there was first talk of it years ago. I am overly thrilled that it is finally here. I've been raving about it to all of my mama friends. I appreciate that. Thank you, of course, by the way. I am a donor and therefore have access to the book since Stefan started sharing it last October. sober. Yet, I started listening to it and stopped somewhere here around chapter four. I wasn't angry or overwhelmed doing this. Sorry, I wasn't angry or overwhelmed with grief or otherwise emotionally incapacitated. I stopped thinking it was so juicy, so good that I needed to take my time and savor it. I didn't want to rush my consumption in greed, letting the information spillover lost deep within my memory. This seemed reasonable in my mind. I wanted to slow down and absorb the book instead of letting it pass through me like an entertaining novel. But I stopped, all caps, I stopped at chapter four, just stopped, without realizing I'd done it until today, months after.

[1:36] So when it dawned on me, I realized I have a history of doing this, going back decades. I get very excited about a particular book, I elevate it to the highest value, begin reading it, and inexplicably stop, leaving it unfinished with every intention of finishing it later. I've read dozens, maybe hundreds of inconsequential books cover to cover, but there are four that were, quote, so important that I never finished them. I want to get to the bottom of this. Does anyone share this enigmatic habit?

[2:02] I'd appreciate any feedback you guys can provide. Maybe somebody has already walked the path and has some insight. Please and thank you. So, the reason why, I think, I don't know obviously, but the reason why you stop reading books that are super important to you is that you have to go from theory to practice. Now, if you don't have your own kids, or I guess even if you do, the theory to practice is talking about the ideas of peaceful parenting with people you know. Yeah. So you said that you shared the news about this book and some of the ideas with the mothers in your environment. As you dig in deeper and further to the Peaceful Parenting book, and in particular the sections that deal with the hypocrisy of society regarding children, then the size of the problem and the difficulty of solving it looms very large in your mind. And when we come across ideas that threaten relationships, we shy away from them.

[2:59] So ideas that threaten relationships or threaten to expose the shallowness or lack of connection or commitment in relationships, ideas that threaten relationships we experience as a kind of death threat. I mean, genetically, right? Because if we don't have any relationships, particularly with women, our genes end there, right? So it's a kind of headshot, sharpshooter on our ovaries and testicles that prevent us from reproducing. So when you come to other people with challenging ideas particularly moral ideas the most challenging of all then what you're doing is you are creating an empirical experiment to test whether they love you and and if you think i'm kidding about this let me make the case i'm absolutely not kidding about this right so if you come to somebody who says i love you or i care about you or you're you're important to me, and you come to them with a challenging idea, what is their response? If their response is to roll their eyes, to attack you, to minimize, to listen blankly, but give no response, to listen even with attentiveness, but then provide no feedback and change no behavior, then clearly they don't love you. To love someone, of course, doesn't mean that you do everything that they say, but to love someone is to say, if this is important to you, it's important to me.

[4:20] If it's important to you, then it is important to me. That's I love you. So when you bring an uncomfortable idea to someone, they have the choice to love and respect you and listen to the idea and really understand how important it is to you and why you're bringing it to them. Like if I'm really into stamp collecting, I don't necessarily inflict that on friends and family. But if there's something that I consider very important with regards to morality, and in particular with regards to child raising, then I'll bring it to friends and family, and I'll say exactly why it's so important, and I will expect the respect of love so that they'll listen and really dig in and understand why it's important to me. We'll have important conversations about it, and if they're mothers in particular, or fathers, and if they love their children, then the arguments in the Peaceful Parenting book are irrefutable.

[5:15] I mean, honestly, that's why I worked so long and hard on the book. This is the book I've worked on the longest and hardest outside of, well, I mean, certainly it's the nonfiction book I've worked on the longest and the hardest because I needed to make the arguments absolutely irrefutable, which is why there's theory, practice, and evidence, right? The theory is the syllogisms, the practice is how to do it, and the evidence is here's all the scientific facts about why you have to do it, like you're harming your children by being violent towards them. And the evidence is irrefutable all the way from ACEs to biological studies to brain scans to you name it right so people say I love you or people say I care about you or they imply it based upon long-term friendships and the empirical evidence for that is not the words and it's not even hanging out and having fun the empirical evidence regarding that is all to do with do Do you have credibility with them and do they care about your thoughts and ideas and arguments and are they willing to endure discomfort in the pursuit of truth?

[6:17] So if you bring two mothers who claim to care about you, let's say it's a sister, she loves you, or sister-in-law, whatever, they love you, care about you, then when you bring peaceful parenting to them, there's a twofold experiment going on. Number one, do they love you? And number two, do they love their children? If they love their children, then they should want what's best for their children, no matter how uncomfortable for them, right? Right. I mean, we wouldn't have any respect. In fact, we'd probably throw in jail a mother who decided not to get up at night and breastfeed her newborn because she was kind of tired and it was kind of inconvenient and she didn't want to bother.

[6:49] The Enigmatic Habit of Starting Books But Not Finishing

[6:50] And right. That would be, I mean, murderous neglect. Right. So even though it's uncomfortable for the mother, she she kind of has to do it. Right. I mean, in order to keep her baby alive. And if she doesn't want to do it, she needs to give the baby to somebody who will keep the baby alive. So when you go to people with uncomfortable ideas do they love you enough to listen if you go to them with uncomfortable ideas.

[7:13] That expose the behavior that's absolutely necessary in order to truly love your child which is to not use violence or aggression against your helpless dependent child.

[7:22] Then what you're doing is you're saying to people and this is the implicit experiment, so if you love me then that should mean something and if you love me And I say, this is really important. This is essential for your virtue and happiness. You should really dig into this and we should talk about it because I want to help you. So if someone loves you, they should absolutely listen. And again, it doesn't mean that they agree with anything automatically or everything, but it should be a very robust and deep discussion. I mean, this is another reason why people are shying away from the Peaceful Parenting Book is not just their relationship with their own childhood, but their relationship with everyone around them.

[8:01] So if you read the peaceful parenting book as a parent and you can't rebut the arguments and you can't rebut the evidence and you can't well then you have to be a peaceful parent and you have to truly thank the person who brought you peaceful parenting and you have to change your behavior with your children you have to apologize to them for any past aggressions or misdeeds that that you've done and all of that kind of stuff right so it's a test of is the word love used as a a resource-gathering piece of sentimentality, right? You know, like the guy, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, that song, right? The guy who says to the woman, oh, I love you, right? And then he has sex with her, and then he goes, right? So he only said, I love you, in order to have sex, right? So do friends and family around, do they truly love you? Do they truly love their children, right? I mean, if a child, I mean, this is sort of the Munchausen by proxy thing, right? The mother makes the child sick or the father makes the child sick, usually the mother, in order to get attention and so on, right?

[9:01] And fill up the emptiness of their deranged heart. And so if a child has an illness that's been lasting, and then you come up with a cure, the parents should be overjoyed. If the parents kind of roll their eyes and reject the cure, even though the cure is proven, then they're relieved. Sorry, they're revealed as pretty malevolent people, right, who want their child to be ill. So I think everyone, this is clear, right? Everybody understands that the peaceful parenting thing is a test of whether people claim to care about you because they genuinely care about you and want to know what you think, even if it's uncomfortable to themselves? Or do they just say that so you'll do what they want so that they can have a bunch of people around the Thanksgiving day table and never listen to anyone about anything to do with virtue?

[9:46] So there is a rubber-meets-the-road aspect to peaceful parenting that is a test, not really of peaceful parenting, but of your relationships as a whole. And I went through this process for many, many years where, you know, I studied philosophy, I studied self-knowledge, I analyzed my dreams, I kept a journal, I did all of this kind of stuff, right? And I recommended to my friends when I went to therapy and found it incredibly helpful, I recommended to my friends who had challenges in their life that they should go to therapy and so on. And the number of people who listened to me was virtually zero. It was virtually zero. I mean, I had a friend, I repeatedly said he should to get to therapy because he was having trouble in his marriage and then he ended up getting divorced and then he went to therapy. So you won't listen to me, but you'll listen to divorce, right? Okay, so that kind of faded out, right? So I would imagine that the books that you have abandoned are the books that are going to challenge the I love you's that are in the relationship, right? Do you find etymology interesting and or useful when organizing your thoughts for philosophical, literary conversation or trivial pursuits? I don't. I don't. Generally, I try to avoid lazy language.

[11:02] Yeah, he's not tired. He's exhausted, right? She's not curious. She's maybe rabidly curious or, you know, quizzical or something like that. So I think it's better to go with more complex language as a whole. It's also a good IQ test for people around, but I don't generally use it. I used to do this thing with sort of around definitions. I mentioned this many years ago in idle moments and Lord knows I had them when I was doing manual labor. So for manual labor exercise, what I would do when I was doing manual labor is I'd say, okay, there's a word envy and there's a word jealousy. So why are there two words, right? There are words that are very close together, but why are there two words at all? I mean, we don't really have two words for the category of tree. I mean, I guess you could go Latin or some technical thing, but why is there envy and why is there jealousy? And so I would try and puzzle out why there would be two words. And that was, I guess, a way of playing with language to keep my brain active when I was doing that sort of mindless physical labor.

[11:58] Etymology and the Organization of Thoughts

[11:58] But I don't find it useful in the categories you're mentioning.

[12:02] Disturbing Incident at the Local Park

[12:02] Hi, Steph. My two sons came home highly disturbed yesterday. They go to the local park every day, which contains a pond and a river in which they enjoy meeting with their friends, fishing and catching turtles and frogs and playing sports, et cetera. One of the kids within my son's friend group was using a live frog as a writing utensil, using it to draw on a wall, as well as throwing it against the concrete, kicking it, et cetera. He was horrified, I guess, was that, sorry, was that both of your sons?

[12:29] It's a little confusing there. My two sons came home, so you say he. Okay, so I guess one of your sons. He was horrified at the extreme level of abuse, and when he questioned this kid, his response was, who cares, it's just a frog. I suggested to him to stay away from him as he seems to be highly troubled. But my son didn't know how to handle it, as this kid also falls within the group, and staying away from him would also mean isolating himself from the rest of the kids. Any suggestions as to how to handle the social dynamics of this situation? Well, I assume that if the kid is torturing animals, that's a sign of severe mental disturbance, which is, I can't prove it, obviously, I don't know.

[13:04] But it is a sign of a severe disturbance, and it is a sign, I would assume, or a marker, a potential marker for extreme levels of child abuse. So if I were in your shoes, I would contact a lawyer, and I would say, what are my options, because I think this child is showing signs of severe child abuse, and this kid needs some help.

[13:27] I don't know how old your sons are. I assume that they're obviously pre-mid-teens, because they're doing this. I mean, I love the nature stuff and all of that, but the torture of animals is a sign of severe disturbance.

[13:40] And I would assume that criminal behavior, I can't prove it, right? I would go on the assumption that criminal behavior, criminal child abuse is occurring within the home, and somebody needs to go and check on that family. Like, you need a wellness check, you need something, right? Right. And you can I would check with a lawyer, obviously, but you can usually make these reports anonymously and and so on. And that needs to be dealt with. So it's a challenge. Right. Because, you know, if there's a wellness check after your son has questioned this boy, I mean, this is the challenge. Right. So after your son questioned this boy and this is why, you know, I mean, you really need to be cautious about this stuff. But after your son questioned this boy if there's a wellness check or something later on it may not be impossible to trace it back to your son and therefore to you which is risky and that's an unfortunate situation but again i would talk to somebody who's an expert in the field and figure out what you can do. The real challenge is not just the boy who is vicious to the frog, right? I mean, people treat animals, children treat animals the way they themselves have been treated.

[14:59] Understanding the Behavior of Torturing Animals

[14:59] Right? Which is why you want to have animals around kids to see who's vicious, right? I mean, my daughter is obviously very gentle and caring and firm with her animals. She's had countless animals over the years. I could go through the list, but it would go on and on. And children treat animals the way they have been treated. In other words, a child who's torturing an animal is most likely a child who's been tortured in some situation. Maybe not at the the home. It could be in some other religious institution or maybe at school or something, but I would assume that kid is being tortured. The problem, of course, is not just that your sons are exposed to this kind of cruelty, but that it doesn't seem to be registering with the other children. The other children aren't like, whoa, whoa, bro, what are you doing?

[15:49] What's going on and so on so i i don't have an answer obviously as to what should happen with your friend's social group i think the ideal the ideal would be that the kid gets a wellness check and they find out that there's something terrible happening in the home and this gets dealt with maybe the kid gets some help in which case he's going to be out of the group for a while i assume him while he's getting the help and hopefully that will resolve things with the friend group but who knows right i don't know how this plays out but i'm sorry that you're in this situation it's tough it's tough but i mean please don't in my view again consult with local experts and take their advice whether that's social workers whether that's a helpline whether that's a lawyer like just consult with some local experts to figure out the best approach and you are in a possession of a difficult situation, but a situation that can truly save a child's soul. And I wish you the very best. All right. Steph, the following question is more about me providing you feedback to a question you asked in your response to my question about how an elephant man would find a virtuous wife. You asked why I was asking the question. If I wasn't an elephant man and such circumstances didn't apply to me or anyone I know of personally. I think I can understand why you would ask me that question, Steph, when your philosophy generally deals with less abstract or hypothetical issues.

[17:14] Okay, so, well, elephant men are certainly extremely rare. My question wasn't necessarily abstract. The elephant man was just the extreme end of the spectrum to illustrate a point.

[17:23] Yeah, I mean, the extreme ends of the spectrum, so elephant men, like, there's a reason why the elephant man, and I've actually played the doctor in a play many years ago, there's a reason why the elephant man is such an anomaly, because a guy that messed up, you know, like that movie, Mask, was it, with this, I don't know, with Cher, with some movie about some kid with severe facial deformities. So I don't, you know, there's an old saying, extreme cases make bad law, right? So can you steal? No, you shouldn't steal. But what if you're starving to death and you come across some bread on the street and it's not yours? You know what I mean? Like it's, it's just the extreme cases are so distorted and they're unreal for the vast majority of people, right? So none of my listeners are elephant men, right? That's just not a thing. That's just not a thing. So, you know, if I say, well, you know, wealthy men are, have higher sexual market value in general. And you say, well, what about a guy with a facial deformity who's in prison as a serial killer, but he's got a lot of money? It's like, I mean, it's just, so anyway. All right. You can gradually dial the curtains back a bit and reveal many men who may not be elephant men, but certainly are below average looking and looks in socioeconomic status.

[18:46] Okay, so somebody who's below average in looks and somebody with giant bone protrusions and facial tumors all over their body. I mean, come on, man. What's the matter with you? I mean, just shake it off, man. Shake it off. Well, I'm talking about how do men who are below average in looks and socioeconomic status, how do they get spouses? And instead of asking that question, which is interesting and more universal, you say, but elephant men. Come on, man. Come on. All right. All right. Okay.

[19:24] Feedback on Dating and Value in Relationships

[19:25] So that said, I think you largely answered my question, Stefan, that you said it is not a violation of UPP to date someone who is low value. Such as a prostitute, if the prostitute is the best a man can get. And sadly, and sadly for the elephant man and even many other people who are not elephant men, category error, a prostitute who's rejected by all the high value successful men may be the only option available to many of these men. Okay, obviously, I never recommended dating a prostitute, right? It is not a violation of UPB to date a prostitute, because you're not initiating the use of force against her. I would highly, highly not recommend dating a prostitute, highly not recommend dating a prostitute, even if she's an ex-prostitute, because there's just a huge amount of emotional and psychological damage done in that profession. And of course, dating leads to marriage, marriage leads to children, and having a prostitute as a mother is not ideal.

[20:19] So the elephant man and even many other people who are not elephant men, a prostitute, may be the only option available to many of these men. Okay, that's, I mean, that's just not what I said. I didn't say, well, you know, if you're, if you're not very attractive, go ahead and date a prostitute. That's nothing I ever said. So, you know, just the thing, just please, please, everyone do me a solid. The amount of misquoting of me that goes on, everybody knows is ridiculously high, right? I just misquoted, misinterpreted and so on. So if you're going to make a claim that I I said something or made an argument, I'm just telling you, if you don't, I'm just, this is my, it's been my policy for a long time. If you don't give me a show and a timestamp, right? So you listen to some argument and you're like, wow, that's really a wild argument. I'm going to query Steph on this. Okay. So we do the responsible thing, right? You make a note. Okay. It's show 52, 43, and it's at 37 minutes and 15 seconds. You say the following, right? Now, if somebody's going to say, well, Steph, you made this argument or you said something and they don't provide me, A quote is ideal. You said here and here's the source. But if you don't provide me a timestamp, you've just misinterpreted me.

[21:25] If it's something that I wouldn't say and you're claiming that I said it, like, oh yeah, well, if you're not particularly wealthy, go ahead, date a prostitute. That's not, that's nothing I would say. Because that's not a free will thing. And I'm a free will guy. And that's not a good mother for your children thing. And I'm the peaceful parent guy.

[21:41] Clarification on Misquoting and Misinterpretation

[21:42] So I'm just telling you straight up. I mean, if you don't care enough to quote me accurately, why on earth would I care about answering your question? And I just assume that you're wrong, right? So I can certainly say, yeah, it's not a violation of UPP to date someone who's low value, right? Now, here's the thing. So you're equating low value, which is like a guy who's short and homely. So these are unchosen things, right? The guy's height is unchosen. Your facial structure is unchosen. I mean, your weight is chosen and so on. So you're blending together two things in the unattractiveness camp. Number one is things you have no control over. If you're an elephant man, you didn't choose that. It's just the biological oddities and illnesses that you have. So you are jamming together things that are unchosen, elephant man, with things that are chosen. Low socioeconomic status and being a prostitute. Being a prostitute is a choice. Now, again, unless you're kidnapped and forced into the sex trade and so on, but then I would view you as a victim of sex trafficking. I wouldn't put you in the category called prostitute.

[22:45] So, like, somebody who's agoraphobic is not the same as somebody who's locked in a basement against his will, right? So this wild misquoting, massive category errors, and so on. If you're low socioeconomic status and you're listening to this show, you should be doing better because you're smart. This show is for smart people. This show is for very smart people, in fact.

[23:08] And one of the greatest predictors of censorship, of leftism and so on, is one of the very biggest indicators is low verbal intelligence, low verbal IQ. Can't handle language. Language is magic. And hysteria based on ideas is what results. So you guys aren't that. So if you're broke, there's nothing wrong with being broke.

[23:31] The Importance of Making Choices and Taking Action

[23:32] I mean, I had no income for a year and a half while I was working on novels. There's nothing wrong with being broke.

[23:38] But it's not the same as being short. My God. You can make choices, right? I mean, you guys who listen to this have a lot of choices. And if you want to make money, you can, because you're smart enough. Doesn't mean you have to, but you can. So let's see here. Elephant men specifically may be extremely rare, but sadly, amputees aren't as rare. I have, on very rare occasions, seen a person with no legs being pushed around in a wheelchair, and I thought, if I was an amputee, how would I get a girlfriend? friend. I was in whatever place six years ago, and there was a completely legless guy who looked homeless crawling around on his hands just outside of whatever every day. Why was he doing that in a country with a welfare state? Was he just trying to get attention? Was he trying to ask women out and get a girlfriend? I'm sure I would still ask attractive women out if I was legless because having kids and having a wife is what gives the most value to a man's life. But if I was legless, if I was a legless double amputee, it would be deceptive of me to assume having no legs is not Not a problem for the women I ask out. My God, man, this just goes on and on. What the hell's the matter with you? Sorry, like, are you a legless amputee? Are you an elephant man?

[24:42] Why are you giving me page after page after page of, well, elephant men and legless amputees crawling around in public places? Okay, so how on earth do I know why this guy, right? I mean, he's in a country with a strong welfare state, so he could get welfare, he could get prosthetic limbs, he could do just about anything, right? Right. So why is he crawling around in a public place?

[25:12] I don't know. Maybe he lost his legs in war and he got addicted to painkillers and he's just become a tragic addict and a victim of the military industrial complex. I don't understand this intense pathological altruism where you're of filling up my questions with page after page of, well, what about a guy who's lost both of his legs? And what about a guy who's short?

[25:39] An Obsession with Hypothetical Scenarios

[25:39] What about a guy who's below average in attractiveness? And what about a guy who's poor? And what about a guy who's an elephant man? And it's like, so you've got some, this is not about the thing, right? This level of obsession with people, they're not you, they're not your friends, they're not your family, they're not people you love and care about. And you're like, so you see this guy, And, you know, it's a sad story, of course, guy crawling around a public place with no legs. Yeah, that's pretty sad. What's his life like? Why is he there? I mean, we've all been there, right? I mean, we've all been there, right? I mean, we go to some public place, we go to some public pond or lake or something like that, and there's, you know, pretty tragic people sleeping on the park benches and so on. It's like, well, how are they going to get girlfriends? My question is, why do you care?

[26:20] Questioning the Relationship Between Looks and Morality

[26:21] Why do you care? this is like pathologically female where you've got to nurture and take care of the entire planet so if you want to do a call-in show i think that would be fine but i really can't gosh question question question blah blah blah blah this is the reason i asked you the question staff because your perspective staff as a guy who was good looking oh i like that was good looking since it's wild right okay first of all for 57 i'm still good looking just just so you know but But from a perspective, Steph, as a guy who was good-looking and successful, it was easy to stick to principles when choosing a spouse. What are you talking about? Are you saying only good-looking people can be moral? This is a wild, wild set of questions. It's just wild. And I also like how you put my good looks and success in the past tense. And don't even notice it, right? Don't even notice it, right? So I would say that your sort of lack of empathy and politeness and consideration and thoughtfulness is probably much more unattractive than anything else. All right.

[27:20] Of course, I dated badly, as I've talked about, in my teens and my 20s. It's not terribly. Like, it wasn't terrible relationships, but it wasn't, you know, compared to what I've had for the last 21 years. It was night and day, right? So I was bald by the time I found my wife, and I was in my 30s, right? So I was, I mean, you could say I was, of course, I'm less attractive in my 30s than I was in my teens, right? Absolutely. No question. And it's funny, I think, because I've lost some weight and I've exercised more, so it could be argued that if you look at me sort of at the beginning of the show, now it's a little pudgier and so on, and now, I could say more attractive now, but whatever, right? Okay, so let's see here. You have agreed with me that not everyone is in a position to follow principles. Not everyone, you have agreed with me that not everyone is in a position to follow principles.

[28:10] Desperation in Questions

[28:11] So there's a certain desperation in this series of questions, which I find interesting. And call in at Call in at C-A-L-L-I-N. Call in at I mean, let's talk about this, because this is just wild stuff. Not everyone is in a position to follow principles. Well, of course not everyone is in a position to follow principles. A guy 30 seconds from dying is not really in a position to follow principles. A guy unjustly locked up in a gulag is not in a position to follow principles, I get that. I get that. So anyway, but to say a guy unjustly locked in a gulag can't follow principles, and neither can a guy slightly below average in height and looks, it's like, come on, man. That's ridiculous. One has free will, the other doesn't, right? Being short and slightly unattractive or less attractive than the average, being shorter than the average, which lets attract, that doesn't eliminate your free will. Being unjustly locked in a gulag doesn't eliminate your free will. So, all right, at least in major sections, right? The reason I asked the question is because you said to follow principles in response to someone who said they had kids with a heroin drug addict. If the person had said that a heroin drug addict is the best they could get, would you, Steph, still say that the person should have followed principles? What do you mean the best you can get?

[29:29] You know the best person you can get? How could you possibly know the best person you can get? Because the best way to get a better person is to improve yourself, right? So I don't know that it's a huge accident or coincidence that I got the love of my life after I went through two years of grueling therapy and self-work. Like I did therapy three hours a week. I did 10 to 12 hours of journaling and right. It was just, it was like a more than a part-time job, right? Right? So I, you know, who was the best I could get? Well, I didn't make the choice to go to therapy, which is on me. I made the choice to not go to therapy, which was on me, even though I had great respect for psychology and psychologists. So how do you know who the best person is that you can get? Right? All right. Now, some moral laws are absolute, but some principles are relative and thus apply differently depending on the vantage point leverage of the conscious agent. So now I think you know the reason I asked the question. Even if it is not my vantage point, it is to test the philosophical waters of edge cases, and I do think edge cases are important, no matter how extreme or unlikely they are, in order to determine the strength of a moral axiom. Now, I think you mostly answered my original question. If you have anything to add now that you know the reason why I asked, then feel free to do so. So, no, this is just avoidance. Edge cases are avoidance.

[30:49] Edge cases are avoidance. So you have people in your life who believe immoral things, right? I guarantee you. You have people in your life who believe immoral things.

[31:01] Whether it's to do with politics, whether it's to do with parenting, whether it's to do with morality as a whole, whether it's to do with free will, and so on. So you have people in your life who believe very false things with regards to morality and thus are enabling terrible evils in the world. You have that. You have that in your life. So talk to them about morality.

[31:25] Right? But the reason you keep circling back to say, well, what about this edge case? And what about this edge case? And you mix all of these ridiculous antithetical categories together and you come up with all of these endless pages. You're frightened of being moral in a practical way in your personal life. Maybe your professional life too, I don't know, although you're paid not to be moral, but to be productive in your professional environment. So there's less of an imperative, right? So that's all. I mean, all of this noise and nonsense and this and that, elephant men and legless guys and like there's nothing so you say i'll be moral when i'm certain right because you know i mean you admire me and i'm moral in the world and with people and so on right and i get it it can be scary at times so i sympathize with that but you're like well i can't be moral till i'm certain and then you just keep coming up with more and more and more test cases, to avoid certainty and thus the responsibility for action right you understand that right oh well but what about this case? What about the other? And if I answer these cases, you'll come up with more, right? So I answered your questions before, and you've come up with more test cases, more edge cases, more extreme cases, more emergency ethics, whatever, right? Oh, but the legless guy, right? It's the same as the slightly short guy, or the guy who's broke.

[32:41] So you have an anxiety about being moral. And so you say, well, I can't be moral until I'm absolutely certain. And then you you come up with edge cases and mixed categories and baffle gab and come up with endless pages of nonsense.

[32:56] I mean, the questions aren't the end of the world, but it's nonsense because you're just not being honest. You're not saying, I'm frightened to be moral, because that's the fact, right? You're frightened to be moral in the world, which I understand, but you don't want to admit that to yourself, because you wish to retain the illusion that you're just, you want to be certain and you want to be responsible and you want to be absolutely right before you go about being moral in the world. But you're not being responsible. You're just being scared. I mean, so if there's some child who's being mistreated in your environment, and I'm certain that there is, right? Among friends, family, extended family, there's some child who's being mistreated. And what you're doing is you're saying to that kid, well, you know, sorry, kid, I can't do anything to help you because six years ago I saw a legless man.

[33:41] Come on, man. Sorry, kid. I can't do anything to help you because elephant man. I mean, understand it's ridiculous. And again, I sympathize with the fear of being moral in the world. I understand that, but just be honest. Just be honest with yourself and say, I'm scared to help whoever's being harmed in my environment or whoever is being misled in my environment, right? I mean, post-COVID, post all of this stuff, you know, we've got some moral conversations to have with people around us. Because, you know, everyone who's ended up hating you because the TV told them to do that, you know, that's not really the end of the story because there still is a television set. So we all have important discussions to be had with people around us in just every time, but in particular post-COVID, right? And you know, people who have really false dangerous beliefs, you know kids who are being mistreated, and all you're doing is you're obsessively typing to me more and more edge cases and never being satisfied because you don't want to act. And listen, I think it's sad, I understand, I sympathize very much.

[34:51] So you're too scared to act or your fears overcome you, but just be honest with yourself. Say, I'm too scared to act right now. It's too alarming to me, there are too many people around me who are too volatile, who will get angry or upset or maybe cut me off if I start talking about truth, reality, virtue, and ethics. So you're too scared to act. Just be honest with yourself. That's all. You don't need typing me all of this nonsense about elephant men and guys with no legs six years ago and think that this has anything to do with what's really going on for you morally in the world. Just be honest with yourself and say, I could do some good with the people around me, but I'm too scared to. Okay, and I sympathize with that. I'm not even saying you have to overcome that, but you just got to be honest and stop wasting other people's time. All right. Hi, Steph. I recall you talking in the past about people getting emotionally stuck in a certain age. I'm currently 28, but for most of my life, I felt like a 12-year-old boy. I had an unpublished conversation with you nine months ago and almost immediately moved out of my parents' house and have since bought my own car and gained a lot of relationship slash sexual experience where I previously had none. None! Thank you, by the way. You helped me realize I needed to start panicking and actually do doing something. Point being is that I feel as though I've mentally aged a good bit and now feel like a rebellious teenager, although still not enough of a true rebel to confront my parents, though we don't speak.

[36:13] Well, just so you know, I mean, this is a free will thing. You don't have to confront your parents. You don't have to confront your parents. I mean, I mean, philosophy has a couple of don'ts, right? Like thou shalt not violate UPP, no rape, theft, assault, murder. I get all of that. But as far as the positives.

[36:31] You don't have to confront your parents and certainly if it's dangerous I still have not started therapy or journaling I've realized this sounds more like a question I should be able to ask my father, 10 years ago, I guess my question is is this normal and what you're referring to with mental age what should be the next steps to keep aging I guess journaling and therapy, see you don't need to ask right? This also got me thinking about rites of passage which used to be commonplace in society but now are totally absent or delayed, I normally don't ask Ask questions, but this has been on my mind lately. Hopefully something interesting you can extract. Saying that makes me think my feelings are false in some way, and I still feel like that scared 12-year-old. My parents never changed how they talked to me from that age on. Essentially never talked about sex, never talked about anything of substance ever. That comment about the rites of passage looks so out of place. I wonder why I said that. I appreciate the live view on your thinking patterns. That's always very interesting to me, and I appreciate the frankness and honesty of all of that. Yeah. So, I mean, I think you're onto it, right? Which is that we tend to stop growing.

[37:33] It's not that you got stuck at 12. Primarily, it's that your parents got stuck at 12. In other words, they didn't know how to parent you past the age of 12. And so you stayed at the mental age of 12 to not expose their deficiencies, right? Because we need to pair bond. With our parents, we need to have our parents' good approval to survive. And, you know, evolutionarily speaking, we were in small communities, a village, maybe a couple of farms around. And so if our parents spoke very badly of us, even after we had grown up, we would be unlikely to marry, right? Because the women would say, oh yeah, he's really bad. His parents don't even like him. And so you wouldn't marry, right?

[38:11] Fear of Being Moral

[38:12] Plus, if a woman has a choice between a guy with an extended family and a guy without an extended family, all other things being equal, she probably will prefer the extended family because they give give her more help in child tracing, right? She has more people to help her out and all of that. So, again, all other things being equal. So, which, you know, is really the case, but just from a theoretical standpoint. So.

[38:34] Your parents, I assume, have areas in which they are deficient in their parenting and their self-knowledge and their growth. And so what happens is they can't handle you getting older. So in order to continue to please them, well, you just don't get older. Like you just don't grow up mentally because to grow up mentally would be to demand of them things that they can't provide, which will provoke anxiety and probably hostility in them. So you stayed young to appease your parents who themselves had stayed young to appease their parents. So it's great to see you breaking the cycle all right i'm going to be moving some someone i'm going to be moving in 12 two months and wondering when i should tell my boss to stand it around here is two weeks but that feels a bit short so i was thinking a month since it's been a pleasant experience i think the longer the better as a manager myself if i know somebody's going to be quitting the sooner i find out the better because the sooner then i can hire someone and use your time to train that new person that's sort of one thing the second thing is i'm obviously assuming that this is not a job you can do remotely because if you say like say you're some computer guy and maybe you can do your job remotely well maybe you could work something out with your boss to continue, but yeah the sooner the better because then the knowledge transfer can occur that would be my particular thought and you would say to the guy listen i know you know like let's say it's six weeks now like i know six weeks is a long time but i really did want to give you the chance to.

[39:53] Hire someone i can transfer my knowledge to them to make it as easy a transition as possible and so on, right? And say, I'm open to continue working if there's any way I can do it remotely, if that's possible, right? Hi, Steph, did you ever have a moment playing with and raising your daughter where you almost broke down into tears after seeing the stark difference between your relationship with your daughter versus your relationship with your parents? How did you deal with those emotions? It's a fine question, and I appreciate the delicacy and sensitivity of the question. I did not, I don't think I ever got particularly emotional about.

[40:27] About my relationship with my parents, I know this may sound odd, but I'll tell you what my actual experience was. My actual experience was not that I was sad about how bad my relationship with my parents were. What I felt emotional about was how much my parents missed out on, fun and love and connection and good humor and positivity and engagement and enjoyment because of how they were as parents i've had an absolute blast raising my daughter, it has been you know my wife philosophy and my daughter these are the central joys of my life or the life of the mind and the life of the heart right that you can't do better than that right you can't do better than great love and a great moral purpose in life there's nothing better, right? That's it. That's it.

[41:17] So, I have thought in the past, and it has struck me emotionally, just how much my parents gave up on happiness by parenting the way that they did, or rather, not really parenting, but just cuddling and bludgeoning and criticizing and nagging and going crazy. So, when I'm having fun with my daughter, which is just about every Every time I'm with my daughter, when I'm having fun with my daughter, I think how sad it was that my parents didn't have fun with me. I mean, I'm a fun person. It certainly would have been the case that that would have happened. So I just, it's very, very sad when I think back about how much my parents missed out.

[42:00] Because when I, I can't think about how I missed out on things with my parents because I didn't choose my parents. I didn't choose how they behaved towards me, right? I didn't have that choice. So I can't sit there and say, well, I missed out on so much with my parents, right? I mean, if you're locked in a gulag and you have to eat a bowl of porridge a day, like Ivan Denisovich style, you don't sit there and say, oh, I missed out on so much great eating, right? Because you eat what you're given, right?

[42:29] You don't daydream about all of the great buffets and food that you could have had because it just wasn't available, right? You were unjustly locked up in a gulag and you were half-starved and so on, right? But you don't sit there and say, gee, I could have had so much better meals. I mean, you might say that, but you wouldn't blame yourself for not getting the better meals, right? So I have not really – it's an interesting thing, and I'm glad that you brought it up because it did give me a chance to think about this. So I don't think I've said to myself when I'm having fun with my daughter I don't think I've ever said I missed out on so much fun with my parents because there was no fun really to be had with my parents like at all at all that they were they were not fun at all so I don't feel oh gosh I missed out on so much fun with my parents because for me to have that imagination or to have that vision, I would have to have had entirely different parents. Do you know what I mean? Do you know what I mean? And I didn't. I just had the bad luck to get the parents I got. It's not even luck. It's just inevitability, right? The dominoes of genetics and law and society gave me the parents that I got. So I don't think back on all the things I missed out with my parents because I couldn't have got those things from my parents, right?

[43:48] I do think if my parents had choices, I didn't, right? As a kid, I didn't have choices. I just had to try and find a way to survive in the environment that I was in. I certainly didn't have choices. I had no options. I couldn't go anywhere. I couldn't choose anything. I just had to make do, right?

[44:06] Emotional Impact of Parenting

[44:06] So I've never, and I'm really glad you asked this question. Thank you, because it gave me a chance to sort of mull this over. But yeah, I never thought, gee, look how much I missed out on with my own parents, because that's just not, it was not a possible thing. They couldn't have even remotely done, sorry, they would have to be entirely different people or to have made entirely different choices, which was not something that happened. And I've never seen it since. But I do think about, I have thought with sorrow about how much my parents missed out on by not being better people. I mean, really the great tragedy of immorality, and my parents were very immoral according to any objective ethical standard.

[44:49] People, I don't think about how much I missed out on great things with immoral people. Like, I just, I don't think about that, right? I don't think about, I mean, to take an extreme example, I know I just can criticize extreme examples, but this just drives the point home.

[45:04] You don't think, gee, you know, that guy I didn't go on a date with turned out to be a serial killer, but it could have been a great date. You're like, whew, glad to be out of that situation, right? Right? So I don't think about, like with regards to immoral people as a whole, I don't think about all the great times I missed out on with immoral people. I do think about all the great times that immoral people missed out on by being immoral because they have the choice, particularly with childhood. I don't. All right. Hi, Steph. I realized I've always been very passive in my life and expected to be taught, to be shown, to be taken care of, or simply to be told what to do all the time. This attitude did not get me very far in adulthood, especially when I entered the job market. I'm worried that I have not transformed into an adult man inside. Could you please elaborate more on how becoming an adult implies changing from receiving value to giving value? No, exchanging value. Could you share any tips on how I can transform into a competent man and own my life? Last but not least, how can I teach my own children to be proactive and valuable to others? Yeah, so it's not. So with parenthood, you go from receiving value to giving value, right? Your parents give you value, then you give your kids value. But in adulthood, like adult to adult is an exchange of value. It's why I'm constantly encouraging people to donate. right, I obviously have bills to pay, but also it's the mature and wise thing to do. It's the decent thing to do. It's the good thing to do. It's the adult thing to do. It's the mature thing to do, to exchange value for value. But when you exchange value for value, so the people who exploit you don't want you to learn exchanging value for value, right? So people who exploit you don't want you to learn reciprocity.

[46:34] And so people who've had bad childhoods and exploited parents or or teachers, or preachers, or whoever, right? They resist donating, say, to me, because when you say, well, it's important to exchange value for value, the people who are exploiting you, in other words, they're taking value from you without providing value, or maybe even trauma in return. They're providing trauma, not value, or at least it's neutral. They don't want you to learn reciprocity. So, it is the exchange of value that is the mark of adulthood. And so, you just have to look at relationships and say, do I provide value? Does the other person provide value? And where one person is providing value and the other person isn't, it's exploitive.

[47:15] So you need to look at your relationships and figure out, are they exploiting me or am I exploiting them, right? If it's an exchange of value for value, great. So if you have a friend who asks you for favors and you do favors and then you ask for favors back and they don't do favors, that's exploitive relationship, right? That's an exploitive relationship. Like someone I knew, I helped them make a movie and then I asked them to review my book and I got nothing back. So I put a lot of time, effort, energy, and money into helping them make a movie. And then when I asked for reciprocity, it didn't come back. So that was sadly an exploitive relationship in that sense. So I had to move on. So, all right.

[47:50] Transition to Giving Value

[47:51] Let's see here. I think, yeah, you know what, let's go to the end. What's a good way to identify the underlying reason for an addiction to easy dopamine when one's life seems to be going well and there's no apparent reason for a void needing to be filled? Well, it's greedy, right? So you can get your dopamine from addiction or you can get your dopamine from virtue right from achievement from doing good in the world right now if you decide to get your dopamine from addiction then there is something missing in your life which is a respect for your future right because the addiction gives you dopamine now and costs your dopamine later right and so you have to respect your future enough to say i want sustainable dopamine which means avoiding the addictive behavior and pursuing the good stuff of right so it's a matter of sort of self-respect all right let's see here more and more liberals seem to be taking the red pill and becoming slightly more conservative or should i say aligning more with the right and i never see the reverse i can't think of a single instance in more modern times where someone on the right comes out as a liberal with that being said why.

[48:55] Political Ideologies and Propaganda

[48:55] Is and does the propaganda machine double down on its ideologies and increase the propaganda and false narratives knowing that it doesn't affect the right do you think it's to stop the audience's slash base from moving to the right keeping them enslaved to their ideology i mean I mean, it's kind of close to politics, and there certainly are people who move to the left, right? I can think of a whole bunch. I'm not going to name names, but yeah, for sure, there are people who move to the left from the right. So there are people who are sort of recognizing that things have gone kind of crazy in society, and we've gone too far, and so on, right? But, you know, once the left is in control of the major institutions, they don't particularly care if you become more conservative, right? Because they're already in control of the institution. So it's actually probably part of the fun of you feeling helpless and frustrated. So that's why we have principles, not empiricism. So the reason we have morality is because if you try to get your morality from empiricism, it's too late. Right?

[49:54] So if you don't have any information about the dangers of smoking, and you smoke like crazy, and then you say, oh my gosh, I have lung cancer, well, that's too late. You want to have the information ahead of time. If you don't have any information about nutrition or the dangers of obesity, and then you end up being 200 pounds overweight, well, your life is now a constant struggle, and you've got challenges and extra skin and loose stuff and blah, blah, blah. It's a mess, right? And you've lost a lot of your life to this obesity and you've kind of messed up your health in a lot of ways. So it's too late, right? So we have principles because if we try to be moral by looking at empirical evidence, right? So if you look at the Soviet Union during the Russian Revolution, the Communist Revolution in 1917, if people say, well, gee, communism is really inefficient and kind of murderous, but the communists are already in power and have control over everyone and everything. It's too late, right? Now morality becomes almost suicidal, right? So the reason we need principles is because by the time the empirical evidence of corruption and immorality shows up, it's usually too late to be good in that way. All right.

[51:04] Facing Evil in Politics

[51:05] Hello, Steph. I'm writing a short novel in which a young up-and-coming politician gets a real devil's bargain. My idea with the story is that I want him, the politician, to face evil. I'm thinking something like three envoys which represent different facets or aspects of the darkness in man.

[51:18] Can you give me some suggestions of that? that. Well, I mean, I think you just need to look at what's going on in the world and what people are talking about to come up. You don't need to use your imagination for these things, right? So I think there's a fair amount of politics that involves the blackmail and bribery and various things, getting people in compromising situations, filming them and stuff like that. So you can think of something like that. All right.

[51:43] Defining Philosophy

[51:43] Please explain how you define philosophy and philosophical conversation i'm new here but much of the conversation especially with others seems to be around self-knowledge and history unless i misunderstood do you have any suggestions or ideas of what these different facets could be a little short this month but promise to donate at this month's end thank you for everything appreciate that uh so philosophy is is when i'm talking, right i mean i don't mean that every time i'm talking is philosophy so when i am writing the book, right? I write the book, UPP or RTR, real-time relationships or essential philosophy or everyday anarchy, practical anarchy, untruth, the tyranny, evolution, and so on, then I'm making the case, right? I'm making the case. So that's philosophy. You may say it's good or bad or whatever, but that's philosophy when I'm making the case and making the arguments and first principles and building my case step-by-step with reason and evidence. Now that's philosophy. A philosophical conversation is a debate. All my call-in shows are debates. All my call-in shows are debates.

[52:45] And the debate is about history versus virtue, about propaganda from the family or from the society versus truth, right? So I'm debating. And you can hear these role plays. I do the role plays. I just posted a really appalling role play, one of the most toxic ones, I think, of the history of the show. I posted that for donors at So it's a debate. Who's right? So somebody calls up and says, I feel like a bad person. Okay. So who told you you were a bad person? My parents. Okay. Okay, so let's debate, right? Let's debate that. I'm going to debate the premises of your parents. I'm going to examine your history and see how you came to think the way that you think. And we're going to challenge those assumptions, right? Right. I don't want to leave home, right? I'm 23. I got a single mother. I don't want to leave home. Well, is that true? Is that a true statement that you don't want to leave home? Or do you want to please your mother who herself doesn't want to leave home? It doesn't want you to leave home, right? Is it you who doesn't want to leave home or does your mother who doesn't want to face loneliness? Your mother wants you to stay home and you're complying with her because that's what kids do, right? So this is just a debate. All my call-in shows a debate. So a philosophical conversation is people calling and saying, my life is not working. Well, philosophy is about your life working. So if your life is not working, you have false ideas.

[54:04] And the false ideas are usually implanted pretty early in life. So you don't even view them as beliefs, but rather as facts so yeah all of my call-in shows are debates about truth versus falsehood and you can see this of course in the dialogues of plato and other philosophers you can see this as a big debate between collectivism and individualism fascism and capitalism in atlas shrugged so there's debates all over the place integrity versus social metaphysics or pleasing others is in the fountainhead. So vanity versus integrity is the big...

[54:43] Dialogue or debate in my novel, The Present, right? So, I mean, minor spoiler, right? The main character, the first thing the main character says is a lie, right? Oh, it was traffic. That's why I'm late. So, the very first thing the character says is a lie, the main character, and the very last thing the main character says in the book is the truth, right? So, that's the journey from lying to truth, from vanity to integrity. So, a philosophical conversation Conversation is when I have an opposing position. And philosophy is when I'm making the case without immediate opposition. Hopefully that helps. Thank you everyone so much for your support of the show.

[55:25] Support and Donations

[55:26] Slash donate to help out the show. You can go to Use the promo code, all caps, UPB2022, and you get a free month. If you sign up for a year, you get two months for free. It's really the best that I can do. and you get all sorts of fantastic goodies, including the new Peaceful Parenting book. If you donate this month, May 2024, slash donate, you get Peaceful Parenting, the 23-hour audio book and the e-books. You get those. So I hope that you will help out the show. You can also go to slash freedomain to help us out there as well. Lots of love, everyone. Take care. Bye.

Join Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Community

Become a part of the movement. Get exclusive content. Interact with Stefan Molyneux.
Become A Member
Already have an account? Log in
Let me view this content first