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0:00:08 Exploring the UPB question and its tenets
0:03:12 Morality: Forced vs. Being Nice
0:06:34 Can't have a moral standard called "don't go against wishes"
0:09:18 The Different Approaches to Property Protection
0:17:30 The Immorality of National Debt and Edge Case Scenarios
0:20:21 Being a Paralytic in the Realm of Morality
0:25:58 The Futility of Seeking Perfect Clarity
0:29:31 The Opposite of Temptation and Teaching Children about Evil
0:33:00 Simple Pleasures and Memorable Vacations for Kids
0:36:12 Deep conversations with kids for peaceful parenting
0:42:32 Teaching Kids about Balancing Hedonism and Long-Term Happiness
0:46:11 The Life-Long Benefits of Having Siblings
0:50:02 The Impact of Tech on Kids' Lives
In this part of the conversation, I reflected on the challenges of trying to fix the world through virtue and reason alone. I acknowledged that despite our best efforts, people often reject reason and evidence, and speaking truth to power can lead to deplatforming and attacks. I also discussed the role of technology in children's lives and emphasized the importance of being engaging and interesting to our kids.
In response to a viewer's comment, I highlighted the potential benefits of privatizing Bitcoin, which could prevent the rise of a money-printing system and promote a more K-selected society. I acknowledged that a free society may have its challenges, but argued that they are preferable to the problems that arise in an abusive relationship.
Finally, I reminded listeners to support the show by donating, visiting the website, and checking out my new novel.
In this part of the conversation, we discussed the challenges of fixing the world through virtue and reason alone. People often reject reason, and speaking truth to power can lead to deplatforming and attacks. We emphasized the importance of being engaging to our kids and highlighted the potential benefits of privatizing Bitcoin. Finally, we reminded listeners to support the show by donating and checking out our new novel.
conversation, challenges, fixing the world, virtue, reason, reject reason, speaking truth, power, deplatforming, attacks, engaging, kids, importance, privatizing, Bitcoin, support, donating, novel
[0:01] Well, well, good morning everybody. Hope you're doing well. Stephen Molyneux from Free Domain. Let's get on with the questions from
[0:08] freedomain.locals.com. Great community. I hope you'll check it out.
UPB question. Ooh, that's so tasty. That's my favorite. I may be mistaken on the tenets, but if the basis of UPB seems to be offenses against someone's wishes slash boundaries, rape being not UPB because it is not possible for it to be consensual, that's always guaranteed to be against someone's wishes slash guaranteed to be breaking their boundaries, then why can something only be immoral if it's part of a category that has to be against someone's wishes?
What if someone does something intentionally sadistic, such as knowing someone's trigger and pushing him against it, but that thing is not physical, but let's say sonic, making a certain noise known to be distressing, or lies about someone to be more general, just because something can be, in your assessment, not a case of immorality in the category, why does that mean that the whole category is now off the table to not be UPB? Great question, I appreciate it. Now I also appreciate that there's a lot of static that comes up in people's brains about ethics, morality.
[1:14] So morality tends to fall into two categories in our minds, historically, sort of the way that we've been taught it. Number one is that morality is compelled, right? It's compelled because it's a commandment of God. Go to heaven, go to hell, it's compelled. Or the law, do this or go to jail, it's compelled. Or morality is about being nice and thoughtful and considerate and diplomatic and not upsetting people and being good that way. And these could roughly and broadly be categorized into male, female, Old Testament, New Testament views of morality. Being forced.
[1:55] Tends to be a bit more on the male side, being nice tends to be a bit more on the female side.
Now of course this categorizes itself historically, or evolutionarily speaking, into the two ways that the different sexes have of acquiring resources.
Men acquire resources through force, and this of course doesn't necessarily mean war, although it definitely includes that, but hunting and so on. Men tend to acquire resources through the use of violence, which is why men are fairly good at it, and women tend to gain resources through being nice, through being, I mean, historically right, attractive, thoughtful, considerate, and so on, right? So morality is a sort of codification of how men versus women acquire resources.
Men acquire resources through force and therefore morality is imposed through force. Women acquire resources through being nice, which is why not upsetting people, being nice, thoughtful, considerate, and so on tend to be the focus that is approached. There's tons of different categories, and it's a very general statement but I think it holds fairly true.
So we have these two things when it comes to morality. It's forced or it's about being nice.
[3:12] Now what you have here is you're falling into the category of morality is about being nice.
[3:18] It's guaranteed to go against someone's wishes. So you have a moral category called going against someone's wishes, and that falls into the female category of morality, of being nice, not upsetting people and so on.
This is why men have free speech and women have hate speech, right? They hate how free speech makes people feel. So anyway, so then we will say going against someone's wishes.
[3:47] So are you saying that it is immoral to go against someone's wishes?
It's immoral to go against someone's wishes, to do something they don't prefer, to do something they don't like.
Well, to break out of this we just have to apply the UPB slide rule and universalize it, right? So just say universal.
Forget feelings, forget, like, it's just about the logic of it, right?
So if we say it's immoral to go against someone's wishes, I want you to think about a farmer's market.
About a farmer's market. At the farmer's market, I love going to a farmer's market, I really do personally, I love going to farmer's markets, but I also, this is probably a bit over sympathetic, but I feel bad for some of the people in the back stalls with the sad jewelry and you just know that they're on their last legs and they've been up since 4 a.m. hanging their crappy, jewelry in the corner and you know it's just kind of sad, it's just kind of sad. And I I just, I mean I know it's the market and so on, but I just, I have this, I don't know, maybe somewhat feminine sympathy for that kind of stuff.
I think we've all been in the situation of something's not working and we feel rejected and sad, but it's hard to stop because we've invested so much.
[5:01] I get that it's, you know, bad decision, misallocation of capital resource, right, but you know, it's still kind of heartbreaking and sad.
Now, not to the point where I'll buy crappy jewelry or anything like that.
I feel it, but I feel it. Now if I walk past one of these sad booths with the crappy jewelry, then the woman says hi, how you doing?
Now does she care how I'm doing? No, she wants me to buy her jewelry, which is fine, I mean it's an economic transaction, we're not best buds.
So I'm walking past Sally, the sad jewelry girl, and she says hi, now she really wants me to buy some jewelry, but I don't want to buy the jewelry, right?
[5:36] Going against someone's wishes. Now by not buying the jewelry, I'm going against Sally's wishes, right?
Again, just break it down to local, natural, normal interactions.
Forget about all these heady abstractions, just take it personal, right?
So I'm walking past Sally's jewelry booth, she wants me to buy her jewelry, I don't want to buy her jewelry.
Now, if I buy my jewelry against my wishes, I have not gone against her wishes.
Her wishes is that I buy her jewelry, right?
My wish is to not buy her jewelry. How can this both be achieved? Can we achieve both of these things at the same time? Can Sally get her wish that I buy her jewelry and I get my wish to not buy her jewelry? Can these both be achieved simultaneously? No, they cannot. One of us has, to cave, in a sense, right? So she has to just let me walk past not buying the jewelry or I have to to stop and dig out my wallet and buy some jewelry.
[6:34] We can't both get what we want. So you can't have a moral standard called don't, go against other people's preferences or wishes. Or as you have said it here, it is, not possible for it to be consensual. That's always guaranteed to be against someone's wishes, guaranteed to be breaking their boundaries. I don't know what breaking their boundaries means in particular, that's just psychological speak that doesn't have much relevance to rigorous moral analysis. But going against someone's wishes. We do that all the time, all the time. I mean if you're a beautiful woman then you're single or whatever or even if you're not I guess right? Men want to date you. They fervently wish to date you and if, you don't date them you don't go, you're going against their wishes. So it's kind, of the reverse of the sad jewelry farmers market scenario because this is high-demand situation some beautiful one really sexy smart you know attractive you name it men lust after her and want to date her. Is she allowed to go against their wishes they wish to date her she doesn't wish to date most of them right so one of those no neck guys built like a fridge comes up and asks out the beautiful woman and she says no well she's going against his wishes. Is that.
[7:59] Allowed? Well of course it's allowed, of course it's allowed. Is it breaking his, boundaries? I don't know what that means. Going against someone's wishes. Again this is sort of the girly stuff right? What is it that causes you to lose property? For men losing property generally has to do with an incapacity for violence again, with sort of counting hunting as violence and so and of course even if you're a farmer you have to commit a fair amount of violence against all of the creatures that would prey upon your crops right? To shoot at the birds or you know hunt out the coyotes that might take your chickens and so on. So a man protects his property, through violence therefore a man thinks of morality as violence and a woman protects her property, by being nice because if she's like her property comes from the man in general and if she's not nice then the man leaves and she doesn't have access to his property anymore, he takes off. Remember for most of, certainly a lot of history a man abandoning his family was certainly not unknown. I mean it would be more difficult in a small tribe but in a small tribe gets her resources more from the collective, because individual nuclear families are not.
[9:18] As important, but when you have farms, you get separated from the tribe, right? A tribe is everyone's sort of hunter-gathering together. When you get a farm, then you need a lot of farmland so you kind of get more separated and isolated. If the man takes off from that situation, then the woman loses her access to resources. So the woman says, I protect my property by being nice, by being helpful, a good partner, and so on, right? I get my, resources by being nice, therefore the way that I protect my property is being nice.
The man protects his property with violence, the woman protects her property by being nice.
Which is why men tend to look at morality as coercive, as coercion, and women tend to look at morality as being nice, diplomatic, inoffensive, not upsetting people and so on.
And the woman of course gets her support as well from other women by being nice, which, is why women tend to have a little bit more of a hive mind when it comes to this kind of stuff.
We have all of this static. So UPB would say, is it possible for two people who disagree, to both do what the other person wants? No. Woman wants me to buy her jewelry, I don't want to buy it. That's win-lose. If I get my way, she doesn't get what she wants. If she gets her way, I don't get what I want. Now if you look at the, that's sort of low.
[10:32] Demand situation. A high demand situation is around every beautiful woman there are probably 100 men who would love to have her as a girlfriend, a partner, a wife, or whatever.
And she's got to be really, really choosy. So is it possible in a monogamous marriage, scenario for a thousand women to have the one woman as their wife? It is not possible.
It's monogamy or polygamy, but it ain't gonna be that.
[11:02] Logically in a monogamous situation you can't logically have everybody satisfied at the.
[11:08] Same time. I use the word satisfied advisedly but you know what I mean. It's not possible if the woman doesn't want to date 999 of the guys, it's not possible for them to get their wishes fulfilled and for her to get her wishes fulfilled and because it's impossible we discard it. Because it's impossible we discard it. In the same way that in science if I were to say, I have a theory by which gases both expand and contract when heated, people wouldn't, test for it. They wouldn't say, oh, that's interesting, I must really puzzle that one through. No, they'd say, look, it's not possible for something to expand and contract simultaneously, therefore I'm not going to test for it. And so this is the same thing with UPB. You don't need to get into, is it possible, and just use the Bob and Doug thing I talk about in, the book, right? If Bob wants Doug to do a cartwheel and Doug doesn't want to do a cartwheel, can they both get their wishes fulfilled simultaneously? They cannot. They cannot. So recognize if you're talking about just force or if you're talking about just niceness, you're falling into the male-female category or continuum of, quote, morality. So then you create a straw man, and I'm not saying you're doing this meanly or consciously or anything like that, but it's not what I say in the book and then you quite rightly say why can.
[12:32] Something only be immoral if it's part of a category that has to be against someone's wishes? What if someone does something intentionally sadistic such as knowing someone's trigger and pushing against it but that thing is not.
[12:42] Physical but let's say a sonic making a certain noise known to be distressing?
Well you're in the realm of soft coercion right? Now this is really It's important to understand. It's really important to understand.
[12:58] Is immoral. Theft is immoral. Murder is immoral. Assault is immoral. Why is rape immoral? Because rape cannot be universally preferable behavior. Because, rape is an asymmetric category. One person gets what they want, the rapist the other person gets what the other person desperately does not want, which is to be raped. It's asymmetric. At the expense of means not UPB, right? So for something to be universally preferable it means all people can prefer it simultaneously everywhere. All people all the time can prefer and enact this behavior. Rape cannot be universally preferable behavior because rape is, asymmetric. One person wants to rape the other person desperately does not want to be raped and if the person wants to be raped then the category disappears.
I mean in boxing in the ring you can't charge someone for assault afterwards because the whole point is to belt each other assuming that people are, following the rules, right? So if it's chosen, it's not assault. If you go in there saying I'm going to box, I'm going to fight, I'm punching with my gloves, and then someone hits you and you want to call the cops, people would be like, they would be incomprehensible, right? Be incomprehensible, it'd be like if someone tackles you in the street, that's assault. If someone tackles you in football, that's not assault. Because you're there.
[14:22] Part of the game. That's the way it works. If I belt someone with a tennis ball at high speed, that is assault. If I'm playing doubles and I accidentally hit my partner while I'm serving, or just hit someone when I hit hard, that is not assault. That's just kind of an accident, right?
[14:43] Coercion, the initiation of force, is immoral because the initiation of force can't be universalized.
That which cannot be UPP is immoral.
Now we can all respect property rights, we can all not rape each other, we can all respect bodily boundaries, this can all be achieved at the same time by everyone all the time, it's not asymmetric.
Two people respecting each other's property rights is not win-lose, it's win-win.
The UPP details win-win and says win-lose is immoral because win-lose by its very definition can't be universalized.
You had a sports league where you say every team has to win every game all the, time, it would be nonsense, right? It would be nonsense. It would be, impossible. The whole point of a team is one person wins, one person loses, right?
So win-lose is not UPP, right? So when we say coercion is immoral, right? Let's take the example of assault, right? So UPB says assault is immoral, right? And then what people do is they immediately want to create these gray areas. Well what if it's just I'm riding my lawnmower at 8 in the, morning next to someone who's got a very sensitive hearing and needs to, like am I interfering? Like coming up with just these edge case scenarios and UPB don't care. UPP don't care. UPP don't care. So assault is immoral. Oh but I can.
[16:10] Come up with a definition of assault that's a gray area. UPP don't care.
That's for the courts to decide. Right? There's a reason why we have a court, system. We can look at the sort of free market evolution of common law and so on but there's a reason why we have a court system because everybody knows that assault is immoral and everybody knows that I don't know 95, 98, 99 percent of assaults, are pretty simple. One guy holds off and punches another guy, there are witnesses and whatever right? So that now are there edge cases? Sure, but they're not important to philosophy that's for the courts to decide. That's why we have rules of evidence, that's why we have discovery, That's why we have witnesses, all of these things.
So edge cases don't change principles. Assault is immoral. Well, what about this?
Would this be defined in the category of assault?
Doesn't matter. Well, what about somebody who plays their music too loud after 9 p.m.?
Is that assault? I don't know. Doesn't matter.
Well, but if you can't define everything according to objective principles, no matter what edge case scenarios I come up with, then your morality is, it doesn't work, it doesn't matter, it's irrelevant.
[17:30] Gosh, my gosh. So theft is immoral and certainly stealing from the unborn is immoral. National debts are immoral and then you want to create, and this is huge right? I mean your kid, my kid all born into like a million dollars plus of debt right? And you want to create some effing edge case scenario? I mean do you.
[17:52] Understand? I mean I'm not trying to be mean, I just want to be blunt about this.
The edge case scenarios when you're facing even if we just talk about the national debt when we're facing a catastrophic theft of an entire generation and you're like well but what if somebody just you know find someone's trigger or plays an annoying sound and it's like what the what the ever-loving, hell are you talking about? It's wild I mean these edge case scenarios again it's always been kind of wild to me honestly like we're in the middle of a plague of theft, in the middle of a plague that's consuming the planet and you're like well but what if somebody gets a hangnail slightly infected you know what would you do and it's like you know we're in the middle of a plague we have a cure called UPB and you're paralyzing it all by going to edge cases.
Edge cases are for the courts 500 years in the future. The idea that this would consume your intellectual energies at the moment is wild. It's wild. You're debating Internet copyright law in the Middle Ages.
[19:02] Time that is and it would be solved by the time to come. You can't have a category called making noises known to be distressing, well it just tells me, you've never had a baby. Babies make noises exactly designed to be distressing.
[19:16] So I have a minute, the general theory that I have as to why people go to edge, cases is they want to be moral in their minds. They want to be moral in their minds. They don't want to be moral in the world. And listen, I understand that, my gosh. Being moral in the world is a pretty dangerous sport. Evil people don't, care if you're debating edge cases in your study or arguing about whether annoying sounds are a violation of UPB. That's totally fine with them. I mean bank robbers under the bank currently taking away all its gold, they don't care if the bank manager is trying to figure out whether two people are trapped in a vessel with limited air, one person's breathing harder than the other, is he stealing from the other person? They don't care. Just let us get the gold. Do whatever you Come on, let us get the gold.
[20:21] So you are acting, and again I sympathize with and understand this, you're acting as a paralytic in the realm of morality. You're acting as a paralytic in the realm of morality.
You're drawing people to the edge cases so that.
[20:35] From the major immoralities in our society. You're acting as a paralytic.
You are actually in service of some pretty bad ideas and people. I'm not kidding about this and I'm really serious and I'm not saying this is conscious. I'm just saying this is the practical effect. Because when you say.
[20:53] That the big questions of morality are about how a free society 500 years from now might handle a slightly annoying sound, what are you saying? What are you saying? If my doctor, if I have a medical exam and blood work and all of that, my doctor says, oh, you know, your cholesterol's fine, but it's just trending tiny, tiny, tiny bit upwards, so, you know, maybe in a couple of years we'll just test it and see and all of, that, then what is he saying? He's saying that the rest of my health is fine, because this is all that's needed to focus on. By moving towards the edge cases, you're managing your own anxiety about actually doing good in the world, because actually doing good in the world means interfering with the interests of bad people who will have something to say about the matter. And I have no problem if you don't want to do that, I mean honestly I have no problem. I mean just be honest about it. Say I'm too scared to really promote virtue because that might put me in a collision course with some bad people who have power. Okay I understand that, I sympathize with that, I have no problem with that, but just make that decision for yourself. Don't pretend that the big questions of morality that, we face in the current world are about mildly annoying sounds or triggers or whatever it is right? People who are triggered by something you're doing, is that a violin? I mean if I go to the.
[22:16] Emergency room because I have a giant gouge in my side and my intestines are hanging out and the doctor says ooh you know I'm gonna draw some blood and I'm gonna run your cholesterol levels, you look fine, you look fit, you look healthy but we just want to double-check and absolutely make sure. I'd be like what what? Like by him spending time on that I'm gonna bleed out and by you moving the edge cases and discussing the edge cases and I'm sure you've talked about it with a bunch of people and you're pouring static into their ear and oh I guess it's really complicated and yeah that's interesting what is it about annoying sounds that might violate assaults, right?
Then you're paralyzing them in the realm of morality.
I think we can all agree that legally compelling the unborn to pay your debts is not good, is not good.
And this is just one of a thousand things that you could talk about but why not talk about things that people already agree with you on, rather than creating staticky edge cases that paralyze people's sense of moral purpose.
So if you don't want to do good in the world, again, I sympathize, I understand, I'm not condemning you for it, I'm not blaming you for it.
If you've run the numbers and it's not worth it, the cost-benefit, that's fine, that's totally fine.
Okay, then stop talking about morality. Don't pretend you're being a good person by chewing around these edge cases that are irrelevant to the principles. I mean if I say a successful business is profitable and you say well but.
[23:41] What about a business that has long term profitability but it's going to be unprofitable for quite some time and it needs a certain amount of capital but they can get it at a good interest rate and what does that have to do with the principle? The principle is that a successful business is profitable. And yes you can invent some scenario where there's an edge case but what if you're doing real good?
[24:01] You don't particularly make any money but there's a great deal of satisfaction.
You're just kicking sand over the clarity of the principle.
And again I know this sounds like negative or I'm not I'm honestly and genuinely I'm not saying anything negative about your desire to avoid doing genuine good in the world by.
[24:23] Mentally chewing and fussing and clouding over everybody's thinking with this nonsense edge stuff.
I have no problem with it, you just need to be honest with yourself and say, it's too scary, it's too scary. I get that. Then judge your fear, not all fear is cowardice, right? Like not all courage is virtue and not all fear is cowardice. This is Aristotelian mean, thing, right? So maybe it's not right for you. Okay, that's fine. Leave it to others who are better suited for the task, for whatever reason, it's not a good or bad thing. Leave it for others, do other things. Obviously, you know, be moral in your life, but don't promote moral morality in the world, right? Obviously, respect property rights and don't initiate the use of force, be a peaceful parent if you're a parent, treat your partner as well, you know, treat people with integrity. In your personal life, enact those virtues, but in your conversation, in, your public life, in your analytical life, in your theoretical life, in your philosophical life, don't talk about it. Because you're not talking about it anyway. Annoying sounds? Really? This is where you're at? In terms of, well I can't commit to a moral system unless it answers every conceivable question with perfect clarity. Well it can't. So what you're saying is, if people can't commit.
[25:42] Moral system like UPB, unless it details and explains every conceivable possible hypothetical scenario, then you're just inventing reasons to not comply to a clear moral system. That's all.
You don't want to advocate UPB, I get that, again I sympathize, I understand.
[25:58] It might be entirely the right decision for you, then don't talk about it. But don't talk about it, with the idea that, well if it answers every conceivable possible hypothetical scenario with with perfect clarity, then I'll commit.
You'll never commit.
Which could honestly, this fundamentally just move you to goalposts.
Like if I guarantee you, if I answer this question, right, about annoying sounds or whatever it is, right, if I answer that question, do you think you'll then be like, oh yeah, now I'm gonna 100% and clearly explain UPV?
No, I know exactly what's gonna happen because I've been doing this for 40 years.
I know exactly what's gonna happen and you know exactly what's gonna happen and everyone knows exactly what's gonna happen. I answer this question, what are you gonna say?
Okay, that's good, but what about this scenario? And I answer that question, oh yes, but what about this?
You're gonna waste my time, waste your time, and we're all gonna pretend that we're solving moral issues, when we're just avoiding moral clarity.
Moral clarity, rape, theft, assault, murder are immoral. Rape, theft, assault, murder.
Now that's our work cut out for us for the next couple of hundred years.
Honestly, that is our work cut out for us to spread these ideas for the next couple of hundred years, long after I'm dead and buried, long after you're dead and buried. That's our next couple of hundred years is just getting people to understand rape, theft, assault and murder are immoral and we have the absolute certain complete and total proof. That's our next couple of hundred years and you're like well what.
[27:24] About mildly annoying self? I'm sorry I don't mean to laugh. You don't want to.
[27:31] Have the conversations with people about why rape, theft, assault, murder are immoral. Again, no problem, I sympathize, I understand. Then don't have those conversations, right? Just don't have those conversations, but don't pretend to, have these conversations and create these goalposts, right? That are gonna shift anyway, right? All right, what are the top three things you know now that you wish you knew when you were 30? I mean I thought about this time machine, stuff. I honestly, I don't know. I'm so happy with how my life is turning out, I I won't say has turned out because you know I still got some time to go. I'm so happy with the way that my life has turned out that I wouldn't want to go back and butterfly effect, change anything because if I go back and butterfly effect change anything then my life may not have turned out the way that I turn out. Now this is different for you like if you're 25 or 30 and, you're listening to this yeah I want to pass along some wisdom I accepted some wisdom because if you.
[28:33] End up in a certain kind of way and your life is still starting out, then good, right? Good.
I'm not changing anything that's already as good as it can be. Like my life is about as good as it, can be. Honestly, I can't think of much that I would want to improve about it. So if I were to, be able to send some sort of message in a bottle back through time to when I was 30, something, something might change to the point where I wouldn't end up where I am.
So I think it was all perfect the way that it went and I can't look back.
Like if I were to say, oh everything's going to turn out well, then I wouldn't have worked as hard. Like you understand, I would have changed it.
I'd say, oh you know everything's going to work out fine, don't worry, right?
Okay, well let's say I send that back. I believe it of course.
Well what happens then?
[29:24] Well I'm like, oh I can relax, everything's going to work out fine.
Things that work out for answer. All right emotions have opposites happy, sad.
[29:31] Mad, calm, laughter, serious. What is the opposite of temptation? Well there are, two opposites to temptation. One is probably more of an opposite than the other I know that's a bit of a logical category error but forgive me. So the opposite of temptation is not being tempted, is not being tempted opposite of temptation is satisfaction, because when you are tempted by something and then, you do it, then you are satisfied. Then of course you know often comes the regret and so on right. So if you're an alcoholic and you're tempted to have a drink, then when you have a drink you feel better right, so that your temptation has gone away because you've satisfied your temptation. But of course it just leads to more temptation and so on.
Now you could say that the opposite of temptation is resistance, resisting temptation is the, opposite of temptation, but it's not. The opposite of temptation is to not have temptation, and the way to not have temptation is through really deep self-knowledge to figure out why you want to self-sabotage. All right, what are some great ways to teach children about evil and how to recognize it? How do you make it age-appropriate? Well I can't talk about when it's age-appropriate, because children are all different. Intelligence, maturity, sensitivity, wisdom.
I can certainly see why some people say there are old souls, some kids just seem sort of preternaturally wise and all of that. So I certainly can't really talk much about.
[30:56] Age appropriateness. Evil and how to recognize it. Well the best way to teach about evil and how to recognize it is to be moral to your children so that they recognize the difference when somebody is not moral. I mean if you want to teach children about what is not English, then you speak English consistently to them and then when somebody comes up and speaks another language, they will recognize it as really really different from the language they grew up with. So the best way to teach children about evil is to, be you know reasonably and consistently moral yourself and then they will see.
[31:31] The difference in others when they don't act in that kind of consistent and positive way. And of course they will run into every now and then I was at a store not too long ago and I needed to get something done obviously, it's kind of pointless to say it, I was at a store and I had to sit for a while to get something done and there was a really cranky negative hostile old woman who was berating the staff and really aggressive and they threatened to call the cops and they asked her to leave but she wouldn't and it was just so wildly dysfunctional it was like what did I refer to as a turbo Karen and because of course that's wildly different from anything she's ever seen adults in her life do that she knows on any kind of regular basis. She really was quite fascinated by it and we talked about it for quite a bit. So she really recognized the difference in behavior. So yeah, consistent virtue will teach your kids a lot about evil. All right, what makes a good vacation, especially for kids? I find hiking, visiting aquarium and zoos and museum hopping to be great things to do for vacations, while things like cruises or Disney World are too canned and expensive. Again I mean it depends on your kids but when you're adults you always think that some big spectacular thing and of course this is marketing as well right some big spectacular thing is what your kids want to do. When I was a kid my mother we were going to move either to Scotland or Canada right. When I was a kid.
[33:00] We went up to a town in Scotland I took an entrance exam about the age of 10 to get into a Scottish school and all of that and we spent some time going around Scotland. And I very, clearly remember my brother and I, all of the stuff we could do, all of the cool things, museums and all of that, and we did go to some, but what my brother and I loved to do.
There was a pier that went out of course into the ocean and at low tide the sand was soft.
If it was a hot day it would even dry out.
So what we would do and we would spend like all afternoon doing this is we'd run down the pier, we'd jump off the pier and land in the soft sand.
And we'd climb back up, run down the pier and land in the soft sand because you know for a brief moment it felt like you were flying.
And it was just a ball, it was just a ball. My daughter of course has traveled with me when I was able to travel safely.
My daughter would travel with me of course a lot, and when I ask her about things, you know, we went to place X, you know, I do in some speech or something, we went to place X.
And what does she remember? Does she remember all of the cool things we did, and you know, stuff that's not always super cheap or anything?
No! Catching lizards.
So the idea that you need to put on a show, need to spend a lot of money, it's not the case.
My daughter, her fondest memories of X, Y, and Z, it's almost never, oh that thing we did that was expensive, or that thing we did that was, you know, she's like, okay, but that stuff doesn't, but she just has these little things. Oh, you know, that time that we were, you know, sitting, we were sitting and chatting about X, Y, and Z, or that time when we used your Tilly hat to catch lizards in wherever it was, right? That's what she, remembers. Oh man, that stuff was generally free. That stuff was generally free. So what.
[34:51] She remembers the times which were not what I would consider to be the best times, but so you don't need a big a big thing for kids. Hiking is good, but she'll remember the conversation more than the hiking. All right, what are your thoughts on the difference between an assertive tone versus a raised voice slash yelling? The way my wife speaks to the children sounds sometimes like yelling, but to her it sounds confident and assertive. For example, my son was fooling around going down the stairs while I had my other son in my hands and saw him and spoke harshly to him saying stop, turn around, go downstairs safely, and he cried. I think he just got scared and was in an already stressful situation going down the stairs but I also thought it sounded very close to yelling. I have wondered how much my early childhood trauma of being yelled at a lot plays into my current interpretation of her voice, but even then the difference seems to me somewhat subtle. How can I objectively identify these two cases? Well I understand like if your kids running towards the road or whatever you you yell stop like really emphatically so that the child changes behavior right away. So I can understand in these in these kinds of situations, but of course as peaceful parents what you want to do is you want to avoid these kinds of situations arising where you have to yell at or raise your voice or something like that. You want to avoid these situations arising in the first place, right?
[36:12] Don't know how old your son is. Let's say he's a couple of years old, four or, whatever right? So the question is why is your son playing on the stairs while you're coming down the stairs holding a baby? You say oh well that's what children do and it's like well children are pretty sensitive to their environment and have you had conversations about you know listen we have a baby, baby's a super fragile, I need you to just really be careful about what you're doing around the baby and just as I have to be really careful about what I'm doing around the baby and you know this that the other and so on and so forth, you have those conversations, right? Is your wife having long involved conversations, if you have to use chess pieces to explain, right? Is she having long and involved conversations or is she just snapping at symptoms? Well snapping at symptoms is just creating the kids, the kids consciousness turns into a kind of pinball, just bing bing bing bing just bouncing around all over the place, right? Oh mom's upset at me about this, okay I won't.
[37:07] Do that. Oh mom's upset at me about that, I won't do that. Not learning anything other than avoidance of negative stimuli, which he's already programmed to do and he doesn't learn anything.
And then of course you're training your son to avoid negative stimuli rather than understand what's going on.
So if you don't have those deep conversations with your kids about how to live with others in a productive and positive way, then you're going to end up just playing whack-a-mole, with these behaviors and slowly constricting him based on negative stimuli to the point way he ends up a kind of void of reaction without the internalization of any deep principles. The peaceful parenting is about reminding. Reminding, is essential for peaceful parenting right? Reminding right? So if we with my daughter we of course when she was young and if there was you know it's Halloween or something we don't want to obviously deny that fun and Halloween is blast. So there would be candies in the house, right? Be candies in the house.
[38:10] Won't give you the whole conversation but you sit down and you have a long conversation it can be an hour or two. Now kids are interested in this stuff as long as they get that it's not coming from a place of hostility or anything like that or anger or you better not or threats or whatever right but it's like you know hey we got this candy in the house now look how much do I love candy, man like a mouth is watering just talking about it I love candy but candy doesn't love me back in the same way and you do the whole difference between the tongue and the belly, what your tongue loves your belly doesn't love, often and vice versa. And you know you tell her why you know we evolved to love candy because those who ate fruit did much better than those who didn't eat fruit because fruit has sort of these essential vitamins and nutrients that keep you alive and you can tell her the story of the sailors and scurvy and you know that the Navy lost more sailors to scurvy because they didn't know about about vitamin C than they did even to, like the lack of fruit was more dangerous than cannibals.
It was crazy, right? So we've evolved to love sugar because fruit lures us into eating it with sugar.
And of course, the reason why we eat fruit is so that when we poop, the seeds have, not just said further away, right?
[39:23] Because the tree is often too much shade, it can't grow under, so they gotta get their seeds away, which is why some seeds blow.
And so when we poop, not only does the seed go somewhere else, it already has its built-in fertilizer, like it's perfect. They're using us to grow more trees and all of that. And so you go, and the kids are really interested by that stuff, right? And you say, so we evolved, like we love sugar, and sugar is normally fantastic for us and worth pursuing. But now we have way too much sugar, right? And sugar's been kind of concentrated, it's become like a drug, right? It's been really concentrated. Like, you know, we like to breathe oxygen, of course, and now there are these oxygen bars, you know, You can mainline oxygen and so on.
So you just tell the whole story of all of this and this is part of life and you gotta balance.
You don't wanna just eat bland foods your whole life because food is a great pleasure, but at the same time, you don't wanna get fat and have bad teeth and diabetes and all that.
So yeah, it's a challenge.
[40:17] And this is adulthood, welcome to, and I would tell her the story like when I was a kid, I was like, oh, I can't wait to get my first job.
I'll just buy all the candy and eat all the candy I want and all that and tell the joke about that.
And of course, you get older and you can't.
And you tell the, I tell the joke about the comedian who was talking, he was looking at, his daughter, he's driving the daughter, and his daughter's looking out the window and the comedian is saying, you know, I'm like, hey, she's smiling, and what are you thinking of Candy?
I'm thinking of Candy. And he's like, I can't just think of Candy, I think Candy, I'm like, oh, man, I gotta get to the dentist and, you know, I think I put on a couple of pounds and one of my teeth hurts.
And like, he can't just enjoy the thought of Candy, but his kid is like, I'm thinking of Candy. So you have all these conversations.
[41:01] I manage sometimes my sugar by just not buying it like if it's in the house I might nibble on it, but if it's not in the house, I won't go out and get it so sometimes I just don't have it in the house and sometimes that's how I sort of manage my, Desires or cravings or you know, if I have I'll have a bag of, Dark chocolate covered almonds and if I've got a real sweet craving.
[41:21] I'll grab a couple of those and and so on and you know, I know dark chocolate who knows right?
It's not like this magic spell that makes chocolate good for you But it's probably better than the alternative and so all of these things and all of that and you see and of course you have, To model saying no right Kids want to emulate adults and as adults we all have temptations that we have to say no to and you model that, Right, you don't just not have dessert, right?
If you're at a restaurant right over in the waiter comes and says can I tempt you with dessert?
You know like I'm really tempted Oh, I want to I want to see even if you're not gonna have any I want to see the dessert menu, and you look at, oh, so good, but I'm gonna have to say no.
I mean, I really want to, but I'm gonna have to say no. And that way your kid sees you being tempted and saying no.
And of course, your kid wants to be like an adult, and so they'll internalize that, and you get all of this stuff.
I say, is it around temptation and so on? There's candy in the house?
You gotta sit down and talk to all your kids, about all of that and just be honest about the genuine and general human experience that we want stuff that's not good for us, yet we can't be total monks and not have anything that's nice to in our mouth or anything like that. So you have you know just big conversations with your.
[42:32] Kids about stuff and that way your kid doesn't sit there and say well I want candy and if I can get it past my parents that's the only thing that matters. You want to internalize in them the balance between hedonism and, and long-term happiness that we all have to, I'm not gonna say wrestle with, but everybody knows it's just part of life.
It's just part of life. I mean, especially in the modern world where there's all this tasty stuff all over the place, right?
Shop on the outside of the aisles. Don't go in the aisles. Shop on the outside of the grocery store.
So with my daughter, it wasn't like, well, you better not take any of this candy or, because then what's her goal? Her goal is, well, the only barrier between me and candy is my parents finding out.
That's the only barrier. There's nothing that's internalized. If she can get it past her parents, there's no problem. As opposed to, yeah, candy is really good, you know, once on the lips, forever on the hips, right? And so candy is really good, but it has long-term health effects that aren't good. At the same time, you know, we do need some sugar in our diet, and so maybe not refined sugar, but we do need some, you know, I don't need to tell you guys all this stuff. We, know all of this. So you introduce her to the complexity of the issue, and then she's like, yeah you know just like But I should say no and you know every now and then you'll give in to temptation I mean, I will allow myself some bread pudding on my birthday. Every now and then you'll give in to temptation and.
[43:59] You you can also talk, you know, why do people yo-yo diet?
Why do they lose weight and then gain weight because they lose weight and then they reward themselves with food and they gain the weight And then they panic and they get a BMI reading from the doctor and then they lose the weight and then they've been so good I'll have food to reward or whatever, right?
So, you know, that's it's a it's a tension in in life and you know, there's nothing wrong with that It's a totally stress-free life is what was happening before you were born when your atoms weren't even assembled to do a brain.
So is your wife having these long lengthy detailed conversations with your son about, okay, there's a baby here and you know, it's gonna be really different and we're, you know, I didn't have this conversation with Izzy because she's an only child but you know, The baby's going to take away a lot of our time and attention, and that's a drag.
And you know, it's just been you, but the baby's going to take away a lot of our time and attention.
But here's the plus, when the baby gets a little older, I know it doesn't seem like, you can play with him now, it's sort of incomprehensible, he's just a farting, burping, crying machine, and laughter too.
But when you get, like you'll have someone to go through all of your life with, right?
You'll lose your parents a little bit for a while at the beginning, but you gain a total companion to go through all of life with you and when you're I know this is crazy because you're so young but when you're really old you'll have someone around who remembers you and being a child and everything that shaped you and everything.
[45:26] You'll never be closer to anyone than you will with a brother or a sister siblings are the closest you can get to because they're the whole journey people right you met your wife at 25 she didn't know you for the first 25 years even if you spend 50-60 years together she's still there but your brother will go the whole journey with you. Your sister will go the whole journey with you and it's worth it. I know it won't seem worth it when you want to ask them we're busy with the baby. I get that and I totally oh my gosh do I understand that. It's gonna be annoying and you're gonna view negatively your sibling but I'm telling you it's gonna be so great for you your whole life. You'll never be closer to, anyone than your siblings if that can be supported. All right I've wondered, and how much of my...
[46:11] Of being, oh sorry that's the same one, how do we stop ourselves becoming corrupt in this now corrupt world? This world and society reminds me of Batman the Dark Knight Rises. Well I obviously can't, answer that as a whole because I don't know your life circumstances but you surround yourself, corruption is not a willed thing like just on your own, you have to surround yourself with people.
[46:32] Who will notice any drift towards corruption and call you out on it and in a positive sort of encouraging way and you'll do the same for them right. We tend to go kind of crazy in isolation, Sanity is a social construct and it requires having sane people around us, so.
[46:46] All right. What are your thoughts about genetically engineering human beings?
I've wrote about that before or talked about that before to me If you are removing a negative then I think the genetics is fine If you're trying to create a positive that's an unknown and I would not be in support of that, All right What do you think some of the greatest temptations in life are?
I think the greatest temptation offered to us is to believe that there are no trade-offs when we make decisions that sow the seeds for our habits characters and eventual destiny. Perhaps this is also what differentiates great fiction from propaganda or bad fiction. Great fiction is accurate in its depiction of the trade-offs that characters make whereas propaganda is inaccurate in its depiction of trade-offs.
Lord of the Rings for example shows that with the creation of the ring of power, came the corruptive nature of its authority. The present shows the trade-offs of pursuing careerism versus family as well as vanity and virtue. I've I've only started reading Atlas Shrugged but the story appears to me about the trade-offs of not using a meritocratic system to organize society as well as personal relationships.
What do you think? Is there a core of, is this the core of good fiction in alignment with the real life trade-offs and consequences that human beings have to make?
Yeah, so the greatest temptation I think in life is to think that people think and to imagine that reason can reshape the world just through the force of its eloquence and.
[48:06] Accuracy. Unfortunately it tends to bounce off most people and the greatest temptation is I think the belief that virtue alone and reason and eloquence alone will fix the world. Unfortunately just the world seems to just crash between disaster to disaster and I often think myself enormously lucky as a, healthy male that I got through life got to my late 50s mid to late 50s never got drafted. I know how rare that is. Never got drafted, never got drafted. I mean talk about dodging the bullets, like literally dodging the bullets. So the world in general, I mean when peaceful parenting arises and spreads things will be different, but right now people reject reason and reject evidence and arguments, and that's just a fact. And speaking like speaking, what's that phrase they always use on the left, speaking truth to power.
Speaking truth to power. Yet of course when you actually speak truth to power they work to get you deplatformed. It's just you know virtue signaling and the pretence of virtue rather than the manifestation of virtue which is very common of course. So yeah I think the greatest temptation that would face us is the idea that we reason with people and they will listen to reason. I think there'll be some people like this for sure. There'll be some people like this but those people you would hold close and other.
[49:31] People you would not waste your time with so yeah don't waste your time protect yourself the world is probably gonna have to go through some kind of convulsion to find reason right because it's gonna have to learn it's gonna have to hit rock bottom and then people who have made rational arguments and predicted all of this that we have a chance of being listened to like you know you say to someone you got a gambling problem and they just sneer in, and laugh at you and call you a square and mock you and attack you and spread bad rumours about you and then eventually they hit rock bottom and maybe they'll listen. All right as a person in my.
[50:02] Early 20s there was a time before the internet and tech. Since your daughter is 14 did she have a pre-internet and tech life? How do you think parents should navigate this? So yeah I mean tech, is part of life and I mean I sadly remember that there was a kid when I was growing up in England And post-boarding school, this was in public school, he didn't have a TV, his family didn't have a TV, and so he couldn't watch Doctor Who and he couldn't talk about it with the kids and all of that.
Like it's just, tech is part of kids' lives, they need to learn how to use it and all of that.
And you just need to be interesting to your kids to the point where they'll, you know, when I never once went down to my daughter and said, hey, let's do some of our role-playing games, right, where we just sort of talk about all these various adventures and we have these physical tests. Like you had to jump over something in order to escape a blow in sort of combat or whatever it is. So we'd have so much fun doing that that there was never a time when she was on her tablet and I'd say let's role play and she wouldn't say yes let's jump up and put down the tablet. So you just have to find some way to be more interesting and engaging. Right, I learned about RK from your channel about seven years ago. To me this is a great explanation for the rise and fall of civilizations. It's philosophy, specifically UPB, meant to stop this cycle. Can to stop K from becoming R? Well sure, because R is money printing, right? R is the creatures.
[51:21] Who are limited not by scarcity of food but by predation, and so when you print money, you are printing in a sense R-selected people. You are creating, because you're creating this illusion.
[51:36] Of infinite resources, like rabbits never run out of grass, they just get hunted, right?
[51:41] So yeah, I mean privatizing Bitcoin is the ultimate K selection machine, Bitcoin is the ultimate K selection machinery because you can't just create more and more and more of it and so yeah, certainly a free market in money, in currency, in interest rates, in, society as a whole, voluntarism will absolutely produce K selected people.
Now you could say of course, ah yes but we'll become so wealthy that it will all feel like infinite resources and so on.
That's I don't know how to answer that I'm not a geneticist of course I don't know what that's gonna do maybe there'll be a cycle but the cycle won't be back to violence right so and wouldn't these be great problems to have what problems, could arise in a free society I will love every single problem that arises in a free society because it's a free society so it's infinitely better right because if you say well if I get out of this really abusive relationship maybe.
[52:34] I'll have other problems it's like well yeah but you you won't have the abusive relationship problem, and all of your other problems will probably be much more manageable thereby. So anyway, I hope this helps.
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All right, lots of love everyone. Take care.
Thanks for this great life. I hope philosophy is helping make your life better too.
And we'll talk soon. Bye.