Peaceful Parenting Part 19


0:00 Introduction to Empathy
1:34 Understanding Emotions
2:51 The Role of Empathy in Relationships
3:46 The Power of Forgiveness
5:12 Consequences of Endless Forgiveness
6:33 Manipulation through Verbal Abuse
8:41 The Dynamics of Abuse Excusers
12:18 Enlisting Co-Abusers
13:42 The Role of Older Siblings
16:42 The Pressure to Appease
20:12 The Destructive Nature of Resentment
21:28 Lessons from Fire Drills
25:06 The Impact of Abusive Grandparents
30:08 The Importance of Strength
32:26 Lifelong Harm of Unforgiveness
37:09 Upholding Moral Clarity

In this lecture on Peaceful Parenting by Stéphane Molyneux, empathy is highlighted as a crucial element in improving the world. Empathy is explained as the understanding and feeling of another person's deep emotions, distinct from sympathy, which involves agreeing with those emotions. The speaker delves into scenarios illustrating the differences between empathy and sympathy, emphasizing the importance of feeling but not necessarily agreeing with the emotions of others.

Various examples are provided to showcase how empathy plays a role in different situations, like understanding a person's aggression but not condoning it, or differentiating between genuine emotions and manipulative behavior. The discussion also touches on the complexities of forgiveness, especially in the context of child abuse and the societal pressure to forgive abusive parents.

The speaker challenges the common narratives around forgiveness, highlighting the manipulation and emotional abuse that can occur when victims of abuse are pressured to forgive their abusers. The concept of moral clarity is introduced as a necessity to defend oneself against false moral standards and undue pressure to forgive unrepentant abusers.

The lecture delves deep into the dynamics of abusive relationships within families, exploring the role of abusive grandparents and the perpetuation of abuse through generations. The importance of strength, empathy, and moral clarity in breaking the cycle of abuse and manipulation is reiterated throughout the discussion.

Overall, the lecture provides a thought-provoking analysis of empathy, forgiveness, and the complexities of abusive relationships, urging listeners to cultivate moral strength and clarity in their personal interactions to prevent the perpetuation of harmful behavior.

Introduction to Empathy
[0:00]Peaceful Parenting by Stefan Molyneux, Part 19.
Empathy. The first and most essential ingredient in improving the world is empathy.
Empathy occurs when we truly understand and feel the deep emotions of another person.
For me, empathy is distinct from sympathy. Sympathy is when we understand the
deep emotions of another person and approve of them.
If a child is sad because a pet has died, we agree with her emotion and feel
compassion for her grief.
If a man is happy because he is getting married to a wonderful woman,
we approve of his emotion and share in his joy.
If a belligerent man is angrily trying to start a fight with us,
we feel his anger, we empathize with his emotion, but we do not approve of it
and work to resist or avoid it.
If a woman fakes crying in order to gain our pity and compliance,
empathy allows us to understand the shallowness of her pretend emotion and resist
her pitiful manipulation.
[1:24]Empathy is feeling the emotions of another person.
Sympathy involves agreeing with those emotions.
Understanding Emotions
[1:35]A woman walking alone at night hears a man trying to sneak up behind her.
She feels his aggression, but opposes it and may reach for the gun in her purse.
Think of coming across a child trying to catch a frog in a pond.
How would you feel if the child gently lifts up the frog, laughing in happiness? Pretty good, right?
How would you feel if the child only laughed after pulling a leg off the frog?
Pretty horrified, right?
Feeling good about the gentle child is sympathizing with the child's positive delight in nature.
Feeling horrified about the abusive child is empathizing with the child's positive
delight in torturing animals.
[2:30]As a lion creeps up on a zebra, the zebra edges away.
The zebra understands that the lion is hungry and wants to eat him.
He empathizes with the desire of the lion, but emphatically does not agree to satisfy it.
The Role of Empathy in Relationships
[2:52]Without moral strength, Strength, empathy, always tries to twist everything
into bottomless sympathy.
This is the habit of the horribly corrupt individuals who try to convince the
victims of child abuse to endlessly sympathize with their parents.
Well, she did the best she could with the knowledge she had.
Your mother had a bad childhood.
Your father means well, he just doesn't know how to express it.
It's understandable that he would get defensive if he feels attacked.
You need to approach them with love, sympathy, and empathy. You need to forgive
them. If you don't forgive them, you will regret it for the rest of your life.
They're old. Have some pity and patience. Don't hold on to resentments. All this is in the past.
The Power of Forgiveness
[3:42]You need to be the bigger person and take the high road. The best revenge is a better life.
Staying angry with your parents will destroy your life. Forgiveness is happiness.
Forgiveness is release, forgiveness is joy, forgive, forgive, forgive.
But this is all vile, cowardly nonsense, easily disproved, logically.
[4:05]If you were abused by your parents, and you are angry at them,
and people tell you to forgive your parents, whether or not they apologize,
then people are judging you, negatively, for judging your parents, negatively.
This is one marker of the deepest possible corruption.
It is, in fact, collusion with evil.
You see, there are the evil doers, and then there are the evil enablers.
There are those who commit the crimes, and those who facilitate the crimes.
The bank robbers and the getaway drivers. They are two sides of the same coin.
How much more likely is a criminal to commit a crime if he knows that he will get away with it?
Consequences of Endless Forgiveness
[5:13]Child abusers rely on abuse excusers.
These apologists condemn anyone who stands up to abuse. They curse anyone who opposes evil.
[5:33]Just think of the common clichés about the effects of failing to forgive your parents.
Your parents are old. They made mistakes, sure, but they did the best they could
with the knowledge they had.
And they certainly did better than their own parents who mistreated them horribly.
Holding on to resentment about your past will poison your life. It's all done.
And I'm sure that you were doing better than they did.
But you really do need to let go of all this anger you have about their failures.
If you don't forgive your parents, this will eat you up alive inside.
You will stay embittered forever.
And then, when they get old and die, you will regret being so cold-hearted and
judgmental for the rest of your life.
And by then it will be too late to do anything about it, and you will seethe
in this discontent forever.
Manipulation through Verbal Abuse
[6:34]Thus do these repulsive apologists use verbal abuse to defend parental abuse.
They are trying to place an abusive curse on those who stand up against evil.
They are trying to poison the minds of those trying to clear their minds of prior poison.
They are trying to define standing up to evil as immoral and self-destructive.
[7:11]And they only do this with parents. Never anyone else.
[7:21]Can you imagine them saying to a woman trying to flee a violent and abusive
relationship, You need to stop judging your boyfriend.
It's really self-destructive. He's doing the best he can. He's made mistakes,
sure. but I'm sure he had a pretty bad childhood, and we all have our struggles.
The important thing is not to be judgmental, but to accept people for who they are.
Because if you judge him and confront him, and God forbid, abandon him,
then you are being cruelly intolerant, and you will regret your cold-heartedness
for the rest of your life.
And you will be utterly unable to fall in love ever again, because you will
be so consumed by bitterness about your boyfriend.
No the most mature and virtuous thing is to go right back to your boyfriend just,
just love him and try to do what he wants and not be too judgmental and let
go of all of this fear and anger and bitterness,
whatever he did to you it's all in the past and you need to just let it go,
or you will be miserable forever ever.
No, that speech never really seems to happen, does it?
The Dynamics of Abuse Excusers
[8:42]In the old Soviet Union, the secret police relied on citizens to spy on and inform on each other.
In communist East Germany, a third of citizens regularly betrayed friends,
colleagues, colleagues, family members, even strangers, by reporting them to the secret police.
Without this spying and reporting, the secret police were largely unable to
terrorize the population.
The secret police and the informants were one and the same.
The child abusers and the abuse excusers are one and the same.
The victims of child abuse are very susceptible to being judged negatively for obvious reasons.
The abuse excusers know this and regularly jam their thumbs into these ancient
wounds in order to bully compliance with the needs and preferences of abusive parents.
[10:01]It's revolting.
The abuse excusers totally understand the deep vulnerabilities and sensitivities
of the victims of child abuse and use those vulnerabilities to compel compliance with evil.
They see two people,
a child abuser and a helpless victim of child abuse and only ever criticize
the victim, never the perpetrator, never the abuser.
[10:45]Abuse excusers are so good at what they do and so prevalent in society because
they are highly skilled at verbal abuse.
They tend to come from the ranks of elder siblings who had to constantly defuse
the anger and resentment of the younger siblings in order to placate the parents
and hopefully reduce future abuse.
Because they have not processed their own victimhood, they continue to victimize others.
An older sibling often feels great anxiety when a younger sibling gets angry
at an abusive parent, Knowing that the parent cannot be changed,
the older sibling tries to manage the only variable, the willpower of the younger sibling.
[11:41]If you see a child standing on a train track, do you pick up the child or try to stop the train?
[11:54]If defiance provokes abuse and you can only control the defiance,
well, that's what you do.
Whatever you have to do to defuse the defiance, you will do.
Otherwise, the parental abuse might escalate to the point of grievous injury or death.
Enlisting Co-Abusers
[12:18]This is how abusive parents get you.
To protect your younger siblings from their abuse, they enlist you as co-abuser.
To prevent the parents from aggressing against the children,
the older siblings bully the younger siblings into silence and compliance.
This way the abuse spreads down the chain.
With the added bonus that the older siblings will often blame the younger siblings
for the abuse of the parents.
When these older siblings, again assuming the trauma is unprocessed,
meet people as adults who are talking about confronting abusive parents, well, what happens?
All the old anxieties and fears erupt, and these older siblings use all the
emotional and psychological tactics they possess in order to reduce their own anxiety.
This has nothing to do with morality or maturity or the corrosive compulsion
of endless forgiveness.
It's just good old plain anxiety management.
The Role of Older Siblings
[13:43]Aggressive parents are managed by family and friends by controlling the youngest children.
Also, since older siblings are so often put in charge of younger siblings,
the older siblings are often included in any punishment meted out to the youngest.
Since you can't control the aggression of abusive parents, you end up controlling
the resistance of the helpless children.
Unfortunately, that means that any resistance against abusive parents,
at any stage of life, is relentlessly and viciously opposed.
We can't control evildoers, so we have to control those who identify evil.
We can understand this in the tyranny of, say, North Korea,
where parents have to rigidly control what their children say because any hint
of skepticism or disobedience to the supreme leader is met with gulags and death.
[15:03]In a famous television show that aired when I was young, in the show's finale,
an American doctor is sitting in a bus in Vietnam during the war,
and they're being hunted by enemy soldiers.
He hisses at a woman to quiet her crying baby, otherwise they will all be killed.
And the mother ends up smothering her baby to death.
This is an extreme example of what I am talking about.
The cruelty of the soldiers cannot be controlled.
The crying of the baby, tragically, can be.
This also occurs between one parent and the children.
The typical example is the mother who snarls at her children to be quiet and
polite because her violent husband is in a bad mood.
The abusive husband cannot be changed. The only variable is the children.
[16:20]By the way, this is one reason why it is so difficult to be rational in society.
Most people do not have any moral standards they are willing to sacrifice immediate
comfort for, so when they see a conflict, they immediately scan for the most
reasonable and mature person and then work to alter that person's behavior.
The Pressure to Appease
[16:43]They resolutely avoid the immature and aggressive,
instinctively understanding that those people are not variables they can alter
and pursue the most reasonable person because that is something they can have an effect on.
Thus, to be reasonable is to be bullied.
To be unreasonable is to be rewarded.
And people wonder why the world gets more and more crazy.
[17:21]Naturally, people cannot say to reasonable people, well, that crazy person who
is picking a fight with you is kind of scary and unreasonable,
but I really don't like that this fight is happening, so I'm afraid you're going
to have to appease the crazy person.
And I say this because you are far more reasonable and mature.
As a good and kind person, I'm afraid that you are going to have to appease
the crazy bad person and give him what he wants.
At your expense, I know, because I am frightened of crazy people and I have
no moral compass whatsoever.
No, you are just told to keep the peace and, laughingly, be reasonable and surrender
your will and self-interest to the crazy, aggressive, evil person.
[18:13]It's the same thing with the abuse excusers.
They will endlessly lecture you on virtue, tolerance, forgiveness,
and kindness, knowing that you are a good person.
But they will never lecture your abusive parents on virtue, tolerance,
forgiveness, and kindness.
You see, forgiveness is a virtue, but not for your parents, not when you were
a helpless and dependent child.
It's essential to forgive parents who willingly did evil, but those parents
should never be held accountable for failing to forgive their children.
[19:00]If forgiveness is such a virtue, and child abuse results from the ultimate failure
to forgive, then why not condemn abusive parents?
We all know why.
We all know the pitiful and contemptible reason why these moralists who condemn
people for failing to forgive Never condemn parents who failed to forgive their own children.
If a failure to forgive means that you are bitter and miserable for the rest
of your life, well, what about the parents who failed to forgive their own children
in the past and continue to withhold forgiveness in the present?
Since abusive parents fail to forgive, then they must be angry,
bitter, and miserable forever.
Who wants to spend time with angry, bitter, and miserable people?
Abusive parents, by definition, have failed to forgive others.
The Destructive Nature of Resentment
[20:13]So every curse put on children who don't forgive their parents is put a thousandfold
on parents who have failed to forgive their children.
[20:26]I think this is what Jesus meant when he said, Why do you look at the speck
of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
If forgiveness is a virtue, surely the lack of forgiveness that results in violent
abuse against helpless children is the worst.
People who forgive their children have no excuse to abuse them.
Victims of child abuse are angry at their parents because their parents refused
to excuse them and used violence against them.
Victims of abuse should forgive the abusers who used a lack of forgiveness as an excuse.
Lessons from Fire Drills
[21:28]When I was a child, my school regularly had fire drills to practice orderly evacuations.
Which is worse? Setting fire to a school? Or escaping the fire?
If you see an arsonist setting fire to a school, would you yell,
Abuse? at the fleeing children?
Would you cover up the horrifying crime of the arsonist?
What about the children who got third-degree burns over 50% of their body?
Would you demand that they forgive the arsonist, the arsonist whose crimes you are covering up?
[22:17]The adult children of relentlessly abusive parents may choose to escape that relationship.
The children did not start the abuse. They are standing up to evil.
They are defending themselves against abuse.
They are staying away from those who did them great harm and continue to do so.
Their parents set fire to the building. The children are just escaping the flames.
You see abusers and victims, and you protect the abusers and verbally abuse the victims.
Adults struggling to survive and escape abuse, Abuse? Those innocent people
must be condemned, cursed, castigated for their cruelty.
But those who abused innocent children, well, they were doing the best they could.
They must be forgiven. They are the real victims, don't you know?
It is not abusive to beat helpless children. It is abusive to protect yourself from abusive parents.
[23:41]Abused children are not victims. The real victims are abusive parents,
if the children ever judge them morally.
The real criminal is not the rapist, but his victim who gets away.
But it gets even worse.
[24:06]Unrepentant child abusers continue to abuse their adult children.
Abuse excusers verbally abuse
adult children for struggling to set boundaries with abusive parents.
But the real hell is still ahead of us.
Let's talk about grandparents, parents, and children.
Let's talk about the situation where the grandparents remain abusive to the parents.
Now, either the grandparents will abuse their grandchildren as they abuse their
own children, or they won't.
Either outcome remains abusive.
The Impact of Abusive Grandparents
[25:07]If the excuse abusers convince the parents to keep the abusive grandparents
in the lives of their children, they are exposing the children to both direct
and indirect abuse from the grandparents.
If the grandparents hit the parents, they are likely to hit the children.
If the grandparents molested the parents, they are likely to molest the children.
The excuse abusers are advocating for the continued abuse of the children.
They are handing over access to children to unrepentant child abusers.
They are serving the preferences of child abusers.
They are child abusers themselves.
[26:01]Now, if the grandparents are violent and abusive to the children,
that is a monstrous evil, of course.
However, if the grandparents are reasonable and peaceful to the children, that remains abusive.
Remember, the story is that the grandparents who abused the parents were doing
the best they could with the knowledge they had and didn't really have any choice
and couldn't do any better because they were abused themselves, etc.
If the grandparents treat the children well,
this is all proven to be utterly and completely false.
If the grandparents treat the children well,
then clearly the grandparents knew all about peaceful parenting and love and
protection and affection, and thus cannot claim to have done the best they could
with the knowledge they had, since their knowledge also includes peaceful parenting.
[27:19]Of course, there are some logical objections easily dealt with.
Perhaps the grandparents underwent a massive change of heart and rejected their
formerly abusive ways and virtuously committed to peaceful interactions with children.
Well, that is quite a journey. Why wouldn't they tell their own children?
If you were an abusive parent and you now realize how terrible you were,
then the first thing you would do is apologize to your children.
You would listen to them accept their anger and criticisms apologize and make
restitution and go to therapy anger management whatever was needed to prove
to them that your abusive behavior would never happen again.
[28:11]By the way, this never happens.
If at the age of 70, I go to Japan and speak fluent Japanese,
I either knew it when I was younger or learned it when I was older.
If, as a grandparent, I treat children well, I either knew how to treat them
well when I was younger or learned how when I was older.
Abusive grandparents who treat children well are continuing their abuse,
they are saying to their own children oh we always knew how to be nice see how
nice we can be look at us not losing our tempers not yelling or hitting not even raising our voices,
we are as meek and peaceful as little lambs isn't that Interesting.
Boy, you must have been a really terrible child to provoke us to such anger.
Because these kids are grandkids. Well, they are just nice and lovely and don't provoke us.
And we can finally have a good relationship with children.
Which you did not allow us to have because you were just so bad.
[29:33]It's revolting.
Without admission of guilt. Without apologies and restitution,
all evil remains destructive manipulation.
Abusers are not bad for failing to forgive their repenting victims.
Only the victims are bad for failing to forgive their unrepentant abusers.
The Importance of Strength
Strength is required to pass moral judgment against the preferences of evildoers.
It would be very strange to set up a literacy project that only targeted fluent readers.
Can you imagine setting up a clinic to help people lose weight that only accepted slender customers?
How about becoming a hair transplant specialist who will only treat men with a full head of hair?
All of this is silly nonsense, right? Well, that is the state of modern morality.
Modern moralists are merely diet experts for thin people.
Sociopaths don't care about morality. Ethically sensitive people do.
So who do moralists target? The cold? The cruel? The abusive?
The manipulative? The destructive? Nope.
They target the morally sensitive.
[31:33]Modern moralists abuse people who care about morality and collude with abusive
people to cover up their crimes.
Morality was not invented for goodness but for abuse and control,
I'm fine if you think that forgiveness is the ultimate virtue I don't agree
but I will respect your integrity if you look around the world,
and figure out who is doing the most damage by refusing to forgive others,
If you want me to donate to your charity because you tell me that you want to
give toys to needy children and I find out that you give toys to wealthy adults,
what do I think of your charity?
Lifelong Harm of Unforgiveness
[32:27]Abusive parents do lifelong harm to trapped children by refusing to forgive them.
This is the most damage that the failure to forgive does in the world.
So, if forgiveness is the ultimate virtue, then surely you have relentlessly
confronted abusive parents for their failure to forgive their children,
which resulted in destructive violence against their helpless offspring.
Oh, that's not what you're doing? Not at all?
You are, in fact, lecturing the victims of child abuse on the virtues of forgiving
lifelong and unrepentant abusers?
I see.
But if the adult victims of child abuse excuse and forgive the abuse they suffered,
won't that make it more likely that their own children will be abused,
either by themselves or the unrepentant and abusive grandparents?
[33:45]Oh, you haven't thought of that?
That doesn't matter?
You monster.
[33:59]Historically, I had a similar issue with libertarians who promote the non-aggression
principle, that the initiation of force is the greatest evil.
Fine, I agree with that.
So, what would it mean to promote that value?
If you care about the non-aggression principle, then surely you should look
around the world and figure out the greatest violations of the non-aggression principle,
that are the easiest to change and improve.
Well, that is spanking, right? Child abuse of every kind.
I made this case to libertarians for many years.
And a few listened, to be sure, but most of them continued to rail against taxation
and central banking and foreign aid and all sorts of activities that they had
no practical chance of changing or improving.
[35:03]Imagine an ER doctor stepping over a dying patient he could save in order to
watch television and try and solve a fictional case from 30 years ago.
Would that not be a sign of insanity?
Ah, but moral insanity is the norm in society.
If you have an illness that can be cured by exercise, but your doctor doesn't
tell you that, but instead puts you on useless pills, wouldn't that be terrible?
What if the pills actually made you more sick?
What if the illness, if left untreated, would kill you?
Wouldn't the doctor be kind of murdering you?
Isn't he, in fact, a sort of sadistic killer?
[36:11]Excusing unrepentant evil, which is what the appeasers who promote endless forgiveness
argue for, only makes the illness of evil worse.
By pretending to do good, pretending to forgive the unrepentant,
you are actually doing evil, which is giving child abusers continued access
to children, your own children, who you are sworn to protect.
Empathy, without strength, always gets twisted into pathological altruism and pretend sympathy.
Strength, without empathy, turns into cold-hearted dominance subjugating others
and stealing their resources.
Upholding Moral Clarity
[37:09]Moral Clarity,
Moral clarity is required to defend yourself against those who strive to abuse
you through through false morality.
The greatest enemies of mankind, really.
If someone tells you to forgive your abusive parents, simply ask him,
they did not forgive me when I was a child, you should really go and talk to them.
If that person does not immediately reply, gosh, you're right,
I'm so sorry, let me go and sit down with them.
Then that person is a moral sophist, aiming to deliver you unto evil.
That is simple moral clarity.
Somebody who equates escaping evil with abusing the innocent is deeply immoral,
and should also be escaped.
[38:20]If somebody tells you that forgiveness is a great virtue, say this.
Since forgiveness is so important, I'm sure that you will forgive me if I refuse
to forgive my abusive parents. Of course I will.
I just know that if you refuse to forgive your parents, you will regret it for the rest of your life.
Now, that can't be the case. Why not?
Well, if forgiveness is such a virtue, and you can forgive me for failing to
forgive my parents, Then I can certainly forgive myself for failing to forgive my parents. What?
[38:54]Well, you can forgive me, which means a lack of forgiveness can be forgiven,
which means I can forgive myself for failing to forgive.
And so will not regret it for the rest of my life.
Well, maybe I can't forgive you for failing to forgive your parents.
Ah, then forgiveness is not such a high value. If you can't even achieve it yourself, self.
Now you just look like a fat person telling me how to lose weight.
Also, you are asking me to forgive my parents who abused me and have never apologized
or forgiven me, which means that forgiveness can be granted even to people who've
done great evil and have never repented.
Well, I haven't done great evil and have nothing to repent for.
Are you saying that it is good to forgive evildoers, but you cannot forgive their victims?
That is incredibly corrupt, I'm telling you.
Stuttering and sputtering will result because the grappling hooks of moralistic
manipulation have failed to take hold in you.
That is moral clarity.
[40:05]We are a long way from judging each other by objective moral standards.
But we can, at least, judge these pretend moralists by the standards they are
attempting to impose upon us.
It really is the only way we can
possibly protect ourselves from the worst scourge of the species, sees,
which is moral manipulation of the innocent for the sake of rewarding and appeasing the guilty.
When you bring strength, empathy, and moral clarity to your life,
you will be free of all possible malevolence.
Fail on any or all of these, and you remain a slave until you die,
leaving nothing but a legacy of continued enslavement to your descendants.
Break this chain, or enslave your children.
There is no other choice.

Blog Categories

May 2024

Recent Comments

    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