Philosophical Paradoxes - Part 2 - Transcript


The lecture discusses paradoxes of loving and hating the world for change, contrasting determinism with free will, and emphasizing ethical standards for personal empowerment and moral integrity.


0:00:00 Paradoxes Part 3
0:06:04 The Concept of Triage
0:11:49 Triage in Religion vs. Medicine
0:15:10 Saving the World
0:15:23 Balancing Hate and Love
0:16:45 Defining Free Will
0:17:59 The Importance of Ideal Standards
0:22:18 Self-Justification and Free Will
0:24:29 Ideal Standards and Free Will
0:36:24 Taking Responsibility and Ideal Standards
0:43:26 Abandoning Free Will through Excuses
0:46:04 Restoring Free Will through Ideal Standards

Long Summary

In this thought-provoking lecture, we explore the concept of paradoxes through the lenses of G.K. Chesterton and a modern thinker. Chesterton's perspective underscores the necessity of simultaneously loving and hating the world to drive change while recognizing its inherent value. Central to this idea is the notion of the soul within each person, offering the potential for redemption through free will and consciousness, distinct from deterministic materialism.

Transitioning to the practical realm, we examine the concept of triage, drawing connections between medical practices and spiritual caregiving. Triage involves rapid decision-making to save lives effectively, mirroring the goal of rescuing individuals by prioritizing immediate threats. This contrasts with the focus of a priest, who aims to save souls, particularly of those near death, facilitating repentance for a peaceful transition.

Delving deeper, we analyze the complexities of free will and ideal standards, highlighting how justifications can distort moral boundaries and impede ethical decision-making. By comparing actions against universal ethical norms, individuals can uphold personal agency and moral benchmarks, avoiding behaviors like gaslighting or blame-shifting that erode moral clarity.

The discussion seamlessly blends philosophical musings with their real-world implications, emphasizing the intricate relationship between moral choices, personal accountability, and the pursuit of virtuous conduct. With a unique perspective on free will, triage, and ethical standards, the speaker provides profound insights into human behavior and the perpetual quest for moral integrity.

Furthermore, the speaker stresses the significance of adhering to ideal standards and exercising free will. Drawing on examples from various contexts, such as cats, diabetic individuals, and personal anecdotes, the speaker illustrates how humans can make choices rooted in free will, notably in matters of health and morality. Emphasizing the interdependence of free will and ideal standards, the speaker argues that meaningful choices cannot exist without aspirational benchmarks. The speaker likens individuals who reject self-ownership or lack ideal standards to non-playable characters in a video game, highlighting the importance of assisting those aligned with personal agency and virtues. Through a blend of personal narratives and philosophical insights, the speaker underscores the transformative power of aligning actions with ideal standards to reclaim and empower free will.


paradoxes, G.K. Chesterton, modern thinker, loving and hating, change, free will, consciousness, determinism, triage, spiritual care, ethical standards, moral norms, personal agency, integrity, ideal standards, transformative power, aspirational benchmarks, moral integrity, empowerment


The Third Paradox

[0:00] All right, we are here and ready for Paradoxes Part 3.
Well, this is from G.K. Chesterton, who was a Christian apologist, philosopher, one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century.
And he wrote, You need to hate the world enough to change it, but love it enough to consider it worth changing.
You need to hate the world enough to change it, but love it enough to consider it worth changing.
And then the guy who wrote the tweet that I'm sort of grabbing these things from wrote, He wrote, action is the offspring of dark pessimism and frenzied optimism working in tandem.
Is it now? Is it really? Let us see if we can puzzle this one out.
See if we can puzzle this one out.

[0:44] Now, Chesterton, of course, as a Christian and specifically as a Catholic convert, would have accepted the soul.
And the soul, of course, is the untainted aspect of the personality, which sin cannot fundamentally destroy.
Now, because there is the soul in the body, redemption is always possible because the world is a collectivist concept.
But if you accept that there's a soul in every human body within the world, then you can make that collectivist statement.
It is, of course, predicated on accepting or believing in the existence, incorruptibility of the soul.
Now, the soul is the seat of free will.
It is the escape from materialistic determinism to say that there's a ghost in the machine that is not subject to the physical laws of the machine.
There's a ghost in the machine not subject to the physical laws of the machine, which means the machine has free will.
The atoms don't have free will, but the soul is an immaterial substance that is the essence of consciousness, has free will.
In the same way that you and I cannot pass through a wall, but a ghost can, the soul can self-generate action which mere atoms and energy cannot.

[2:05] So, Chesterton can put forward the idea that the world and everyone within it can be saved.
The world and everyone in it can be saved.

[2:19] Because there is no possibility of becoming an automaton.
There's no possibility of becoming an NPC because you always retain within you, the seed of free will and the opportunity for grace and change called the soul.
You cannot become a machine because you contain a soul.
We know that a computer doesn't think. A computer simply compares binaries.
There's no ghost in the computer that gives it free will.
Now, the question that is really one of the most fundamental questions for an effective moral life, moral being not only are you moral yourself, but you wish to inspire and evoke virtue in others.
It's the most fundamental question after you grasp and begin to enact the basic principles of virtue, honesty, courage, integrity, and so on, and judgment.
The first question that you need to answer after the question, well, first question is, what is truth? What is goodness?
And then how do I enact it? How do I enact goodness? How am I good in the world?
These are challenging enough questions.
But very quickly, along with these questions, or subsequent very rapidly to these questions, is the question of...

[3:42] Who can be helped? Who can be helped?
My approach is different from Chesterton's because I would not put forward a collective concept called the world as something to be saved.
Again, with the concept of the soul, absolutely you can and it makes perfect sense, but that's not my approach.
I've mentioned this before. I'll touch on it again because it's relevant to this part of the conversation.
A triage. triage so triage is a basic medical approach to mass injuries right you you there's been a collision between a bus and a train you got a hundred people in the er now some people will die, no matter what you do some people will be all right in the moment or they will survive in the moment if you don't deal with them immediately right some some guy comes in he's left his leg he's bleeding out like there's really nothing you can do i would assume so i mean rest in peace you you have to let him go. You can't help him.
Other people, they've got a broken arm.
They'll be fine if you don't treat them in the moment. There's other people you can save only if you treat them in the moment. They can only be saved if you treat them in the moment.

[4:54] Some guy whose wound can be stitched up, you can give him some plasma, some blood, you can stabilize him.
So triage, and I understand, of course, it's ridiculous to say, but there it is.
I'm no no medical expert. I don't know what I'm talking about.
These are all just, this is my amateur, ridiculous understanding of the term.
So in dealing with the body, you have to make very swift judgments about he's gone, move to the next guy.
He's going to be fine for the next hour. He's going to survive the next hour or the next five minutes or whatever.
And you apply your your energies to those who will die if you don't act now.

[5:39] And this is really the way that you save the most lives. If you try to save the life, because, you know, it's a zero-sum game.
Whatever time you spend on one patient is time you're not spending on another patient.
So if you try to save the guy who's three minutes from bleeding out from some huge arterial blood gusher, if you spend all your time on him, then the guy you could have saved will probably move to a state where he can't be saved.

The Concept of Triage

[6:05] He'll lose too much blood. his heart will be too clogged or I don't know what again I'm no doctor like whatever it would be right so the concept of triage is the concept that you have to work to save as many lives as possible.

[6:21] Because some people can't be saved other people don't need to be saved right away because they'll live anyway but the people who are going to die very soon unless you treat them those are the the people that you you deal with and it's a usually a small subsection right most people in sort of mass casualty event most people are not in that category that it's a very narrow category, of people who will only survive if you treat them now right again sorry sorry to be repetitive but it's really really important for the case that i'm building people they're not going to survive no matter what you do people who are fine and stable for now and can be treated later Later.
And people who will die if you don't treat them now. People who will die if you treat them now, people who won't die if you don't treat them now, but people who will die if you don't treat them now, those are the people you spend your time and effort on.
And doing this kind of evaluation is pretty skilled.
It's usually not something that, I don't know, a podiatrist or a GP or a psychiatrist or whatever, they're usually not in, this is a specific emergency room or combat doctor, war theater doctor or whatever.
It's a specific kind of training to identify these people and you literally you're you have to make split second decisions that are going to save or cost lives it's really a wild scenario.

[7:47] And of course it was developed in order to save the most lives and of course as battlefield medicine in particular has gotten better and better more and more soldiers can be saved saved, right?
There's this terrible scene in the movie Lincoln where, a horrible scene in the movie Lincoln where they're wheeling out the legs that have been cut off.
They're wheeling out the legs that have been cut off from the soldiers.
There's a wheelbarrow. They're just dumping them in the pile.
But now the most advanced armies actually have a bit of a disability because like the economy is because you can save so many soldiers, but they're kind of half crippled and need a lot lot of resources and so on so the better your economy the more soldiers you can save but in a sense then the more harm that is to your economy because those soldiers require massive amounts of resources to rehabilitate themselves or get get back up on their feet or foot whatever it is.

[8:43] So the reason I'm talking about this is with triage, we are talking about material, material flesh, right?
The body. We're not talking about the soul.
Now, I assume, of course, that the triage would be different for a priest, right?
The triage would be different for a priest than for a doctor.
The triage for a priest would be to focus on those who are about to die.
And whose death cannot be prevented, right? So the doctor's focusing on those whose death can be prevented but is imminent, and the priest, I assume, would be focusing on those whose death cannot be prevented and is imminent.
I mean, nobody's death can be prevented eventually, but it's imminent.
The reason being that the people about to die need to confess.

[9:39] And need to get their last rites, need to make good with God, and hopefully facilitate their entrance to heaven in the afterlife.
So the priest has a different approach. Obviously, people who just got a broken arm, they're not going to die from the broken arm.
The priest can deal with them later because they're not about to die.
The people whose lives can be saved because the doctor is working on them, the priest can help them later.
But the people that the doctor is stepping over because they're going to die within the next few minutes, those are the people that the priest desperately needs to get right with God before they go. So the triage is different.
The doctor is trying to save the flesh. The priest is trying to save the soul.

[10:21] It's a different triage. It is impossible to lose the capacity for free will in the Christian context.
People can always be saved because there's always a good impulse in the bad mind.
There's always a good soul in the bad conscience.
The conscience is part of the good soul. The conscience is trying to guide the actions back to virtue. you.
And of course, I was raised as a staunch Christian in the Anglican tradition, so I understand all of this, though of course it's been a while, and please accept that my understanding is shaky.
Things may have changed. I may be getting stuff wrong, but I think the general principle is valid.
From my perspective, you cannot save the world, because the world is It's a collectivist concept, and there are people who have no functional free will.
Now, what does that mean?

[11:24] The priest, I assume, if he knew the moral history of the people who were dying, he would go to those with the greatest sins first, because they are at the greatest risk of going to hell, and the sins that could be saved.
There are mortal sins and there are venal sins. sins, but the sins that can be saved, the people who can be saved who have the greatest sins would be snatching back people from the devil and turning them to heaven.

Triage in Religion vs. Medicine

[11:49] So he would go to those with the most sins that could be redeemed, especially if you believe in things like limbo and so on, then he would go to those with the most sins who can be redeemed.
And by can be redeemed, I mean it's not a sin that's unforgivable.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit in some denominations would be one of those so the priest is going to go.

[12:17] The most savable, most evil person and try and rescue them.
The priest, in many ways, focuses on the most immoral, even in a non-emergency situation, the priest is going to focus on the most immoral person and try to get the most immoral person to change with the understanding because you cannot eliminate the soul in the mind.
The most evil person always has access to free will and goodness and virtue.
There's always that possibility.

[12:47] So, some of the hard work of rebuilding the capacity to free will is not done, because there is a mystical transformation that can occur in the mind that restores free will and the access to virtue.
So, if you had lung cancer, and your doctor believes that a certain ritual can summon summon healthy lungs within your body, and those healthy lungs will replace your diseased lungs, then it wouldn't make much sense to operate.
He would try to work on these rituals to restore your pink, lovely, youthful, healthy, marathon runner, 23 years of age lungs.
There wouldn't be any point necessarily going through operations and removals and and radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, and so on.
Because your doctor would believe that there was a ritual that could be performed, and if you only believed and changed your mind about your cancer, then you would get healthy lungs would appear.
Healthy lungs would appear in your body, and your diseased lungs would be replaced by healthy lungs.

[13:56] It would really mess up the question of medicine.
And by the way, it would also mess up the question of smoking, because if people enjoy smoking, smoking and they believe that they can will or have faith in healthy lungs and therefore healthy lungs will appear it would change whether they were would be willing to smoke or not i mean if you really like smoking right and and you believe that well if you get lung cancer and you simply cross your fingers and toes and believe hard enough you get your pink healthy youthful lungs back then that would be kind of a tragedy right and this is one of the problems that i think some Some agnostics and atheists have with religion, which is that you can do a lot of evil, and you can then still get to heaven by repenting at the end.
Now, of course, I understand the counter-arguments, which are, well, there are some things that can't be forgiven, and also, if you're only repenting, you're only pretending to repent to get into heaven, God won't accept that. It has to be genuine repentance.
But still, people assume that they can get genuine repentance later in life, which may increase the amount of evil they're willing to do, in the same way that smokers that can will healthy lungs into their chest later in life might have a harder time quitting smoking and might be more likely to even pick up cigarettes or start smoking in the first place.

Saving the World

[15:11] The triage is different if we assume the existence of the soul, which is why I think you save the world.
You have to hate the world enough to want to save it, but you have to love the world to believe it's worth saving.

Balancing Hate and Love

[15:23] Now, in the Christian context, the world as a collective concept is because everyone has a soul, and you have to hate the immorality of the world enough to want to save it enough to want to change it but you also have to love the potential of people to be good enough to really work hard to change it for the better so if you've ever known a coach who's had a really talented but lazy player it would be something like this so some some coach has got some kid you know barely shows up to practice kind of lazy and yet it's incredibly talented at the sport and the coach you know it's really frustrating because he loves the potential but hates the laziness and so in order for the coach to really try and get through to that kid and put him on the right path at least as far as his talent goes would be to rail against his laziness and he would rail against the laziness because of his certain belief in the ability of the kid to to win if he works reasonably hard, right?
To win if he works reasonably hard.

[16:33] So he hates the laziness, loves the potential, and this compels him to act to resist the laziness in the kid and try and foster discipline in order to produce excellence.

Defining Free Will

[16:46] So the triage for religion, those religions that believe in the soul and the eternal perfectibility of remorse, the triage for religion is very different than the triage for medical doctors so it fundamentally comes down to the question is of when do people lose free will when do people lose free will free will is our ability to compare proposed actions to ideal standards free will is our ability to compare proposed actions to ideal standards when when are people unable to exercise exercise that capacity.
I mean, it's only a couple of logical options. We don't have to get overly complicated.
So, if free will, or since free will is our ability to compare proposed actions to ideal standards, if you don't have ideal standards, you don't have free will.
If you don't have ideal standards, you don't have free will.
Do you drive somewhere if you have no idea how to get there?
Right? I mean, forget GPS. This is a slightly older analogy, right?
Somebody says to you, I need you to drive to Blute, Indiana You have no GPS, no maps Would you start driving?

The Importance of Ideal Standards

[17:59] Well, no No, you wouldn't, because you'd just be Driving randomly and you're out of getting to Blute, Indiana Or Butte, Indiana is like virtually nothing I don't even know if that's a place, but bear with me, it doesn't really matter.

[18:12] So, if you have no ideal standards to compare your proposed actions to, then you don't have free will.
So, that's important, which is why relativism and subjectivism have massive undercurrents of determinism to them.
Because if you're, say, a hedonist, then what you do is you say, my own pleasure is the good.
But your own pleasure is not an ideal standard, because so many pleasures are followed by pain, the pleasure of drinking is followed by the hangover, the pleasure of drugs is followed by, withdrawal, the pleasure of sex is followed by, you know, unwanted pregnancies, stalkers, STDs, or just a walk of shame, regret at living a life as an animal.
The pleasure of money is diminished as you make more, so it's not an ideal standard.
And of course, it can't be universalized, because a lot of what people call pleasure is taken at the expense of others. at the expense of other people's pleasure.
If a man wants to get laid and he lies to a woman, has sex, tells her he'll call her, then goes to her, then his pleasure at sexual activity, is at the expense of her unhappiness at having been used like a Kleenex.
To some degree, your happiness at winning the lottery is at the expense of everyone else's happiness because they would have been happy if they win the lottery.
They're unhappy that they didn't win the lottery, so your happiness is at their expense.

[19:40] So, personal pleasure can't be an ideal or universal standard.
Win-lose negotiations can't be universalized.

[19:50] This is why theft can't be universally preferable behavior. One person wins, the other person loses through violation of the universal standard.
The thief of course who steals a bike steals a bike in order to retain his ownership over the bike thus he simultaneously disavows and then affirms the validity of property rights i want to violate your property rights so that i can steal your bike which i then want to keep myself and will be outraged if someone steals it for me so it's all very contradictory it's our ability free will is our ability to compare our proposed actions to ideal standards of course if all you you do is justify, and the self-justification tends to be the biggest crippler of free will, in the mental universe of mankind, which is if you say something that really upsets someone, and it's objectively sort of rude and nasty, and you say, well, you misunderstood.
Well, I didn't mean it that way. Well, it was perfectly justified.
Well, I'm sorry, but, right? Then you you justify what you did.
Now, when you justify what you did, or when you justify what you do, you have a moving ideal standard called whatever I do is right.

[21:04] This is the most common thing in the world. Whatever I do is right, or at least whatever I do is not my fault.
So my mother, obviously, you know, violent and abusive, she created a justification in her mind that she'd had been poisoned by doctors and had Epstein-Barr syndrome and all this other kind of chronic fatigue syndrome.
And therefore, she's no more responsible for hitting me, say, than somebody who believes they're dying, drowning, they're flailing out and accidentally hit someone trying to rescue them, or somebody who hits someone because of an epileptic seizure.
She's not responsible. So she wouldn't ever take responsibility for the immoral things that she did. And so...

[21:50] When she had bad feelings about the bad things she did, she moved to justify them.
Either I was remembering wrong, it never happened that way, or she was really stressed and that's natural, or she was poisoned by the doctors and it's not her fault, I should be mad at the doctors, and all of these kinds of things, right?
So then the ideal standards are self-justification. This is really, really an important thing to look out for.

Self-Justification and Free Will

[22:19] The ideal standards then are whatever i do is right and i would just make up whatever justifications i need to make up in order to be right there's no ideal standard the ideal standard would be the initiation of the use of force is wrong therefore hitting your children is wrong therefore you did significant immorality slash evil by hitting your children period right that's that's right say wow that's really bad and i shouldn't have done that and and so on right Then you have free will.
But for so many people, and you've heard this countless times in the sort of 1500 call-in shows, give or take that I've done, maybe 2,000, I don't know, it's hard to count because some of them are multiples.
So, when people justify their own actions according to a rolling standard called, I can never do wrong, they have no universal objective standard against which to compare their own behaviors. fears.
This is gaslighting, minimizing, counterattacking, self-justification, putting the blame on others, all of these sort of defenses, all of these defenses.

[23:20] Comparing proposed actions to ideal standards. Well, you have to have the ability to generate your own proposed actions, which means you have to believe that the locus of control in your life is within you, right?
You're not just tossed around or pushed around or whatever, right?
I mean, we understand that a prisoner in jail is not following his own diet, right?

[23:42] He's eating whatever the institution feeds him. I mean, maybe he has some choice.
He can buy things from the dispensary or something, but in general, right?
I mean, even Dinocevich, Ivan Dinocevich, in Solzhenitsyn's novel, was not choosing where he slept or what he ate or what work he did.
This was all imposed upon him upon threat of torture and death.
A conscripted man does not choose. to fight.
Compare proposed actions to ideal standards. So you have to believe that actions are proposed and you can evaluate them before doing them or not.
And you also have the belief, you have to accept the belief that you have the capacity to compare proposed actions to ideal standards.
And you also have to be in possession of ideal standards.
The ideal standard is not specifically philosophical. It could be 10 commandments. What would Jesus do?

Ideal Standards and Free Will

[24:30] Have an ideal standard. You have to believe that there's an intervention between what you want to do and what you will do.
Then you have free will. So if you look at, you know, chunky cats, right?
It's the sort of famous set of images on the internet of fat cats, right?
So cats, you know, generally eat whatever you put in front of them as do ducks, as do goldfish and so on.
They don't have an ideal standard called a healthy weight.
They don't have the ability to resist eating food if they're hungry.
So they have no functional free will when it comes to their weight.
They are what you feed them and, you know, how much exercise, if any, is required to get the food.
Human beings, do we have the free will to lose weight? Yes.
Yes, we do. You look at, you know, I'm off sugar, and when I went out with my wife for Valentine's Day, we went to a restaurant that I know for absolute certain, with vivid mouth-watering memory, has an absolutely delicious bowl of bread pudding.
So good. I'm actually salivating now, even as I think about it.

[25:40] And I could have, I mean, I think it's been three weeks now or something like that, three and a half weeks. I could have said, oh, I've been so good.
I deserve a treat. I could have justified it.
But, you know, I was like, you know, why, you know, why reset what I'm doing, right?
I mean, my amateur understanding of these kinds of things is because I've eaten some sugar over the course of my life, I have certain bacteria in my gut that are adapted to feeding off sugar, and if I stop eating sugar, those bacteria will complain and make me uncomfortable, make me irritable, make me tense, second gut problems, and why would I want to feed them and make them stronger again so they can begin the battle from scratch?
That's no good that's no good they'll multiply and set me back in time and all that right so i have an ideal called no added sugar right i must delete fruit inside no added sugar.

[26:34] I have the capacity, nobody's got a gun to my head and making me eat bread pudding.
I have the capacity to say yes or no to bread pudding.
I have an ideal standard called no sugar. So I have free will with regards to that.
If I hold in my mind the ideal standard of no sugar and that I'm in control of whether I eat sugar, I have free will with regards to sugar.
If you look at somebody who's diabetic, I mean, I remember being in a play with a woman and we were both acting in a play and there was a fridge by the side of the stage and she had a candy bar because I think she was diabetic and she needed to eat a candy bar if her blood sugar went. I'm not an expert, but I remember this.
And I remember her being quite outraged that someone had taken her candy bars.
Like, this is not a candy bar. This is medicine for me. I need this.
Right. And, you know, we sympathize. Of course, we sympathize.
It's a tough, tough condition to deal with.
And she wasn't fat or anything. I think she just had but the inherited diabetes, which is really tough, right? And great sympathies.
So for me to eat a candy bar would not be great for my health.
For her to eat a candy bar was essential for her health at this point.
And again, sorry if I'm misremembering it or got things wrong, but I just very much remember that. It's quite vivid.

[27:54] So she has an ideal standard called maintaining her blood sugar, which requires eating a candy bar.
I have an ideal standard at the moment called not eating additional sugar, which means I don't eat the candy bar, or at least I have the choice not to, right?
Actions, ideal standards. If you don't believe you have any control of your proposed actions, if you don't have any ideal standards, you don't have any functional free will. That doesn't mean you can never choose anything. I get all of that, right?
Do I want a red or a blue dress? You know, like you can choose those things, but in terms of morality, right?
Well, I mean, even with that, right, even with the red and blue dress, right?
You have proposed actions, which is I can choose one or the other.
And you have an ideal standard called, which looks best on me, or which is the the best price or you know what's the best value or whatever it is right so you have an ideal standard which looks best on me and it's funny i remember when i play katan from time to time and when i i like to trade occasionally i'll play with bots like if i'm exercising or whatever while in a way the absolute mind-crushing boredom of doing exercise i can't do podcasts because i'm hanging weights i can listen to audiobooks but it makes the time fly if i'm finger swiping a katan game while doing my weights yes i'm a little bit of a stimulus junkie i know that so i don't have an ideal to not be though so that's just the way it is so when i'm doing a bunch of weights.

[29:17] Normally i like trading but if i'm doing some heavy weights i don't want the boss to trade with me or if i'm i can't do anything i'm if i'm out of cards and sometimes you know if it's a complicated game there's almost a little bit of relief like i don't have any cards i can't do anything i can't trade i can't build i can't like maybe i can move a ship but that's about it right so sometimes there's a little bit of relief well the choice is the choice is out of my hands because i don't have any cards so so when i try to evaluate whether people are worth helping or saving and this This actually just happened yesterday in the live stream, where one of the stream watchers said something very mean to someone I care about, and I called him out on it, and he basically just made up a bunch of justifications.
There was one or two mealy-mouthed apologies that, well, yes, but, you know, and then there was no further apology.
So this is someone who makes up his own justifications and doesn't have the ego strength to say, I did wrong.
We all have the capacity to do wrong. I've certainly done wrong in my life.
I've failed to meet my own ideal standards. Of course.

[30:28] Ego strength to know that you can do wrong very weak people in general say they can't handle being wrong and usually it's the result of prior verbal abuse and so on i get all of that and i sympathize with that but i don't care after a while after a while you just have to grow the hell up and admit you can do wrong and you can be a jerk and you can be an a-hole and you can be mean and you can be petty and you can be vengeful right you can inflict pain rather than admit pain i get i mean we all right but it's vanity right it starts off with trauma as vanity is usually the scar tissue issue of trauma so it starts off as trauma which is that every time i admit fault i get further attacked and then it turns into vanity i'm so good i can't do wrong which then if something goes wrong you have to find someone to blame and this is the sort of cycle of trauma that happens right trauma leads to vanity leads to the abdication of personal responsibility and the blaming of others which leads to more trauma which leads to vanity right so so i i ceased to help and I'm just, you can see this on the video.
It was the 15th of February in the afternoon that I did the video.
And not to pick on this person, right? But I know, I know what to look for.
If somebody doesn't have ideal standards and says, you know what?
I just lashed out at someone because I perceived to be offended.
I just lashed out at someone.
That's not right. That's really wrong. It caused me to suffer a lot.
I'm wholeheartedly sorry for that. I have no excuses. It was really wrong, and I did not at all fulfill my own values and my own standards, right?

[31:55] And the listener didn't do that, and because he justified his own actions, mostly, I also knew that there wasn't going to be any kind of apology coming in later.
And so you know, right? Who are the people worth helping, right?
If somebody were to send me in a call-and-show request saying, I have no capacity to change anything in my life, and I don't want to do anything better, Thank you.
Take that call and show request? Well, of course not.
Because they're saying they have no capacity or will or desire to change their behavior.
They have no ideal standard. I don't want anything to improve and I'm not changing anything. Steph, give me a call and show. I'll be like, well, no.

[32:34] People send me call and shows because there's something in life that they want to improve and they believe they have the power to do it. They just need some kind of clarity.
Well, basically what I'm doing in the call and shows is I'm restoring ideal standards.
Because people People already accept that they have the capacity to change, and they already know that they're not doing their best, which is, you know, the case for almost all of us almost all of the time, so that's fine.
But what I'm doing, and this is the philosophical aspect of the call-in shows, which is really the essence of the call-in shows, is I'm restoring their free will by restoring ideal standards.
By restoring their ideal standards. So that they have the capacity to compare proposed actions against an ideal standard, which restores their free will.
If they can't figure out these ideal standards, don't know how to put them, or don't know how to frame them or don't know how to achieve them or pursue them, then they have no functional free will.
The mode of power is missing. The engine is revving. It's not connected to anything.

[33:26] Or they are spinning tires in the mud. Can't get anywhere. There's no traction.
Traction is proposed actions, ideal standards.
So do I have optimism that people can improve? Well, of course.
Absolutely. Completely and totally.
Do I believe that's true of everyone? I do not.
Do I have an empirical measure of how to figure that out? I do. I do.
Is the person willing to accept ideal standards that they can A, fall short of, and B, achieve?

[33:59] Person willing to accept ideal standards that they can, A, fall short of, and B, achieve.
Now, the achievement of an ideal standard doesn't mean ideal behavior.
Always and forever, right? But there's better than and worse than, right?
It's better to be, if you're, I don't know, a six-foot-tall man, it's probably better to be 180 pounds or 170 pounds than it is to be 400 pounds, right? Losing weight is better.
Ideal weight, who knows, right? Depends if you work out, depends if you're a runner versus a weightlifter.
I mean, but there's still better or worse than.
So let's take ideal standards, proposed actions.
In the religious sense, with the soul. Well, the soul, through contrition and repentance, can achieve the ideal standards, can achieve the ideal standard of salvation with no transitory actions.
It is an emotional journey. You truly repent, you're truly sorry, and you achieve grace, you achieve salvation.
In a sense, if you are truly sorry that you smoked, you get fresh and healthy lungs back.
It is obviously a form of magical thinking, but that's faith, right? That's faith. faith.
And at least in Christianity, there are ideal universal standards, which is wonderful.

[35:23] In triage, in ER, the ideal standard is save the most possible lives.
And there's specific processes that you go through to achieve that.
You have the choice on who you treat, you have the choice on treatments you apply, and the ideal standard is save as many lives as possible.
Because I don't know if you remember this way back in the day, back to Hippocrates, there used to be this oath called do no harm in the medical field it really was super cool that doctors had this first do no harm thing that was that was great that was really really nice and then government took over health care well that's something i've talked about and literally i guess in the medical context ad nauseum before but that was that was really cool when that was was going down. That was fantastic.
Big plus. Big plus.

[36:12] So, proposed actions, ideal standards. The proposed action is repentance.
Action doesn't have to be something external or physical. It can be internal.
I have a standard called taking responsibility.

Taking Responsibility and Ideal Standards

[36:25] You know, that manifests, I guess, in various different ways.
But that's my ideal standard is don't blame other people for your own choices.
Don't blame other people for your own choices.
It's also a way of, by the way, this methodology is one way to avoid wasting time trying to change people who can't change number one and number two it's a way of avoiding bitterness and hatred towards those who've treated you unjustly or immorally because the way that i view it is that people who reject.

[36:58] Self-ownership and ideal standards have no functional free will.
Now, you can say, but do they choose to reject these things? Doesn't matter.
I don't care. It's irrelevant, right?
Because, you know, I always hear this thing where people say, but did my mean parents, did they know? It doesn't matter.
Because the abandonment of self-ownership and the rejection of ideal standards is lying to yourself.
If you say I'm a victim when you're not, you're lying to yourself.
And if you're lying to yourself, of course, you'll lie to others, right?
People who lie to themselves find it ridiculously easy to lie to others.
In fact, if you see someone who lies to himself or herself, they're guaranteed to lie to you.
So, knowledge that can never be attained is never worth pursuing.
Knowledge that can never be attained is never worth pursuing.
In fact, really, that's the definition of mental illness, is to pursue knowledge in some ways, or to pursue tasks that can never be attained.
And so the truth of falsehood of whether someone is consciously choosing to reject self-ownership or whether they truly believe they're a victim, because they're already committed to falsehood.

[38:11] Way to get the information. There's no way to get the information.
I mean, if you think about it in a trial, right, a witness who's been proven to repeatedly lie is dismissed from the stand and everything they say is assumed to be false.
You don't keep cross-examining witnesses who have openly perjured themselves and lied, brazenly, bald-facedly lied in the court, right?
Somebody who says, I was both in this town and in a town on the other side of the country at the same time, I mean, obviously, that's a kind of crazy person, but you don't keep cross-examining that person.
And you say, well, there could be some truth in there, but you'll never know whether it's true or not.
Because when people self-report and are committed to lying, they can make up whatever they want.
You have no way of independently verifying what they're saying.
They've already proved themselves to be a liar.
So why on earth would you continue to pursue knowledge when you will never, ever gain that knowledge?
See, gaining that knowledge isn't just having facts or having conclusions.
Conclusions, gaining knowledge is having conclusions that you accept as true, right?
So I know that people believe that the world is flat.
Sorry, I thought I was in America for a sec there.
I accept that there are people who believe that the world is flat. The world is not flat.

[39:25] So knowing that there are people who believe that the world is flat doesn't mean that the world is flat.
Knowing that there are people who make claims about their level of self-ownership versus victimhood doesn't mean that I have any objective truth about that.
Now, if I were to say, well, as I did to the guy I debated the flat earth with some years ago, if I were to say, well, he doesn't really believe that the earth is flat.
It's just that his social community, he kind of has to say that.
It makes him feel special and important, but he doesn't really believe it deep down. That's just making something up.
That's not knowledge. That's fantasy. I don't even know what to call that. That's nonsense.
Because if you say to the guy, do you really believe? I mean, maybe at some point he'll confess.
Oh, yeah, I know I don't really believe it, but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? right? But, you know, given that he's already lying to himself and falsifying things in the world, who knows? He could just be saying that to get you off his back, right?

[40:13] So if somebody does not believe that they're in control of their own life, if somebody does not have universal standards, ideal standards, one of the ideal standards, of course, is self-ownership, because you are in charge of your life, assuming you're not unjustly incarcerated or whatever, just grabbed off the streets and kidnapped, right? right?
But under situations of unjust and direct compulsion, I mean, if you run at someone saying, I'm going to kill you, and then they shoot you in the leg, then you're responsible for your leg whoosh, right?
Because you tried to kill someone or threatened to.
But if you're just snagged and unjustly imprisoned and so on, then you're not in control of your own life.
I get that, but that's not the people I'm talking to, for the most part.
No, that's not the people I'm talking to, period.

[40:58] So in terms of triage that's what i'm looking for do you accept that you're in control of your own life and you've heard this you know the women say i just kind of got pregnant or it just happened or my marriage was disintegrating and it's like no no these are like i've said this to a woman the other day who was very miserable after her baby was born like no you made choices right right? Made choices.
The woman who was writing about her divorce, she was saying that my marriage, was falling apart and I was resenting that my husband was paying all the bills and so on. These are all choices that she made.
So there's no free will there because she doesn't believe that she's in control of her own life. She's just like a leaf on the breeze blowing everywhere.
If a leaf is on the breeze being blown somewhere, there's no point yelling at it to go left or right or up or down.
It's just going to land where it lands, right? And does she have ideal standards?
Well, no. I mean, one of the ideal standards that men and women take when they get married is a vow to love each other forever or support each other forever or be good, to be true, be loyal, be whatever, right? That's an ideal standard.

[42:06] Marriages stay together is people respect their ideal standards to love and honor. So if you fall out of that, you've got to get back into that, right?
Most people who diet have a slip or two or three or five or 10, and then they have to get back on the wagon, so to speak.
And if people aren't willing to accept ideal standards, so when people say to me, there's no such thing as truth, there's no such thing as absolutes, there's no such thing as ideals, everything's cultural, everything's relative, everything's subjective, they're are openly stating to me to you to the world to god to the devil i have no free will i refuse to accept ideal universal standards by which i could compare proposed actions to therefore i have no free will i will do whatever the hell i want and i will justify it using some you know i gotta be authentic i gotta be empowered i gotta be i gotta live my best life i gotta live laugh love i've gotta you know i gotta be me i gotta express myself i gotta you know like this woman said i I was so stressed, I had to drink.
I was so stressed that I had to blow off steam. I was like, that's all a choice, right?
It's your choice to put yourself in a life that has that level of stress.
And it's a choice to say whether that compels you to, quote, blow off steam, which to her seemed to be drinking and smoking and spending like a drunken sailor. All right, excuses.

[43:23] Excuses are promises of repetition, and promises of repetition are the abandonment of free will.

Abandoning Free Will through Excuses

[43:27] I'm sort of tying all of this, the BNAP and the self-justification and the lack of free will determinism relativism i'm tying it all together in one nice bundle for you so can you save the world no of course not because there are so many people who reject self-ownership by blaming others or circumstances or who reject ideal standards or both they have no functional free will but maybe the free will is buried down in their deep no no that's a magical ritual that believes that somewhere under the cancer-ridden lungs or somewhere in the, there's a ghost of healthy lungs in the cancerous lungs that can replace the cancerous lungs.

[44:09] Yes but i know people who they didn't take self-ownership they did blame others they didn't have ideal standards and then they changed yes of course yeah but they have to recognize that their life is a problem and that there's a better way right they have to recognize that their life is a problem and there isn't a better way so i was talking to this woman yesterday and she's had a certain perspective about self-knowledge and self-ownership and so on which has been going on she was in her early 30s and i said well you've believed these things for you know 15 years or or whatever, as it solves your problem.
Like normally when you believe things, or you accept things that are true, it solves your problem, right?
If you think that cracking your knuckles will deal with your toothache, well, it won't. Going to the dentist will, so you know that you have done something correct to solve the problem when the problem gets solved.

[44:53] I love the potential in people's minds, but if they have abandoned their own free will by self-justification, by playing the victim, if they have abandoned their own free will, I view them as equivalent to robots. It's sort of the NPC meme, right?
If I'm playing a video game and some creature that is programmed to attack me attacks me, do I consider that morally wrong on the part of the creature?
No, it's programmed to attack me, and that's the game.
Because of my way old addiction to space shooter games that came out of Star Raiders in 1980, I tried a game called Everspace 2, where these computer-controlled spaceships were rolling around and shooting at me. Do I consider them morally wrong? No.
They're NPCs. They're programmed. They have no free will. And this is how you avoid the bitterness. This is how you escape the bitterness.
They choose not to choose, and after that, it's not personal. personal.
The mob is often programmed to attack freethinkers. We understand that. At.

Restoring Free Will through Ideal Standards

[46:05] The human mob is one of the greatest predators in the world it's just a fact it's the way things are you say ah but they're responsible for it doesn't matter how they got there, they have no functional responsibility now and therefore they can't be improved, so the triage is do you accept ownership of your life do you accept self-ownership do you accept ideal standards that's those are the people worth helping and when you, try to help people who don't accept self-ownership don't accept ideal standards then you're wasting your time and their time and you're also harming the world by not helping the people who could be helped that's your triage so yeah that's a interesting paradox and i really really appreciate your support. slash donate. slash donate. Love to get your help there.
And is a great resource and a great community.
You can also go to slash freedomain to help out there as well.
It's also got a great community. Thanks everyone so much. Have yourselves a glorious afternoon. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

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May 2024

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