Stefan Molyneux's First Interview in FOUR YEARS! 

Brief Summary

Stefan Molyneux and Connor engage in a reflective conversation on ethics, parenting, and societal values. Stefan emphasizes the importance of peaceful parenting in preventing child abuse and building a civilized society. They delve into the impact of childhood trauma on individuals and society, emphasizing the role of love rooted in virtue. Stefan critiques modern societal shifts and explores women's liberation, happiness, and societal restraints. He discusses power dynamics in society, propaganda's influence on beliefs, and promotes universally preferable behavior as a proof of secular ethics. Stefan shares his return to Christianity and stresses the importance of morality in preserving virtue. The interview concludes with a reflection on seeking truth and moral principles for a harmonious society.


0:00 Introduction and Zine Announcement

6:39 Reflecting on Deplatforming and Shifting Focus

11:22 Writing "Peaceful Parenting" and Making a Case

17:45 Societal Shifts and Impact on Parenting Ethics

21:45 Reasons Why Others Haven't Focused on Childhood Ethics

24:32 Experience in School and Learning Reciprocal Standards

27:08 Defining Love and Avoiding Exploitative Relationships

28:05 The Definition of Love

37:43 Morality and Scarcity

49:01 The Downside of the Male Life

50:53 The Future of the Welfare State

52:30 Overcoming Racial Animosity

55:10 Women's Voting Power and Fertility

1:02:34 The Rational Proof of Ethics

1:12:18 Reflecting on Christianity and Child Protection

Long Summary

In this extensive interview, Connor and Stefan Molyneux engage in a deep and introspective conversation touching on a wide range of topics. Stefan's deplatforming experience leads him to refocus on childhood ethics, particularly emphasizing his book "Peaceful Parenting" and the imperative of building a case against child abuse. He expresses confidence in the transformative power of ethical parenting to create a more civilized society. The duo discusses the profound impact of childhood trauma on individuals and society, pondering the complexities of personal experiences and societal expectations in shaping beliefs and values.

Stefan delves into the intricate nature of love, highlighting its influential capacity and the necessity for it to be rooted in virtue. He underscores the significance of understanding one's childhood experiences in sculpting principles and behaviors while critiquing modern societal shifts affecting morals and values. The conversation shifts towards exploring societal restraints and their evolutionary influence on women's liberation and happiness, enunciating the importance of acknowledging trade-offs in personal and professional pursuits.

Addressing controversial topics, Stefan delves into power dynamics regarding women's roles in society, fertility, and politics, shedding light on the influence of propaganda on societal beliefs. He elaborates on Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB) as a rational proof of secular ethics, critiquing secular morality and advocating for universal standards of behavior. Stefan shares his journey back to Christianity, stressing the significance of prioritizing children's well-being in preserving morality and virtue. The interview concludes on a reflective note, emphasizing the virtues of seeking truth deeply and the importance of moral principles in fostering a harmonious society.


Stefan Molyneux




societal values

peaceful parenting

child abuse prevention

childhood trauma



societal shifts

women's liberation



power dynamics

secular ethics




moral principles

harmonious society



Introduction and Zine Announcement



Before we start with an interview, I am so glad that I have the opportunity to do, because I've been wanting to speak to this man for years now with my work. I do have to mention that today, our good editor, Rory, launched our new in-print zine. It's Islander. You can go and get it at our merch store. It'll be quarterly. Fantastic contributions here. Do look out for that. We've got to really push out in print media, but I don't want to waste any time, because I've already wasted enough of his time with irritating tech problems. Mr. Stefan Molyneux, thank you for being so gracious for joining me for your first interview with like a proper external outlet in quite a few years. I really appreciate it.



Well, thanks. I guess I'm going back from being the studio band to playing a little live and very nice to meet you. Nice to chat with you.



Yeah, well, I have to say that I'm definitely not a neutral interviewer. I have listened to Free Domain for years. I've been a donator for for some time. I think that your cancellation is probably the single most high-profile, least just one that I've ever encountered, particularly because if you contrast what read like a rap sheet of defamatory claims on your Wikipedia page to your simple-to-read-what-I-believe page on your own website, you get a very different impression. And so in 2020, struck off the internet, digitally exiled. I know it coincided with a difficult time for you when your father passed away, and obviously lots of mixed emotions about that. So I know this might be a soft question, but how have you felt since then? How are you?



Oh, I'm great. Honestly, I view the deplatforming as really part of a very important conversation that I'm having with the world. So the beginning of the show, for me, was about... Ethics and childhood. And those who are really good at thinking about ethics are not very good at thinking about childhood. And those who are good at thinking about childhood are generally not very good at thinking about ethics. And I really, really wanted to bring... The sort of rational philosophical discipline of universal ethics to questions of childhood. I just recently finished, I guess, my magnum opus called Peaceful Parenting, which I wouldn't have done if I wasn't de-platformed, sort of part of the general conversation with the world.



So I really, really, really wanted to write the book which takes moral philosophy and applies it to parent-child relations. And philosophers haven't really done that. They don't talk much about childhood. They're really, really into trolley problems and they're really into, hey man, is it possible that we're living in a simulation, man? And things like that. I mean, I don't mean to scorn all prior philosophers, but it is a little bit annoying that these giant brains of analytical reasoning have not turned their attentions to the furnace of the human heart, the origin story of the species, which is our childhood. So I started the show with childhood and ethics. And then, you know, that smoky come hither look that politics has as rightly or wrongly, good or bad, it was what it was. It kind of drew me in that direction towards politics. And of course, the rise of populism, the rise of Trump was a really, really fascinating phenomenon for me as a sort of moral philosopher in particular. So I kind of got into politics. And for me, I'm the kind of guy when I kind of get into something, it's not like a little thing. It's like cannonball. In I go. So I went into politics and that grew the show, of course, enormously. and it drew me away from the childhood stuff. Now, I wasn't the worst political analyzer in the world, but it's not a job that can't be done by other people.



So I think in part of the unconscious conversation that I was having with the world, which means things below, of course, the ken of the neofrontal cortex part of the brain, the unconscious, which has been clocked at like 6,000 times faster than the conscious mind, which produces all of our wild dreams at night and all of that sort of stuff. So in the unconscious conversation with the world, I think that the world was saying, bro.



Love the politics. You've been good with the politics, but you're staying too long. And of course, it's getting kind of slander, lawfare kind of dangerous. So you should go and do what you can do, which is to bring reason and ethics and analytical virtues to childhood, because that's the one thing that's not being done. It's the one thing that has never been done from a really rigorous philosophical standpoint.



And it's the one thing that you can do. And so when it came to shuffling around the chess pieces of society, I do view the people who deplatformed me as giving me a cold, wet fish across the face of reminding me of the most important thing that I could be doing, which is to focus on the ethics of childhood. When you focus on the ethics of childhood, though, you do have to deal with some of the existential angst that comes from giving up on politics. It's like, well, I don't know that politics is going to solve things right now. But if I focus back on the childhood stuff, maybe in a generation or two, things can be a lot better. So sorry, long answer, but no, I feel great. I feel like I got set back to the primary mission. I got put back to my useful place in society. and it means that I probably won't live to see many of the fruits of my labors, but that's kind of the gig of the philosopher is to have at least a 500-year business plan. You've got to be like, I don't know, the old Chinese sort of dynasties with their endless business plans. So I think that it kicked me out of politics, which was obviously quite addictive. I think we've all been there to one degree or another, like what's going on in the world? What can I say about it? And when you do talk about that stuff, you get a lot of attention. Of course, you know, you get donations and so on, which has its plus in terms of building the business.



So turning away from all of that and sometimes you look back at the things that you didn't like at the time. This is true for all addictions, I think, where you say, hey, man, that day I couldn't find my dealer was actually a really great day. I really, really was frustrated. My dealer quit, man. Where am I going to get my stuff? I need my stuff. So for me, I think it was the world was saying, in, you know, not obviously a very kind or rational manner, but, you know, if it was kind and rational, I wouldn't need to be working on childhood so much. It said, bro, you got to get back to the childhood stuff. And so removing the audience to some degree and realizing when I shifted platforms, because, you know, I'm not gone from the internet. I'm just, I'm one website over, man. I'm one website over.


Reflecting on Deplatforming and Shifting Focus



And people are like, one website, thus is a bridge too far. I cannot make it. It's the bridge at Khazad-dum, none shall pass. It's like one website over. So realizing Realizing the sort of ephemeral nature of people's interest in you is also really important because then you can build a much deeper legacy for the future rather than chasing the dopamine of the moment. So I view the deplatforming, although obviously it was a bit of a band-aid coming off my soul, but a very positive thing in the long run. I think not just for me and what it is that I can do, but for the future as a whole.



Okay. Firstly, please never apologize for a long answer. Sorry.



I'm British. I apologize. That's just the way it is.



But, uh, we're getting the reciprocal manners here, you know?



No, no. After you, please.



It feels like we're letting each other through doorways. We just never get anywhere. Um, I do find it very frustrating that people just didn't hop off YouTube to Rumble, Bitchute, Odyssey, Locals, your website, even Google Podcasts, which is being shut down this but you've had an RSS feed for ages. All of those are linked in the description, by the way, so that people have got no excuse not to go over and listen and follow you and donate, which they absolutely should. But I suppose let's reverse engineer my sort of original thinking of the flow of the conversation, because you brought up peaceful parenting. I've listened to it twice. I was listening as you were releasing the chapters, and then now that you've sent me the full block thing, it's important and harrowing. The only person I think that's done anything even remotely similar is Katie Faust over at Them Before Us, but that was a more sort of data-driven advocacy thing. It wasn't philosophical. Necessarily. And so I think it's a real triumph. I think if anyone took the time to actually read it and were operating a good faith, it would repudiate the defamatory claim that you're, somehow a white nationalist, but also don't want the existence of a state and don't want to use violence against the most vulnerable in civilization. So how did it feel to write this, particularly digging into personal memories, I'm sure, and dealing with some of the worst possible implications for what children are suffering that so-called protected minorities now, you know, they don't have to go through any of this, but everyone seems to be overlooking exactly what the most vulnerable in our civilization are going through.



Oh, I got to tell you, man, the book was horrible, horrible to write. And now, I mean, that's probably not the best piece of marketing. My marketing brain, I used to be a software guy and I was a chief director of marketing at a company. So my marketing brain is don't talk about how horrible the book is. But for me, it was very, very difficult to write because it really does highlight what is so wrong with our society and the way that it views ethics and virtue and consistency. So it was very painful. I mean, I kind of knew all of these arguments. I've made them over the, you know, 17, 18, 19 years that I've been doing work as a sort of public philosopher. But this one, I've never had anything this hard. For me, a book is like, hey, great. You know, I get on the treadmill. I have my voice dictation machine. I just right away and it's great fun and it gives me adrenaline. And this was, you know, it wasn't exactly like doing your own appendicitis with chopsticks, but it wasn't exactly the opposite of that either. And the reason being that.



And the book is long, there will be a shorter version coming out. And I think that's perfectly reasonable, but I needed to make not a civil case, but a criminal case, right? So, you know, in generally in the law, a civil case, like a lawsuit about money or whatever, that is preponderance of evidence, like 51%, more likely than not. I'm not making that case when it comes to peaceful parenting. I'm not making the case that, you know, on the balance, it's nicer if you don't savage your children, yeah. I mean, I'm making a criminal case. So a criminal case is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But I wanted to go even further than that. I wanted it to be, if you finish the book, there's no doubt. This is like video, smoking gun, satellite imagery, GPS location, your DNA is on the scene. This is 100%. So the only thing you can do if you're caught in a criminal activity like that is you plea out, right? You plea out. Because there's no point going to trial. You're going to lose, right? So the pleading out is being nice to your children. So I really had to make the case. So I make the case, of course, philosophically, morally. I make the case in terms of here are practical ways in which you can deal with parenting issues because I've been a stay-at-home parent for 15 and a half years. So I've, you know, some experience. I also worked at a daycare for many years when I was younger.



So I make the case from theory. I make the case from practice. And then, which is what took the book so long to write, to write, is I make the case from absolute bulletproof scientific proof, like the biology of child abuse, what it does to the brain, what it does to longevity, what it does to cancer, ischemic heart disease, what it does to promiscuity, what it does to addiction, and so on.


Writing "Peaceful Parenting" and Making a Case



Criminality, of course, as a whole. And so I had to make the case, here's what's right, here's how to do it, and here's why to do it. And if you get to the end of the book and you think, like, maybe then you've obviously skipped a whole bunch or not been honest with the chain of reasoning because I needed to make an irrefutable case. My books are normally two months to write, three months to write. This was 14, 15 months and a lot of iterations. So I guess the tone, oh man, the tone. I don't mean to overly tone police myself like some blue haired feminist, but it really was important to get the tone right because you don't want it to be angry because, Because, you know, then that's kind of turning people off. And it also triggers their defenses. And trying to get through people's defenses is one of the big tricks of being a public communicator about sensitive issues. So, you know, this one's too angry. This one's too placid. And so just rewriting and rewriting and trying to find the right tone. You want to be outraged, of course, because you need to shake people out of their train tracks. But you also don't want to be psycho angry. You know what I mean? But of course, given the scope of the subject, that billions of children are horribly abused every day around the world.



It's finding the right tone for it to be passionate, but encouraging for it to be firm without being abusive, for it to be assertive without being aggressive. I mean, that tone stuff was really, really tough. And the number of iterations I went through trying to pick the lock of people's defenses is tough. If it's not important enough, they don't care. If it's too important, they get too defensive. So trying to find that way through the maze was tricky.



You don't want to trigger the parental defense mechanisms that have been outsourced to them. That's like a parasite in their own conscience. Immediately, if you criticize an abstract behavior, which I don't want to be reductive as to your work because it's really comprehensive, but the essential argument is don't neglect, assault, abuse verbally, physically, or sexually your child, and we might have a more healthy civilization. Very robust argumentation, but the takeaway moral is really all that simple.



Oh, sorry to interrupt. I'm sorry to interrupt. You went back to the preponderance of Emma. We might have. No, no, no. It's not that we might. We absolutely, completely, and totally will. Like it's not we might have a more civilized. And that's the delicacy, right? It's that you want to say, well, it might be some. No, no, no. Hundred and fifty percent. Absolute for certain. Right. I mean, child abuse can take an average of 20. Like significant child abuse can take 20 years off people's lifespan. And it raises the odds of addiction, promiscuity, criminal behavior, children out of wedlock, destabilizations and so on by hundreds, if not thousands of percent. So it is absolutely a better world with a better treatment of children. Sorry to be that annoying guy who's like circling back, but that word might is like, no, no, I didn't suffer for 15 months for might. It's for absolute. Anyway, sorry, go ahead.



No, no, it's important to be corrected because I have a tendency to slip sarcasm in there, but I don't want to underplay the issue, particularly when. So I grew up in 2011 and one of my first moments of political awareness was the London riots. And I saw something very similar in 2020, of course, with the summer of love, as it's now colloquially called, where dozens of people lost their lives and billions of dollars in property damage were committed. And I and many other people just sort of saw that, as in your book, The Present, these sorts of riots are adults having a temper tantrum because they were growing up in broken homes. And so I really think addressing that problem at the root, getting rid of daycare and the like, ensuring parents are present and attentive and not violent, will absolutely fix things. So then I was sort of racking my brain. Why has no other philosopher dedicated their work to that yet? Because that's a question you've been asking. Why haven't they bothered?



Ah, boy, big question. I mean, the first answer, of course, is I don't know, because we can't sort of cross-examine the corpses, but I would imagine that there's a couple of reasons why. So when I was growing up, I mean, I was born in the 60s, grew up in the 70s in England, and... The one thing that was really, really common in the somewhat dark and decadent decade of the 70s was the issue of marriage, right? And this happened even in Canada. You needed an act of parliament to get divorced even in the 1960s. So there was that whole question of the voluntary relationship, which is, hey, a lot of men are male chauvinist pigs. There's a patriarchy, honey. And, you know, if you're just not happy, you know, if you're just kind of discontented, if you feel that maybe you'd be better off instead of, you know, cooking greasy bangers and eggs for some guy who's a laborer, you should jet off to Greece and you should open a restaurant on the Mediterranean and you can have this wonderful life and all of that. And so if you're just kind of not happy, you should get out. You should just, you know, you're liberated. And certainly if he's mean, man, if he's mean, it's an absolute, you just got to get out, right? Now, I don't know what your experience was. I think it's fairly common.



Most of my childhood was in a retarded and naive way was saying, oh, okay, so society, this is the rule. Okay, so I'll just use the rule. And then you use the rule and you get hammered like a nail, like a recalcitrant or slightly rebellious Japanese person, like you just get banged, right? It's like, I remember when I was a kid, you know, you get yelled at by adults and then you say, OK, so we solve our problems by yelling. So then as a kid, you yell at people. No, you can't do that. That's terrible. Or the teachers are constantly correcting you. And then I was, you know, got really into particular topics and would learn a lot. and I'd hold up my hand and say, oh, teach, you got this wrong, right? Because, you know, correcting people is good, right? I get corrected all the time. So now you correct the teacher and then you get this frozen faced, well, I can't quite punish you, but I can still make you suffer when you correct your parents. Or, you know, I was always told, oh, you've got this chicken scratch handwriting. You know, you gotta write better. And then your teacher would give you notes back that looked like some doctor giving you a prescription while having an epileptic attack. And you'd say, well, I can't read this. And they'd say, well, you've just gotta parse it better. You know, so my handwriting needed to be improved but they're incomprehensible handwritings. So just silly examples of all of these rules where you say, oh, so this is how we do stuff. Okay, I'll do that. No, that's absolutely wrong. And it was sort of interesting to me that I grew up with...



All of these broken marriages around. I didn't say broken marriages, but of course at the time it was female liberation. You shouldn't be a slave. You shouldn't be a broodmare. You should fight the


Societal Shifts and Impact on Parenting Ethics



patriarchy. You should follow your bliss. You should live, laugh, laugh, like all of the stuff that breadcrumbs led people or led women in particular away from marriages. And because I grew up in a single mother household, you end up tumbling down this spiral staircase of socioeconomic doom, not quite at the bottom, but very close to the bottom. So what that means is that everyone around you is dysfunctional and it's mostly single mother households sold in highly subsidized or rent-controlled flats, as we would say back in the old country.



And so I was like, okay, so you don't have to stay married if you're unhappy. You don't have to stay married if you're unfulfilled, if you think that there could be something better out there. And you certainly, certainly don't need to stay married if you're being abused. So I was like, okay, so the family is not something that is an iron cage that you have to stay in no matter what, Now, even though you choose the person, right, you get married, you date the person, usually for a year or two, you get engaged six months to a year, you get married, then it's usually a year or two or three later, you start having kids. So you've got a lot of, you've got a half decade plus of test driving, right? And, you know, I don't know if you've ever bought a car. I'm sure you have. But, you know, most people who buy a car, you know, we go and we test drive. Now, I can't test drive a car for five years and then say, this is the worst car that has ever been invented. I can't believe I ended up with this car. This is monstrous. I have nothing to do with this car. It's evil. And it's like, but you did get to test drive it for five years. So, you know, maybe you have a tiny bit of a say in things. So the marriage is chosen and the marriage is vetted, right? You choose your marriage partner and you get to vet them.



And yet, even after you choose the person's voluntary relationship and you get to vet them for half a decade, if you want to go, good for you. Empowerment, baby. You've come a long way. Off you go to your bliss. So then, of course, you think, okay, well, parents you don't choose. And you don't get to test drive them at all. You're just born into the family that you're born into. And I sort of think about arranged marriages, right? So if someone came off the boat from some place where, I don't know, child marriage was a thing, and she was married off as a child, she comes to England or some Western country, and she was married off as a child to some brute of a husband, maybe he's 20 years older and drinks or whatever. And then she says, well, I can't leave him. You would say, you can. I mean, you didn't in fact choose him in the first place. You were just married into this. And I'm not saying you have to leave, but it's certainly possible. And so involuntary relationships should be the ones that have the highest moral standard, right? Where there's a power disparity in particular, right? The boss who seduces his secretary is considered to be abusing his power because he can fire her and so on, right? So that's a bad thing. So these are not, each thread of these makes perfect sense and everybody would agree with, but you put them all together and you say adult children don't have to spend time with relentlessly abusive parents.



And again, things that everyone agrees with, everyone agrees with, you shouldn't be in abusive relationships, or at least you're certainly free to leave, that unchosen relationships should have a higher moral standard than chosen relationships, and that we have been encouraging people to leave unsatisfying families for decades. And all of this, all of this, everyone accepts. And then you put it together to the most foundational and primal relationship, and everybody loses their mind. I feel like that Joker in the movie, like, yeah, but everyone loses their minds and half their face or something like that. So that's very suspicious to me. And I get annoyed by these things. I get annoyed. It's like, I'm sure we've had this argument or this interaction. You take someone through the steps of a logical argument. Boom. You agree with this. Yes. Okay. Okay, then this means this. Yes. Okay. Then this means this. Yes. Okay. Then this means this. Yes. Okay. And then this means this. No. And it's like, no, no, you don't. That's not a thing. You can't, like, you can't, you can't just back away from the conclusions of all the premises and arguments you've agreed with.


Reasons Why Others Haven't Focused on Childhood Ethics



So I think why they didn't do it, your original question just popped in my head. See, sometimes we go on quite a journey here, but your original question, why didn't they do it? Well, I would assume it's for a couple of reasons. One, they hadn't processed their own childhood trauma, so they avoid the topic. Number two, they had been abusive towards its children. They had been abusive towards younger siblings. Often it's younger siblings. It could be older siblings, but usually it's younger siblings. Or they'd been a bully or abusive to other children. Or they had grown up to be abusive parents. I mean, I think we can pretty much see why someone like Jean-Jacques Rousseau would not have written a philosophical work on the ethics of childhood because he tossed almost half a dozen of his own children into certain death in the furnace of state orphanages with wet nurses. So he's not going to be doing that. So I think that a guilty conscience is not the best spur towards moral exploration. And, you know, I've obviously not been perfect in my life. I've done good and bad things. But as far as harming children go, I have a clean conscience. Like I've never, I was never a bully as a kid. I was never mean to other kids.



I've been a good father to my child. And so I have a very good conscience. So I'm not confronting any demon in myself, but only out there in the world. And confronting demons out there in the world can give you a lot of strength and clarity. But when you're mucked up by demons sabotaging you within, you've got a bad conscience. So you can't be direct and honest because it's too painful. I assume that through either some instinct or just luck, I ended up with a clean conscience regarding these matters. And therefore, although it annoys the world, enrages the world for reasons I'm sure we can understand, it doesn't horsehoof me in the heart to explore these matters because my conscience is clean and that's one of the great benefits of a clean conscience. So when people don't approach a very obvious topic where ethics are the most important, I simply assume it's a bad conscience.



Yeah, I think you're a mirror to that gagged and bound conscience. I think a lot of things at the moment in the affirmation culture, particularly things like the pride parades and like, are public celebrations to make a large amount of noise to hide the rattling of skeletons in their personal closets. And I think that because you've been quite open and honest on the internet and even have whole pages dedicated to exactly what you think, which is, I think, quite moral and upstanding, you have a clear conscience. Therefore, they go, don't look at that guy. That would be terrible. You can't remind us that we've got all these things to hide. That would just be absolutely intolerable I mean for me when you say that oh I'm sure you had this experience in childhood my parents were thankfully wonderful and wonderful by all of the metrics of I like your almost syllogism that says that.



Treat your child as if, if they could have picked any parents in the world, they would have chosen their parents. And I've had that exact conversation with both my parents. They're both very, very grateful for that because they made lots of sacrifices. But of course the number one instance where kids encounter anarcho-tyranny is in school.


Experience in School and Learning Reciprocal Standards



Um, and very few parents, particularly in England homeschool. And I had that exact example where with other kids or with, with teachers or the midwitted lunch ladies that would go around patrolling every interaction, like the den mother of the long house i'd do a thing and they'd say well if you if if everyone did that thing um if some guy said uh they he was going to jump off a cliff would you follow him like a lemming and it's like but but you coerce everyone else to pay your salary what are you talking about that that drove me mad for years and actually it was your podcast and the like that helped me apply reciprocal standards and break the cycle that i was thinking well why aren't why aren't they acting in equally good faith maybe if i just keep acting in good faith that eventually acts in good faith and you know, leads to exploitation. So I'm grateful for that. Very few people want to enable the principle of reciprocity, I think.



I think that's true. And I love that. Denmark, the long house, that's a juicy phrase. It's turning in the barbecue of my brain with a heady aroma. That's very nicely put. Now, I don't want to obviously hijack because you're the Q guy. So there wasn't a question in that. I'm certainly happy to talk about it. But if you have other questions, if you want to hammer me, I'm happy to serve them back as best I can.



I'll probably best connect that to one of your other books, which is Real-Time Relationships, which we've actually discussed on with my colleague, Stelios, about the definition of love. People should go and read that. They're all linked in the description. First of all, how did you come to formulate your definition of love? Because it's very different to the Catholic definition, which is one I'm used to, which is the willing of the good and the other without fair or favor in return um and how did you come to well how would you advise the people in my audience to apply standards to their relationships so they can properly vet those voluntary relationships so love.



Is a virtually infinite obligation i mean and by the way i wanted to mention too please pass along my affection and congratulations to your parents i think it's absolutely wonderful that they treated you so well and were such great parents It's lovely to hear, and I really do appreciate it. So, yeah. So, when it comes to the general principles of parenting and childhood and how we apply sort of best standards and best practices, and you know what, I just, you're going to have to circle back on me. Please just remind me. I don't want to vamp until I get it, because when I was just thinking about how lovely your parents were, and then everything just completely evaporated. So, just hit me up again, and we'll take another run.



Yeah, how did you come up with that?


Defining Love and Avoiding Exploitative Relationships



Oh, love. Yes. Sorry. Sorry. There we go. Love, that four-letter word. So yeah, love is an almost infinite obligation. So if someone can convince you that they love you, then there generally is a sense of reciprocity and that can lead to exploitation, right? So we think of this with countries, like to take an extreme example, we have North Korea, right? So North Korea, the supreme leader wants the very best and you have to be patriotic, you have to love your country and so on. And that often leads to exploitation. So the question of love has to have some kind of objective definition. Otherwise you're going to be exploited by people who claim to love you. The typical example from 19th century rake based literature is, uh, Hey honey, uh, I, I love you. Let's, let's go to bed, you know? And, and, and so, because you, if the girl perceives that the man loves her, she's more likely to sleep with him. And he will then use that to get his sexual kicks and move on and leaving her a bit of an exploited wreck.


The Definition of Love



So love is a very powerful thing. If you love your country, well, maybe you'll get drafted and go get your butt blown off in a war, right? If your parents, if they're abusive or dismissive or nasty, but they can convince you that they love you, then you're going to feel this kind of obligation and so on. So love is one of these, if it's wonderful and great, it's a beautiful foundation for a great life. But it can be a sort of repeatedly hammered wound through which the infection of exploitation gets in. And so I really, really wanted to work on a definition of love that as an emotion, it cannot be a willed state. You can't will yourself to love someone. And love then has to be involuntary.



And that to me was really, really important because being told that you must love someone, that you must love someone is just, it's too much power for any human being to handle. If you can command other people to love you and if they don't love you they're just bad ungrateful selfish you know king lear's how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have an ungrateful child right if you can command people to love you that's way too much power for any human we're not we're not good with power like it's too addictive it's you know we know this from bonobo studies that as they climb the hierarchy they get more dopamine and as they fall they get depressed and hollowed out and we're just, power is very addictive. So the purpose of philosophy is to limit power through principle, just as the purpose of the Ten Commandments is to limit the Darwinian or Nietzschean will to power man or woman with moral standards that limit the ferocity of the will.



So it had to be something involuntary. Okay. So if it's involuntary, then what do we love and why do we love? So the most beautiful, I think we agree on this, whether you're secular or are religious, the most beautiful thing in the world is virtue. What could be more beautiful than that? And even, of course, you look at sculptures and so on, but it's the beautiful sculptures, sculptures that healthy people tend to love the most. I mean, the sort of twisted, what's the, this sort of demonic, uh, ass end of Satan, King Charles, uh, portrait that just came out is like, okay, so doorway to hell. You're being very upfront about it. I appreciate the honesty. I guess you've got your comic debt cleared by saying, well, uh, yeah, it's doorway way to hell and we're real clear about it. So the most beautiful thing is virtue. So we must love the good. I mean, this is not even my particular formulation, right? Aristotle goes all the way back to the sort of Eudaimania idea that the excellence in the pursuit of moral virtues is the greatest good and the highest ideal. So we would love the virtuous the most. Now we can't will people to be virtuous. I mean, if we could, I wouldn't write books. I'd just go around casting mind spells on everyone, and then there wouldn't be any virtue because I'd overwrite their free will. So annoying. So you really have to have an involuntary response to what? To virtue.



But I guess back to my Wikipedia page, I think I'm a pretty decent guy. I'm a nice guy. I want the best for the world. Certainly, you know, you compare my Wikipedia page to someone like Che Guevara, who, you know, seems to have raped his maid when he was a teenager and murdered many people, including children and homosexuals. And it's like, he has a complicated legacy. And it's like, okay, so that's his Wikipedia page and I who advocate for children. I'm Satan. written. So it has to be that we have an involuntary response to virtue, but we also have to be virtuous. Like we have to value virtue in order to have a positive response to virtue, because there's lots of people who have, I mean, we've all experienced this. If we do good in the world, they have a highly negative response to virtue. So the formulation that love is our involuntary response to virtue, if we're virtuous, takes the generation of love out of your control. And that's really important because if the generation of love is perceived to be in your control, then you have these giant levers that sophists and manipulators can use to control you and exploit you. So, um, it actually, it's funny enough, there was a show in the seventies, um, uh, eighties, I guess, seventies, I think, uh, happy days. Uh, this is like really, really going back through the vaults. And I remember watching this as a kid, you know, you get these little things, they just stick, you know, like, like Legos on the feet. They stick in your brain for a long time. And there was this, Ron Howard played this guy, Richie Cunningham, his name was. And he was trying to kiss this girl.



In a car and she said, oh, I don't kiss a guy unless I can hear some song. I can't remember what it was, My Sharona or whatever. Unless I hear My Sharona on the radio, like unless I hear My Sharona in my head, I don't kiss the guy. And he's like, oh, should I turn on the radio? Maybe we could find that song and so on. And so she wouldn't kiss him unless some condition was met. And I just remember thinking, well, that's interesting. So she didn't have a will about it. She needed a particular condition to be met. And then he tried to manufacture that condition. condition and it's like okay well i'm not gonna cleave to you and be loyal to you and devote my resources to helping you unless a certain condition is met and that has to be virtue and in order to appreciate virtue i have to become virtuous myself and that's sort of the general theoretical very briefly the the practical aspect was uh since the very beginning of the show i've had this these call-in shows i mean you're familiar with them but for those who don't And people, your audience is absolutely willing to invite them to email, call in at It's any philosophical topic. It's not limited to anything. If you want to debate ethics, you want to do metaphysics, epistemology, let's grind, let's do it. I love that kind of stuff.



And at a conservative estimate, approximately 99.9% of people who want philosophical feedback are saying, I'm having a very tough time in my adulthood. I think there's something in my childhood. can you help me find it and help me figure out these principles? So I've had, at this point, I've been doing the show for almost 20 years, I've had thousands and thousands of conversations in an incredibly unique view that nobody else in the world has of principles in childhood. I now have had, and you can't reproduce this, you can't just snap your fingers and learn this. I've had thousands and thousands of conversations with people exploring the very roots of their being from a philosophical standpoint and trying to tie the threads together that have negative effects in the present.



And that view of people saying, my life is a mess, I think it's got something to do with the principles that were inflicted upon me as childhood. Because in childhood, we all develop principles based upon our empirical experience. We are conceptual beings. We're conceptual beings. We are universalized. We are universal making machines. That's what our brains do. That's our absolute special treat. We can't just catch the dog. Sorry, we can't catch the ball like a dog does. We know the physics of it. We can do the analytics and the math behind it. So we universalize all the time, and children do that based on their experiences. And in these thousands of conversations, I guess it was probably 500 by the time I wrote the book, it was always the same kind of thing. Well, my parents say they sacrifice me, they love me, and I feel this sense of obligation. And then you ask about the parents, and, you know, often, not always, they're pretty terrible.



They abandon, they beat, they sometimes assaulted, they sometimes sexually abused. I mean, and so it's like, okay, so they don't understand love, but they're using love as a control mechanism. And if you think that your capacity to love and to love particular people is under your control, the moment people say, the moment you say to the world, who I love is under my control, a lot of pretty nasty people will come in and try and convince you that you love them in order to exploit you. And this is not just people, certainly not parents. It's countries, it's ideologies as a whole. And it's cults operate this way, the love bomb, right? Like we love you and you're the best person ever. And that just opens up endless obligations. And then you end up signing these crazy contracts and so on. So I really wanted to give people a defense against the exploitation that Sophists deploy using the word love to just tear people apart inside and exploit everything they have.



Yeah, if I might make an observation, I don't know, I think there might be a question here somewhere, but I'll sound it out. Ever since you were kicked off of YouTube and your call-in shows have not been available to as wide an audience that might have stumbled upon them, were they to just encounter them in the algorithm? I think dating discourse has taken a real turn for the worse, but also become the most salient issue alongside immigration in our sort of sphere of conversation. I mean, our mutual friend slash colleague, Lauren Southern, and my good friend, Mary Harrington, there was a recent article about how her marriage fell through. And she said that she learned how to have a relationship, wrote, learned it through like listicles and trad memes and how it wasn't particularly applicable because she didn't vet him properly, didn't have a proper philosophical framework of how virtue and reciprocity should be fostered. And on the other side, you have lots of these new podcasts springing up in essentially your wake, doing an inferior version of things, saying to men, well, women have behaved this, that, and that way. The statistics are really dooming on marriage and divorce and promiscuity, and therefore it's a write-off and either turn to Islam or pornography. And it's like, well, neither of those are very encouraging. They both seem to be a means of mitigating risk. But I think the fear and insecurity about the risk is because they don't have those morals instilled in themselves to vet them properly. Would you say I've got a good read on that?



Yeah, I think it's a huge topic. I've really been thinking about it a lot lately because every time I'm on social media, there's some woman crying about being lonely and then the next woman is crying about inflation. But so I do think


Morality and Scarcity



it's a very, very big topic. And a few of the things that I will say, this could be the rest of the show. So I really want to sort of sort my brain to make sure that I hit some short, big points. So first of all, morality is based upon scarcity. And the reason we need property rights is because property is scarce, right? I mean, the reason you land, you farmer, there's not an infinity of land. And so you need, we don't have really property rights around air because air is functionally, you know, limitless, right? You're never going to run out of air.



So morality, and in particular sexual morality, is based on scarcity. So, of course, the way it used to work is that we have this, well, the way it still works biologically, we have this insanely long development process as babies and children. I mean, it truly is mad when you think about it, that it takes the male brain a quarter of a century to reach maturity, female brain slightly shorter. And it's a true thing in nature that that which takes the longest to develop ends up the most complex. So horses can walk a couple of days after they're born. We take close to a year to do it, but horses can't do gymnastics and we can. So that which is slowest to develop ends up the most complex, and the complexity of our brain is precisely because there was a deep and abiding sense of sexual morality in the past. Women who get pregnant, of course...



Out of wedlock in the past would be seriously ostracized. It would be a complete disaster, right? They'd have to go away. They would try various concoctions to try to induce abortions, or they'd travel to Switzerland for a clinic or a therapy or something and then come back. You had, of course, countless parents who would pretend that the child of their child was in fact their own child, a late oopsie, and then raise the child of the child as a sibling. And this was quite common. And so the question of controlling reproduction was based upon the scarcity of resources, that if a woman got pregnant out of wedlock, she was unmarriable. And the parents would have to foot the bill, right? Not just in terms of the immediate raising of the child or the long-term raising of the child, but then having a daughter who could get married and therefore would have to try and find some work somewhere. And maybe she, you know, she wants a boyfriend, so maybe there'd be another child out of wedlock. like. So controlling the sexual impulsivity of teenagers was a very foundational aspect of society, which is why people would get married. Now, I mean, I did a whole show on the lies about the Wild West in America. And in the research, it was like, yeah, about a third of weddings in America in the 19th, 18th, 19th centuries were shotgun weddings. So people got pregnant and it's like, okay, well, if you get married, whatever, it wasn't ideal, but at least the kid has a home.



Now, I mean, the two aspects of modern society that have completely decayed our sense of limits is money printing, debt, and the welfare state. Money printing and debt are sort of two sides of the same coin.



So, you know, if you can type whatever you want into your own bank account, you don't need to budget for anything. You can just spend on whatever you want. If you can borrow infinitely and you don't have to pay back the bills, you know, how much fun is Monopoly when you can just print money? Well, it's not much fun because no limits, right? No, you can in fact print spaces around the board. You can print properties. So because we have money printing and it seems almost infinite, though it won't in fact be infinite government debt. that if a woman gets pregnant at wedlock, the parents don't have to pay because she can just go on welfare. She can hammer the guy for child support or whatever it is. And so the restraints upon sexuality have been lifted. And this is very much counter to how we evolved. We only got these giant brains because of pair bonding and monogamy. Because for a woman to dedicate herself to raising a whole bunch of kids to the age of 20, at least, is a massive commitment. And she can only do that if there's a pair-bonded man who's willing to provide, who's going to shield her from the necessities of life by going out and producing food for the family and protecting the family from predators, both human and animal. So we developed this giant brain because of monogamy and sexual restraint, at least until marriage. And now there's no sense of limitations. And so women can do what they want and get away with what they want and we have become kids in a candy store.



We have this fantasy, it is kind of a demonic or devilish fantasy, that if all restraint is loosed, we will become happy, right? It's when Mark Wahlberg had to gain, like, he's this ripped actor, right? And he had to gain, like, I don't know, 80 pounds. And he's this sort of famously strict diet and exercise regime, and he had to gain, like, a bunch of weight for a role. And I remember clearly he was interviewed, and he's like, yeah, you know, I started eating cheesecakes and carrot cakes and, you know, all of this fried food. And it's like, oh, how was that? You're drooling the envy in the reporter. And he's like, I can tell you for the first day, it was great. After that, oh, it was just horrible. I felt bloated, sluggish. I couldn't digest properly. It was a mess. So we have this fantasy that if all restraints are taken away, paradise awaits. And that's what's been happening to women since I was a kid. Restraints are being taken away. Sexual restraints.



Restraints about any hesitancy that employers might have to hire them, right? Because you legally sort of have to hire women and you have to pay them this, even though women often will get pregnant and drop out of the workforce and so on, which makes them less valuable than economically, right? In terms of society, massively valuable, but in terms of like sheer, you know, economics, they're less valuable. So women have had all restraints removed against them. And in fact, anybody now who tries to impose restraints on women outside of our good friends in the Islamic community, anybody who tries to impose restraints upon women is a psychotic, controlling Nazi fascist, something like that, right?



And that's not a good situation. And we can see this, right? So women have had this, in a sense, this paradise of no consequences, do what you want for 50 years. And every decade, every decade, they get more and more and more unhappy. And it's this idea, and it's a wild idea. comes to some degree out of the left, which is, We are simply produced by circumstances and we have no innate natures. I mean, this is the new Soviet man. Like we can have people who work hard even if they don't make any extra money and so on. Right. Like you can just you can create people by changing their environment. There's no such thing as human nature.



Human nature is just like water. Like you pour it into a cup. It takes the shape of a cup. If you pour it into a beaker, it takes the shape of a beaker. If you pour it on the ground, it gets flat. It's just isn't. And we're finding out that that's not how things are, that there is a human nature. and we had all of these solutions to these problems in the past. This is sort of a conservative argument. We had all these solutions and they were trial and error and they were developed over tens of thousands of years of brutal struggle and then the left comes along and says, well, that's all just historical prejudice and bigotry and patriarchy and let's just loose all restraints and do whatever we want, right? And it's not working out because women got sold this idea that you can have all the benefits of a masculine life and there are no costs. You get all, like they call the Schrodinger's feminist, right? Like, so if being empowered gets you more resources, then you're empowered. If being a victim gets you more resources, then you'll flip back and forth between the two. And so women are very upset that they're getting very well educated. They have good careers and they make good money, which is, you know, from a free market standpoint, hey, you know, fry your freak flag, do what you want. That's great. But then you have to say to women, if you're going to become wealthy and successful, you can't have hypergamy.



You can't want to marry up. Because if the majority of women and the majority of students are in university and so on, and the majority of people who are successful in the workplace in many areas is women. And I did this show, I think, many, many years ago with a woman who did the research on this and said, as a woman's status goes up, the pool of available men goes down. Right. And I remember talking to this with women, I don't know, 20, 25 years ago. You know, they say, OK, I have a master's degree, so I'm not going to date a guy who doesn't have a master's degree. And I'm like, all right. So you've now cut 90 percent of men out of your dating pool. And so if you want the exception, right, if you're a 30-year-old woman, you've got a master's degree, you make six figures, or I guess in the UK, I don't know, like 60, 70, 80, 80K.



Then you're going to have to marry down or you're probably not going to get married, right? You're going to have to marry maybe a blue collar guy. And I don't say this is down, like this is some bad thing or anything like that. But in terms of like what you consider high status and so on, you're just going to have to either A, marry down or B, you're going to have to become so spectacular that you're going to be chased by the kind of guys you want, right? I'm sure you've seen this website, the Female Delusion Calculator, where you put in your standards of what you want and it tells you what percentage of the population will reach that. And because women haven't had to settle down early, or they don't, they've chosen not to settle down early, then guys who really, really want to marry them or settle down with them, they can't get that. So men then change their programming. Like we can flip between this R and K selection, right? Whether you pair bond or whether you just do a spray and pray, sleep with lots of different people, you know, whether you're the wolf or the rabbit, right? We've got these, and child abuse tends to move you more towards promiscuity and healthy childhood tends to move you more towards monogamy. And this even happens at a biological level. Like women who are abused as children enter menstruation, develop menstruation much earlier than women who are not abused. So the men can't lock down the women. So the men are like, okay, I got to work really hard. I got to make money. I've got to work out. I got to get abs and whatever it is, right? And then sailing into their 30s, the women are finally like, okay, I guess I want to settle down.



But they've trained the men out of commitment. And then the high value men that they want have a sea, I mean, you might as well be a rock star, like Aerosmith staring over a sea of groupies, right? So there's a sea of women who want to date them. And now they finally hit their stride and now they don't want to settle down. So this is tragic mismatch, right? When the men want to settle down, the women don't want to settle down. When the women want to settle down, the men don't want to settle down. And then the women say, and you see this all over social media, say, when is it my turn? Like, when do I get the person that I love. And it's like, there's no such thing as a man in a career saying, well, when is it my turn to get promoted? When do I get the promotion that I want? It's like, no, you got to go out there. You got to convince people of your value and you've got to negotiate for it. And you may have to switch jobs. You've got to really be assertive to get what it is that you want. And so women want the male life in terms of, you know, careerism,


The Downside of the Male Life



professionalism, education. Wonderful. You know, I think that's great. Right. But then you've got to look at the downsides of the male life, which is you've really got to fight hard to get what you want. And you might have to pursue and you might have to compromise your ideals in terms of like some, you know, hyper six foot four stud muffin. What's that woman who's like, I'm looking for a man in finance, six, four blue eyes. It's like, no, you're not, you're not going to get that because those guys, you're never going to meet those guys. They're never in your orbit. And everyone else is then going to seem like, meh, you know, give you the or whatever it is. So yeah, you can have the life of a man and that's great.



The downside is you're going to have to compromise. Most men don't marry women who make as much as they do. And a lot of men, like, you know, this is the old thing that a man is like, you know, you could have a six-figure income and a PhD and you're checking out your groceries and you're like, you know, that woman behind the grocery counter, man, she's really pretty. And you're like, maybe, maybe, you know, and whereas if there's some woman who's like CXO of some corporation and there's some guy bagging her groceries, well, he ain't going to be begging her anytime soon because she's just like, oh, yes, my surf, my pee on you. You can carry these groceries to the car, but try not to get your proletariat thumbprints on my bumper. And you can take that in any number of ways. So, yeah, you're going to have to go out and you're going to have to be a hunter. You're going to have to compromise. You're going to have to pursue the men you want. You're going to have to swallow your pride. You can't just sit there looking pretty and wait for some guy to approach you.



And this is the problem. We have this educational system where nobody looks at trade-offs. Nobody looks at cost benefits. If you want to sell something to someone, you just say, here are all the benefits. And everyone's like, yay, right? And they say, well, but there are these drawbacks, right? And so, but again, that's a function of scarcity. If you have an infinity, you don't need to budget. You don't ever think about drawbacks. And unfortunately, the drawbacks are really accumulating to women at a time


The Future of the Welfare State



when the government spending simply cannot continue. And when the welfare state ends, and it will, I mean, it's mathematical. You can't escape math. I mean, you can pray, you can do anything, but math is as absolute as gravity. And when the welfare state runs out, and this is what I, of course, talk right about in my recent novel, The Present, when the welfare state runs out, there's going to be a lot of women who are really going to panic and who are going to try and lock down guys who can provide them resources or protect them and so on. And I don't know. I mean, are men going to have to swallow this and say, well, you know, women have been kind annoying in a lot of ways. They've been inconstant, they've been flitting around, they've been vain. They've been, you know, chasing clicks and likes and, and, and, uh, you know, drowning in DMS and so on and, and won't settle down. And then when this changes and women are like, no, no, no, I want to settle down now. I've had my fun.



That's a, that's a tough thing. That's a tough thing because all of the men that the women want have infinite options. And this is the mismatch that's brutal and it's really killing the birth rate. And whether, Whether, you know, if women say, you know, I really made a terrible mistake. I was heavily propagandized. I didn't think of the men. I didn't think of the future. I was just chasing the dopamine and it was really shallow. You know, I'm so sorry. You know, let's find a way. I mean, if that happens, maybe. But otherwise, you know, either men find a way to forgive women for some of this selfishness or we cease to be. I mean, that's really not a third option because we can't beam in from outer space.



Telling hate facts like that to Taylor Swift fans probably will get kicked you


Overcoming Racial Animosity



off Twitter and YouTube, Stephen, but it's good to always hear.



I think I think the YouTube thing was Wuhan.



But anyway, that that that George Floyd protests. I mean, we can't we can't be trying to overcome racial animosity now, can we?



Well, sorry. I just wanted to mention that as well. So the video that got me kicked off, right, it was actually processing. And then I was was I have a good friend who's a police officer in the United States, and he has a good friend who is a black police officer in the United States. And it was a show where myself and two very experienced police officers, one black and one white, were talking about George Floyd and they were talking about their experiences in arresting people and what can happen from them in terms of health and so on. That was uploaded and processing, but before I could publish it, it went, right? Because, yes, trying to calm racial animosity, the communists have said for over 100 years that they hope to inflame racial animosity in order to destabilize the remnants of the free market it and do their usual takeover. So yeah, can't be doing any of that. Can't have any of that reconciliation or calm and peace between the races because that doesn't serve the hegemony.



Yeah, we were deplatformed from Vimeo for the exact same reason. They sent us a long list of their transgressions of why they weren't going to keep using us. We couldn't use them as a hosting service. And one of them was that we had undermined the narrative that George Floyd was a murder rather than obviously a drug overdose and a heart failure. And again, we can't be citing things like the coroner's report now, can we? I mean, you do paint a very bleak picture, and I've always worried about this. Particularly, I've been covering the birth rates discourse for quite some time now with Stephen Shaw as well, a former Brit. Similar accent to you, actually, who went around the world and interviewed many women who wanted to have children but didn't. And it had expired because they had blinged onto their career or their education for far too long. They'd been in dead-end relationships and haven't called you, for example. For example, he estimates that by 2050, there's going to be 800 million people that have succumbed to unplanned childlessness, men and women who wanted children but didn't have them. So yes, men are trending more conservative, and it might mean that young women, if they are aware of the biological clock, may have to bend more towards a conservative bent rather than trying to progressivize all of the men that they find attractive out of being attracted.



Sorry to interrupt, but they can't. This is something you see among young people, that the more conservative are the males and and the more liberal are the females. Now, okay, why, why? Well, the answer to that is very simple, that the left has, as its most substantial voting bloc, single women. Right. So because single women have a sense of vulnerability, they like running to the government for protection and sort of variety of other reasons. So I think in the U.S. it's like plus 37 percent single women vote for the left. So the left has a foundational drive to keep women single.


Women's Voting Power and Fertility



So if you can keep women single, you have a lock on voting and power. And of course, even if you say, well, but sometimes conservatives get into power, it's like, yes, but they still have to appease this plus 37 percent. Right. So, and so when I was talking about like my sort of, it actually got voted the worst tweet in human history, which I shouldn't be proud of, you know, cause it's kind of shallow, but I am. So, and the tweet was something like, I don't know, it was five or six years ago when Taylor Swift was turning 30. And it was like, wow, Taylor Swift is turning 30. She's, she's, she looks so young. It's pretty wild. It's wild to think that 90% of her eggs are dead already. It'd be 98% by the time she's 40. I hope she becomes a mother. I'm sure she'd be, She looks like she'd be a really fun mom, right? Now, of course, on the left, they don't want women freaking out about fertility because then they'll find a man, get married and turn conservative and won't vote for the left anymore. So unfortunately, you know, predators will always separate individuals from the herd in order to pick them off. And single women will just vote for the left. And so they're being guided towards this sterile dead end. It's a hideous exploitation.



And look, industrial strength propaganda, military grade propaganda fails most people. You know, I'm sure there are a few, you know, in a giant forest fire, there are a few trees that survive, but most of them don't. And of course, we're not trained to resist propaganda because government schools are propaganda, so they're not going to teach you how to resist it. And so I really do have a lot of sympathy because it is, again, demonic. It's appealing to vanity. It's appealing to, oh, you don't need no man and so on. And it's appealing to the worst and greediest and most carnal and flesh-based and materialistic and evolutionary and will-to-power instincts of the species. And very few people can resist that. I mean, we know this from the sort of vaccine rollout. It's very, very hard for people to think clearly, even when the evidence is very easy and solid. And so I do have a lot of sympathy. But this, you know, the power of the state is huge. And the corruption that the state is willing to pursue in its pursuit of power is like any addict, right? They become emotional terrorists. And I think that they are convincing a lot of women. We know that they're convincing a lot of women to not have children and, you know, they are hiding facts. And anybody who brings the facts to bear because, you know, I have a wife, I have a daughter, I care enormously about women and want them to be as happy as humanly possible. But if you bring facts that will actually bring them happiness, that interferes with the pursuit of political power. And, you know, they have slightly bigger megaphones than me, certainly.



Yeah, I do think, back to almost your point on striking the right tone with peaceful parenting in the book, we have to strike the right tone in diffusing the war between the sexes to the best extent that we can until the welfare state is dismantled and takes away all the perverse incentives driving us at each other's throats. Because we do have to let them know that we care about them despite them being almost incomprehensibly emotional creatures. And so I think we can show some leadership on that. But I think your criticism of a lot of this, of the perverse incentives set by the state, is rooted in not just, as all modern morality seems to be, a concern for minority groups as a kind of clientele class, that they're infinitely vulnerable and they have to be protected, but it's instead in your foundational moral work, which again, we've discussed on Lotus Seaters before with my colleague Stelios, UPB. I wanted to just spend a little bit of time before I have to wrap up and let you get on with the rest of your day going over that, because I think that, along with peaceful parenting, has been your prominent contribution to philosophy. Do you mind just giving a sort of distilled version for the audience that might not be familiar with the book yet?



Sure. Absolutely. So I grew up as Christian and then I moved into the secular world. And of course, the one thing I noticed in the secular world was they don't have a system of ethics. I mean, they have some Dawkins-based reciprocal altruism nonsense, but to me, if bonobos can do it, it's not virtue. It's just instinct. So I accepted the objectivist definition of ethics, that which is best for man's nature, sure. But, you know, there's always a little part, that splinter in the mind's eye, that little part of you that's like, I don't know, that's really complete because, you know, the people in power seem to really enjoy it and they don't want to give it up and they seem quite happy. And right. So it's obviously better for them to be in at the summit of political power. So hugely influenced by Aristotle, of course, and Aristotle famously, to me at least, said, you know, you can come up with a system of ethics, but if your system of ethics can be used to prove that murder and rape is good, you know, something's wrong. Like I don't care, like something's wrong. And so I said, okay, so rape, theft, assault, and murder, right? Rape, theft, assault, and murder. Those are the biggies that are, uh, everybody would accept as, as, as bad. So is there a way.



To prove that system of ethics without reference to the power of the state and without the need for religion. Because looking at the market, the people who are not religious are growing. And if we can't convince them of a system of ethics, well, we're going back to the pre-Stone Age, right? I mean, with no system of ethics, and there's just will to power, lies, deception, manipulation, propaganda, all of the tricks of nature that predators use to get their prey. So I'm like, okay, blank slate time, right? Like wipe the blackboard totally clean. Can I build a system of ethics? Again, not proof beyond, uh, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, right? And again, I'm always aiming for a hundred percent, right? You can get to a hundred percent with deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is a little more tricky, but you can get to a hundred, like, you know, all men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, for Socrates is mortal. That's a hundred percent. You can't evade that, right? It's not probability. So I can't do probability. I can't rely on evolution because evolution is not ethics. Evolution is absolutely the opposite of ethics. I mean, deception is used and violence is used in nature all the time. I mean, my daughter loves ducks, but ducks are pretty rapey. I mean, they're very rapey. So, you know, duck morality isn't going to cut it. They're dancing, honey. Oh, God.



Look away. So don't ever think where your omelet comes from because it's all UPB violations. So I wanted to build a system of ethics that could not be denied. So long story short, the book is called Universally Preferable Behavior. Universally Preferable Behavior, a rational proof of secular ethics. So the first part of the book is showing that there is such a thing as universally preferable behavior. And you can't get away from that. Because if I say, ah, there is such a thing as universally preferable behavior, and you say, Steph, you're absolutely wrong. There is no such thing as universally preferable behavior. Well, you've just told me I'm wrong according to a universal standard, and I'm wrong. Absolutely. And I should change my argument to something that is better. So you've affirmed universally preferable behavior. I mean, maybe some crazy guy in a cave doesn't believe in it, but even he has to deal with reality in order to know he's in the cave. So there's universally preferable behavior. So once we establish that, and this is a real acceleration, but the book's available for free at slash books. So once we establish the validity of universal preferable behavior, the only question is, what is or is not universally preferable behavior? Now, think of something like theft.


The Rational Proof of Ethics



So if we say stealing is universally preferable behavior, right? Because either stealing or not stealing is universally preferable behavior, right? So if we say stealing is universally preferable behavior, we immediately run into insurmountable self-contradictions, right? So stealing is the taking of someone's property against their will. They don't want you to steal it. So if stealing is universally preferable behavior, then everybody must want to steal and be stolen from at the same time. But if you want to be stolen from, it's not theft. You know, like if I have got an old couch and I leave it out front of my house with a sign that says, take me, and someone takes it, do I get to call the cops and say, hey man, this guy just stole my couch? The cop will say, well, where was it? Oh, it was out front of my house and it had a big sign on it that says, take me. It's like, then he didn't steal it, you lunatic. Stop bothering us. We've got people to arrest for hate speech. So theft cannot be universally preferable behavior.



Because if you want to be stolen from, it's not theft. So if you say stealing is universally preferable behavior, it cannot be achieved. It self-contradicts, detonates immediately. Now, if you say respect for property is universally preferable behavior, then absolutely. Everybody can respect property at the same time. I also have something called the coma test, which is we would never, and this is just a gut instinct thing. You can prove it as well, but the gut instinct is, can a guy in a coma be evil? And it's like, well, no. Like a guy in a coma can't be evil because he's just in a coma, or a guy who's asleep or unconscious or whatever, right? And so if you say stealing is universally preferable behavior, then not stealing must be evil.



And then a guy in a coma is not stealing. Therefore, a guy in a coma is evil. And that's just not, that doesn't sit right. So something has to be wrong. So we continue the exploration. And you can go through the same thing with rape, theft, assault, and murder, right? So assault, there are times when people consent to be assaulted. Anybody who ever debates with me, for instance. Now, there are people who consent to being assaulted. You go in a boxing ring or whatever it is, right? You consent to being assaulted. So that's not assault. You can't be out of a box. oh, hey man, this guy hit me. I'm judging him with assault. It's like, no, no.



So assault is when you have physical injury inflicted upon you against your will. And therefore it falls into the same category. If everybody, if assault is universally preferable behavior, then everybody must want to assault and be assaulted at the same time. Now, not only is that physically impossible, but if you want to be assaulted, the category evaporates. So the only way that we can have universally preferable behavior, which is an absolute and is a thing that is in the world, is to ban rape, theft, assault, and murder. And there's some tertiary stuff around property rights and so on and self-defense, which I go into in the book. But it absolutely hangs together. It has been now criticized and attempted to be undermined by, I don't know, how many people over the past 16 or 17 years. I've done countless debates on it. I've presented it at conferences. And you can't overturn it. You absolutely cannot overturn it. And this was one of my fascinating things about why I bungeed out of the atheist secular community and more towards Christianity, is that I thought this would be like water in the desert to a guy dying of thirst to the secular community. Right? Because, I mean, we all want to be good, don't we? We want to organize our days around ethics. We want to be loved. We want to love people. And that requires that we be good. So, yeah.



I thought that the atheist community was like, well, we're not going to get our morals from God. And it's like, okay, so you're not going to get your morals from God. So where are you going to get them from? Because that's kind of an important question, right? You know, because otherwise it's just going to be a war of all against all and based on slander and lies. And well, we've already been through that whole topic. So, okay, so you don't believe in God and therefore you don't believe in religion, religious derived virtues. Okay, so where are you going to get your virtues from? Or at least be honest and say, well, it's not so much that we don't believe in God, we just don't like virtue. And God produces virtue, God convinces us of virtue, so we're not disbelieving in God so much as we just want to live a hedonism-based life of dopamine chasing and deception. Okay, but they don't say that. They say, well, we really want to be good, and we don't find that the religious ethics quite cut it. So we really want to, and so, okay, I'm like, no, totally free, free book here, man. I proved the case, proved the case beyond the shadow of a doubt.



No rape, no theft, no assault, no murder. Oh, uh, and, uh, that has a lot of implications to political power, blah, blah, blah. Right. So I thought, I mean, I thought it would take a little time, of course, because, you know, the odds that, I mean, I've been trained in philosophy at the graduate school level, but you know, I was a software entrepreneur for a long time. And, you know, the odds that some guy just wanders in out of academia and solves the the biggest problem in philosophy, I can understand the skepticism. And I actually start the book by saying, you have every reason to not believe that I've done what I claim to believe, because it's, you know, I mean, it's a little, to take an extreme example, it's like Einstein in the patent office, right? So, but the indifference and hostility with which the atheist community greeted the final proof of secular ethics was pretty instructive. And it's like, okay, so it's kind of just demonic it's it's a rebellion against morals with god as the proxy it's not a rational analysis of the limitations of consistencies in the religious worldview so that was quite.



Instructive and when you when some guy says i'm death i'm dying of thirst in the water and you come there with water and he uh stabs you in the side it's like okay i'm a little confused here, uh help help i'm drowning you come out and they're like great i just tied a boat anchor to your leg and i'm like that's wild i mean and and i found that there's no christian group that's ever had hostility towards me but the atheist and secular groups do i mean this is very sort of consistent and when you think you're on a particular team.



And you're not, right? That's pretty instructive. I'm an empiricist, so I judge people's deeds rather than just their words. And so that was quite a wild experience and has returned me certainly closer to the roots of the faith that I grew up in and a respect for the actual virtues of Christianity who are willing to say, you know, if you look back at the sort of later Middle Ages, You know, there's this whole idea that comes out of the scientific community that, you know, the church was just massively hostile to scientists and burnt them at the stake. And it's not true. It's not true. And, of course, a lot of the scientists were like, I'm very religious. I want to understand the mind of God, and therefore I'm going to study the mathematical or physical properties of the universe. Because, you know, through the blueprint, do you understand the architect? And the Christians were like, so you are attempting to find philosophical, rational proofs for the Ten Commandments, which, you know, in general, I am.



Thou shalt not bear false witness is foundational to telling the truth, which is a commandment of philosophy that's very important. And so it's like, welcome fellow traveler to, we do not diminish the glory of God by finding that the morals he gives us are actually very rational. Any more than we diminish the glory of God by finding out that there are physical properties to the universe that are beautiful, consistent, and absolute, right? Because God is not a whim based creature. God does not play dice. So that has been pretty, pretty wild to see what I thought was a rational community dedicated to reason, ethics, and virtue, and then finding out that when they are provided with a rational proof of secular ethics... Right it's like the the sunlight to a vampire it's like oh boy i was not expecting that uh and yes it's a fact and it's now consistent enough of a fact that i've really had to bake it into my worldview which has been um been a very exciting journey to put it mildly yeah.



Well i suppose you you led me on to my observation slash question which i think we probably round it out with. So you were very instrumental, along with Jordan Peterson Priest of 2020, in convincing me to revert back to Catholicism, at least in the way of taking my nan and my girlfriend to church. And it's been really wholesome. And I wonder if the reason the Christians so readily adopted UPB and the atheists didn't is because within Christianity, there's a belief in the universal dignity of the human being a priori so the principle of a margot day means that you are you see everyone else as equally with the equal capacity imparted onto them by god of moral worth and from there downstream of that is all of the tenets of upb make perfect logical coherence but lots of the liberal secular atheist types who do treat it like sunlight to a vampire are very solipsistic and they're only interested in consuming and gratifying themselves and pure your materialistic pleasures. And so as soon as you bring this ethic to them, they just go, ooh, but Hume is all ooh, ooh, and think that it's ham waves it all the way. So that was my observation. My question is then, I suppose... Oh, screen's gone off. Yeah, mine's still running.



There we go. Oh, there we go. Heart attack moment. Sorry, TV's gone off.


Reflecting on Christianity and Child Protection



As long as it's still streaming, that's fine. The question I suppose I have is... Since writing Look Against the Gods, has your relationship with Christianity changed?



Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So I was obviously raised Christian. I was in the church choir. I was absolutely in there. The problem for me, and this is very personal, but, you know, I mean, certainly people talk about personal things in my show, and I'm fine with that. that, I mean, a lot of our base ideas come out of our histories. So I felt very much abandoned by the divine because I suffered a lot as a child with violence and exploitation, and everyone around me was in a similar situation to one degree or another. My mother ended up being institutionalized as did my father, although they were divorced when I was a baby and my father I lived on the other side of the world. So that sense of vulnerability and lack of protection, I'll just tell you, sort of basic for me. So I grew up in England in the 60s and 70s, which was solidly Christian. Now, I know that for you guys, it's a bit of a breakaway sect called Protestantism, but nonetheless, it was solidly Christian. We went to church. I had lovely aunts and uncles who took me to church and I was in boarding school where I went to church. And all the Christians around me.



We lived in apartment buildings with paper-thin walls, flats with paper-thin walls. So there were lots of Christians around me who would hear abuse and harm and crying and screaming and violence and so on. And we lived in a wide variety. You know, when you're poor, you tend to move around quite a bit for a variety of reasons, usually on the run from creditors and so on. And so for me, it's like, okay, so this is a Christian society where children can be audibly harmed and listened to by hundreds of people, and no one does anything. Now, that's tough, right? So for me, it was like, okay, so this moral answer is not enough of an answer for me. Because a society where Jesus very clearly says, you know, whoever does harm to the least among us, which is the children, it's better that a millstone be tied around his neck and be dropped into the deep water. And so Jesus's care and concern for children was not translating into any actionable protection in society, right? So I was in school, I was in church, I was in a neighborhood, I had friends, families, neighbors. And over the entire course of my childhood, I finally ended up going solo at about the age of 15 or so. So for 15 years, I was being harmed and brutalized in full earshot of everyone who all were Christians for the most part.



Sorry, all were Christians for the most part is a bit of a contradiction, but it was overwhelmingly Christian. And that was not enough. And it was not enough to save my childhood. And it was not enough to save the childhood of the people that I know. And of course, in the thousands of conversations I've had with people over the last 19 or so years, it is not been enough to save their childhoods either. So for me, it was not an answer that was going to be enough. It was not an answer that was going to be enough because there's something about the.



The worldview that I grew up in, that was not protective of children. Now, we can say that, well, it had to do with you don't want to confront, you don't want to, you know, people. But you can, it's an anonymous phone call. Like, I'm doing research at the moment on this Turpin family, which was a family in the U.S. where they had 13 children that were all chained to beds and starved and so on. And they, for 30 years, they moved through the world because their oldest kids were 30. and still chained up at home. And for 30 years, they moved through the world, and they were Christians, and they went for, and none of the neighbors said anything, even though it was very obvious that the children were being extremely maltreated. So as far as the protection of children goes.



It wasn't enough. Now, I assume that the Christians, and this is, I'm telling you my thinking, right? So I said, okay, well, everyone's praying. Everyone's praying to God. Help me be good. Let me do good. And like they're praying to God, hearing some child getting beaten half to death next door, and God is not saying to them, make a call. What are you praying? Pick up the phone, make a call. It's anonymous. They won't know, right? They won't know. And someone will come by and they'll find out and some protection will be offered, right? Right. So to me, the question of child abuse was not solved by the Christian communities in the major places I lived, which was, um, a couple of places in England, in Canada, I spent time in, in Africa and all of the places were Christian. And in none of the places in probably a thousand, 2000 or more people, not one of them intervened in my situation. Not one of them intervened in the situation of anybody that I knew.



So that is confusing. What's confusing to me as a child. So if they're praying to God and God is saying to them, it's not important to make a phone call, then I'm not sure what they're praying about or for. And so I went more to the secular world because, okay, well, the problem of child abuse is not solved in the Christian culture or context in my experience. And again, it wasn't just my experience and it wasn't just in one place. It was, you know, people that I knew. And again, now I know that the people who call me, it's a self-selecting group, you know, like the doctor who says, man, everyone's sick. It's like, no, no, they come to you because they're sick. So I get all of that.



But the problem of child abuse was not solved in the Christian context. And so I went to the secular context and found that it was, in fact, even worse. So it's like, okay. I'm not sure what the solution is other than, you know, I wrote the whole book on peaceful parenting with the goal of saying, if we can't protect the children, the morality can't survive. The virtue can't survive because the children grow up with deep cynicism about the supposed ethics of their society if the children are unprotected. And the cynicism that we see regarding society, you know, people say, well, I hate capitalism and so on. And that's because they associate the free market with not being protected as children. We know, of course, that single mothers, their children are usually, they're harmed far more. And when there's a non-biologically related male in the house with a single mother, child abuse is 32 or 33 times, not percent, times higher. And so the, but the production of the production of the single mother household has been the result of our failure to respect thou shall not steal because the welfare state is coerced redistribution of wealth.



So focusing on the protection of children has sort of brought me full circle in that when I talk to the secular people, I just get rants about the patriarchy and racism, and that doesn't protect children. But when I talk about Christians, when I talk with Christians, there's much more sensitivity and openness to that. And I think if whatever community solves the problem of child abuse will absolutely rule the future in a sense, because they will have so much credibility. You know, I've got a whole series on the French Revolution for premium members at, where I basically make the case that revolutions happen when some people escape child abuse and don't circle back for others to save them, to help them, to rescue them. Because that resentment of everyone leaving and going to a better place, everyone who's left behind is just easily exploited and their rage is easily exploited. And so one of the things I've really done is, although I have a wonderful life with great friends, I've been lovingly married for 21 years. I have a wonderful child and, and, but I'm not.



I'm not getting out. Like I'm not escaping to the Elysium Fields and leaving the sufferers behind. I very much feel that it's important to us if we want to survive as a society. We have to adopt that marine thing. It's like, we can't leave the victims behind. We cannot leave the victims behind. They create an undertow that pulls down our entire society. And I can't even blame them that much. When I was in my early teens, I had absolutely zero respect for the rules of society. None, none whatsoever. Whatever I could get away with, I was completely amoral. Why?



What credibility would society have? Well, you know, it's really important that you don't mark up your textbook. It's like, but I'm being abused at home and nobody cares. So why would I care about society's rules if society doesn't care about protecting me? And if we can't protect the children, we can't sustain. You know, that's the great cycle of civilization is it starts with close-knit family and tribal structures that do do something to protect children. And then you get all of this money printing and debt where people are released from moral restraints. They don't have to protect anyone. one. They can go live their own selfish lives. And then the backlash from the abused children takes down the society as a whole. And to me, a lot of this leftist rage is just, yeah, you know, we, we moved on. A lot of people moved on and didn't, didn't circle back. I'm not putting you in that category, of course. Right. But, uh, I just think, you know, everybody knows somebody who's suffering, everybody, a child, everybody knows a parent who's not doing that well. And you know, you with, with love and with grace, you need to talk to them and really work to try and improve things because man, if, if we can't rescue the kids, uh, they'll grow up to be some very, very angry adults with no respect for our customs and history. And I think that we are hopefully not past the tipping point of that situation, but we're, we're pretty close.



I've done my best. I hope to pay your message, echo it forward on daycare and nonviolent parenting relationships and the like. I, I really would like to express, and I know it doesn't change anything in the past, but my deepest possible sympathies for him, you grew up with, and I think it only amplifies not only your credibility, but also the respect you are owed for circling back. And in many cases, practicing the Christian ethic more than those complacent once on Sunday Christians who didn't listen to you growing up. I just wanted to, at the end of this, pour out my unending admiration for all you do and my deep disgust at how badly you've been treated for the last how many years. It isn't right. And I hope people use this as an opportunity to circle back for you and and enrich their lives with everything you have to say.



Well, I appreciate that. That's very, very kind for you to say. And I really do appreciate that. And I would also say like, if I'm too controversial, whatever, like forget me, strip me. I don't particularly matter. Like in the big scheme of philosophy, I don't want people to think about me or, you know, the controversies. Just take the ideas and arguments, strip me from them and have them move forward. Peaceful parenting and UPB and so on don't have to reference me. It doesn't matter. But the ideas is sort of what matters. So I appreciate the opportunity to speak with your audience and talk about these arguments and ideas as well.



Well, if people can add fuel to the idea engine, I mean, obviously everything's linked down in the description, but for the audio listeners who want to type it in right away, is it forward slash donate?



Yes, absolutely. But I would strongly encourage people, listen first, you know, listen first, find out if I'm providing value and virtue and the donation is obviously gratefully accepted down the road, but get into the ideas, get into the arguments, you know, stimulate your brain. And I actually wanted to mention, I know we got to end, so it's one other thing I wanted to mention. One thing that's fascinating to me is that the Christian conception of the soul, of course, is that we have an essence to ourself that is connected to divine knowledge, that is not all knowing itself, but is far greater knowledge than our conscious minds. And one of the things that really validates that in my experience is that everybody, when they talk about their childhoods with me, they say, I don't know. And I say, yes, you do.



And in the Christian context, that would be, well, everything's recorded, everything is understood, and you do have some access to the divine, so you can't claim that you don't know about your own life. And you also can't claim that you don't know about your own parents if you spent 25 years or 30 years or 40 years around them. And that has been completely validated.



So every single time, there's not been one exception in almost 20 years where somebody says, I don't know. And then I say, yes, you do. And then like, okay, it's this. So it's really interesting whether you, you know, the secularists would call it the unconscious, but whether it's the soul of the unconscious, it's not particularly relevant, but there is a absolute wealth and treasure of knowledge within us that the sort of shallow surface skimmery doesn't get to. And whether people go down there and find truth, virtue, the soul, God, faith, just burrow down and get as deep as you can, because we're only here for a short time. And the deeper we go, the longer we echo in the future and the wider our spread of virtue in the present. And depth is power. And really, really try to work to get down to where the truth is and the essence is of your thinking and your experience. And try not to be distracted into inconsequentiality, which is a great temptation. We all want to be little mammals at the feet of the giant dinosaurs of power, but it doesn't work out very well in the long run. And I would really encourage everybody, everybody listen to this, don't ever have the arrogance to assume that you know what your potential is. That to me is a sin of pride that is just terrible. I don't know what my potential is. I'm continuing to explore it and really lift the lid on what you think you're capable of and what you are capable of will be revealed to you in a way that is as close to the divine as I think mortals are possible of achieving. Okay.



That was, that was beautiful. And just as beautiful as a lot of the writing of fiction books as well. I really, really enjoyed almost, I must, I must say just right at the end for everyone listening. Thank you very much for listening live. If you're listening on catch up again, all the Stefan's links down in the description. This was a genuine dream for me. So thank you for the time sacrificed. We will be back next week as I'm talking to a former prime minister, which is hilarious. Until then, take care and goodbye.

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