The Dangers of a Pet Fetish! Transcript


0:00 - Introduction
1:04 - Evolutionary vs. Philosophical Love
8:46 - Cats and Rodent Infestation
20:51 - Impact of Alienating Children
24:21 - Pets as a Substitute for Growth
26:58 - Reflecting on Personal History
32:25 - Facing Regret
36:02 - Stagnation or Progress
39:20 - Justification Mechanism
40:33 - Wasting Potential
43:40 - Choosing Discomforts
47:13 - Exercising Virtue
50:02 - Seeking Optimal Quality
51:58 - Producing Virtue through Love

Long Summary

In today's discussion, we explore the multifaceted concept of love, delving into its evolutionary origins and philosophical implications. Love, as I describe it, encompasses our innate response to virtue and manifests in our bonds with loved ones, pets, and extended family members. Rooted in our evolutionary history, love originally served the vital purpose of ensuring attachment to offspring and securing resources for survival. We can observe this biological drive in the behavior of animals like monkeys and birds, showcasing the fundamental role of love in our existence.

Our affection towards pets, particularly dogs and cats, is intricately linked to our survival instincts. Historically, dogs assisted in herding and guarding, enhancing our chances of survival, while cats controlled rodent populations to safeguard our food supplies. This evolutionary connection with pets goes beyond sentimentality, serving a practical function in safeguarding our well-being and that of our progeny. Additionally, our love extends to extended family members who contribute to the care and protection of children, underscoring the importance of familial bonds in ensuring the survival and thriving of future generations.

While our biological impulses drive our affections, maintaining a balance is crucial for our evolutionary success. Overindulgence in pet affection, spurred on by societal trends like the "pet fetish" promoted in social media and popular culture, can potentially distort our natural instincts for survival and reproduction. Evolution continually evaluates and refines our behaviors to align them with reproductive success, emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to love and attachment in ensuring our lineage's continuation.

Ultimately, love in its various forms reflects our inherent yearning for connection, protection, and survival. By comprehending the evolutionary underpinnings of love and its implications for reproductive success, we gain insight into how biological drives and emotional ties intersect to shape our relationships and societal dynamics. Love transcends mere emotion, serving as a powerful force that influences our actions, motivations, and sense of purpose in the world.

The conversation shifts to the potential pitfalls of anthropomorphizing animals to the extent that they serve as substitutes for human children, impeding personal growth and progress in life. Overbonding with pets, especially dogs and cats, can lead individuals to avoid confronting real adult challenges and hinder their capacity to bond with actual children. Pets offering programmed affections may divert individuals from the fulfillment derived from taking risks and achieving personal growth. The discussion underscores the negative repercussions of relying on pets as a means of sidestepping progress and developmental milestones.

Delving deeper, the dialogue explores the phenomenon of individuals getting trapped in a repetitive cycle of stagnant patterns, essentially living a 'Groundhog Day' existence. Fear of failure, aversion to risks, and the habit of justifying shortcomings are identified as significant obstacles to personal advancement and fulfillment. Embracing challenges, seizing opportunities, and striving for progress are highlighted as crucial steps towards leading a purposeful and gratifying life. By confronting fears, taking risks, and actively engaging with life's trials, individuals can avoid a future filled with regret and rationalization.

Drawing parallels between those who substitute pets for progress and individuals who struggle to move forward in life, the conversation underscores the detrimental repercussions of evading growth and personal development. Listeners are urged to challenge themselves, embrace discomfort, and actively pursue personal and professional growth to evade stagnation and pursue a life of meaning and accomplishment. Embracing opportunities, prioritizing personal advancement, and bypassing the allure of stagnancy are underscored as keys to leading a fulfilling and rewarding life.

Moving forward, the discussion delves into the challenges faced by men in navigating their careers and personal lives, underscoring the importance of taking risks and shunning complacency. Drawing from personal experiences of traversing the business world without substantial guidance, the speaker advocates for choosing discomfort as a catalyst for progress and fulfillment in various facets of life. Discussions around the 'wall of success' shed light on the repercussions of neglecting aspirations and succumbing to professional inertia, stressing the role of discomfort in propelling individuals towards their long-term goals and aspirations.

The conversation further touches upon the intricate dynamics of love, virtue, and relationships, exploring the nuanced nature of affection and attachment. Philosophical and biological aspects of love are scrutinized, with an emphasis on nurturing virtues within oneself and loved ones to foster a positive impact on society. Relationships, parenthood, and personal growth are intertwined, with affection playing a pivotal role in shaping moral character and fostering positivity. By prioritizing virtues, embracing discomfort, and striving for holistic growth, listeners are encouraged to embark on a journey of personal development and contribute constructively to the world around them.

In conclusion, the dialogue underscores the profound influence of love and virtue on individual well-being and societal advancement. Through embracing discomfort, taking calculated risks, and cultivating virtues within oneself and in relationships, individuals are motivated to pursue personal growth and make meaningful contributions to their communities. The speaker expresses gratitude to the audience for engaging in thought-provoking conversations and prompts continued exploration of intricate topics pertaining to love, virtue, and personal development.


[0:00] Introduction

[0:00] Good morning, everybody. Hope you're doing well. Stéphane Molyneux from Freedomain. Thank you for your questions, And we are talking of love. Freedomain, good day. Stéphane, I'd like a clarification on your definition of love. As I understand it, love is our involuntary response to virtue. How does that correlate to pets, very young relatives, and other relationships where virtue isn't the primary source? Is love only possible in intimate relationships? What you call emotional distress when the death of a beloved pet dies obviously i'm not equating pets with people but our emotions seem to treat them similarly not sure if there is an evolutionary or philosophical explanation that you can give but it seems to me that love is simply an evolutionary response to attachment based on resource gathering to include family structure again huge respect to your work i'm just hoping to get more clarification on your thought process yeah that's a fine fine question, and I appreciate the question.

[1:02] So let's dig in.

[1:04] Evolutionary vs. Philosophical Love

[1:05] Now, when it comes to love, we have to talk about two aspects of it, evolutionary attachment and philosophical love.

[1:16] So if we are to say that love is a form of high attachment and strong desire for resource resource provision and so on, then we can include the evolutionary situation, right? So monkeys have prefer obviously feeding their own young to feeding various random animals and birds undergo great sacrifices to build nests and to feed their own young. There's one kind of bird that teaches teaches its offspring to emit a particular chirp. And if that particular chirp is not emitted when the mother or father comes back with food, then they know it's a cuckoo when they pull it out of the nest and kill it and so on, right? So there's a, obviously, evolution requires in-group preference, right? Evolution requires that you prefer your own genes in radiating circles, right? What is it, the old joke that the evolutionary biologist said, I would lay down my life for two of my children or four of my cousins or eight of my second cousins, whatever it is. So that's sort of the idea, that you are there to serve evolutionary reproduction.

[2:39] So that's how that works. Now, we, of course, have evolved to have dopamine and affection and delight in our own babies.

[2:51] So that we provide them the resources that give them life. So affection, really, that's evolutionary affection. And the affection sounds weak. It's a very strong force, of course, particularly with offspring human children, which require 20 years of nourishing and coaching and so on. So there is that level of attachment. Now, there's attachment for the genes, and then there's a related attachment to that which facilitates the survival of the genes.

[3:29] Right. So, I mean, I'll just sort of give you a silly example. So if you've ever had that situation where you're in some structure, there's a storm raging outside, you're cozy in bed, you pull up the covers right to your chin, and you feel a sense of happiness, gratitude, and possibly even attachment for the good old sturdy house protecting you from the elements. People have this with their their cars you know there's that meme of the guy whose car is like 22 years old every single light is flashing it's like and the guy is saying to the car i love you and the car is saying please let me die like no because right so men have attachments and affection, to their car men also have this with sneakers right there's another other meme i'm sort of in this camp where the wife has a closet full of shoes and says oh i'm running low on shoes and the man's sneakers are like tattered remnants of their former glory and the man says to his sneakers i love you and the sneakers are saying please let me die, my wife is not a shoe collector but i definitely will hold on to shoes until like i one one slightly one step short of duct tape to keep them together i'll hold on to shoes.

[4:43] I mean, I remember when I was working up north and we put together a prospector's hut, which is basically a large canvas. It's larger than a tent, but smaller than a hut, where we lived in minus 20, minus 30 degree weather. And there was a terrible hailstorm, and the hailstones were crashing into the canvas top of this tent. And I felt a great deal of affection for the tent, because the tent was keeping me alive.

[5:11] So, because we love our genes, we also have to have affection for that which serves our genes, right? That which ensures or promotes our possibilities of survival, right? So, what that means is that we love our children, and of course we love life, so we love pets. Why? Because...

[5:36] We evolved to love pets because pets serve our survival. I mean, we can go over this a million different ways, but especially the pets that we had to keep alive, right? A farmer or a family generally has more affection for the family dog than for a cow.

[5:57] Because the cow, you know, a little bit of affection, but, you know, you're going to slaughter the cow. You don't slaughter the family dog. So why don't you slaughter the family dog? Like, what's the evolutionary reason for this, right? Well, the evolutionary reason, of course, is that the dogs are necessary for your survival, or they certainly very much enhance your chances of survival. The dogs are used for herding. The dogs guard you from predators. The dogs guard your livestock from predators. The dogs attack intruders. The dogs are massively useful to your survival. So what that means, of course, is that if you look at sort of family A and family B, we'll talk about the Smiths and the Joneses, right? Now, the Smiths have an evolutionary quirk, which gives them great affection for a working dog.

[6:47] They like to play with the dog, they bond with the dog, they take care of the dog, they provide resources to the dog, and they train the dog to do useful things around the farm. Well if you compare that to the joneses who don't have that evolutionary quirk they don't have any particular affection for pets well who is more likely to survive in the long run well the smiths are more likely to survive because they invested the dog which keeps the animal safe and provides them with security and free labor so to speak or virtually free labor so that's the situation so So evolutionarily speaking.

[7:27] We have an affection for certain animals and those animals that were useful on the farm generally correlate to the kind of animals that, I mean, obviously dogs and cats, right? They're the most useful and they're the most common pets, right? So the animals that promoted our survival in the past are obviously not coincidentally the animals that we have the greatest affections for in the present. So those affections were evolved. Now, why were they evolved? To aid in our survival. In other words, those who had affection for cats and dogs were more likely to survive, and their children were more likely to survive. So it's an evolutionary mechanism. We love our life, and we love our kids, and therefore...

[8:16] We love whatever serves it, whatever serves our life, whatever serves our kids. Dogs and cats in particular love, sorry, serve our lives and our kids in a rural setting in particular, although in an urban setting as well, dogs are very helpful. They were the original alarm systems, right? If there were intruders, if intruders are coming up and there's the sort of cavalcade of big-ass dogs barking through the letter slots, then they're probably going to move on somewhere else, right? So it's a way of staying safe.

[8:46] Cats and Rodent Infestation

[8:46] Cats, of course, in particular, deal with the problems of rodent infestation. So if you get rodents into your grain, it's a complete disaster. An entire year's labor could be wiped out or rendered dangerous.

[9:00] And then you may end up having to eat contaminated grain, which could kill you. And it's just terrible. So having cats around is absolutely essential. Essential the cats the cats do labor that is unattended right so the cats keep in particular keep the rats and mice away from your grain and so they do unattended labor which is why there's more of a distant relationship in many ways between the owners and the cats the cats are relying on natural instincts the dogs have to be trained so there's more of a bond and more of a a time investment between owners and dogs than there is between owners and cats so just in terms of like the next generation we have a very strong attachment and affection to dogs and cats because they serve our survival and the survival of our offspring so it is out of a love for our life and our offspring that we have developed a love of the dogs and cats that serve that right so it's not a primary love, it is an attachment in order to, right?

[10:07] What's the end result of in order to? Well, the end result of in order to, with regards to parenting, is to raise children who are, competent, effective, and fundamentally, reproductively successful, right? I mean, that's the end goal, right? At least it used to be. Now, it's now quite the opposite, which shows just how powerful propaganda is, right? So the purpose of parenting is to raise children who are good, decent, kind, productive people and morally strong and also who will themselves reproduce, right? That is the goal of parenting. And those people who had affection for dogs and cats.

[10:54] Would have offspring who were more likely to survive. So you understand that the affection for dogs and cats is not rooted in affection for the animals themselves. Otherwise, we would just have affection for four-legged mammals and it would be undiscriminated and so on. And in general, of course, the cliche, and I think it's pretty true, is that dogs are man's best friend, right? Dogs are man's best friend. So in general, dogs would be trained by the men to do labor around the farm that is interactive, organized service dogs, right? And so it would be the men who would bond more with the dogs and train the dogs more. And cats of course have been traditionally associated with women because women would be in the homestead and women would to some degree have the job of aiding in the guarding of the food that men are out there growing the food but women have to guard the food and therefore women's bond with cats tends to be stronger than men's because that would be how it would work right and again tons of exceptions but that's the general the general state in case of things support.

[12:13] So, of course, we can look with regards to relatives. Well, we share some of their genes, so there would be evolutionary attachments there.

[12:19] And, of course, those who have affection for relatives have a greater chance of their own children surviving because, of course, relatives aid in the survival of children, right? So you're out there hunting or working in the fields. You need someone to take care of your kids while your wife is, I don't know, making the jam or pickling or whatever, or hunter gathering locally or whatever, or gathering in particular, right? So you would need the grandparents to do all of that. So what would you do? Well, if you have grandparents, you have an extra pairs of eyes and hands and ears and so on to guard your children. So that's what you want to do. So if you have a strong attachment with extended family, your children have a greater chance of survival, right? Which is why we have affection for people who can't provide us any more offspring, right? I mean, we have affection for grandparents and deep love and affection for grandparents.

[13:18] Even though the grandparents can't provide a huge amount of physical labor, their eyes are kind of squinty and the hearing is kind of down and they're physically frail. But why do we have affection? I mean, in terms of like the next generation, well, because they aid in the protection and survival of the next generation by taking care of their offspring, which, you know, really shows just how the sort of indifferent boomer grandparents have just veered so far from our general history that it's almost unbelievable.

[13:50] So I would say that we love our lives and our children. That's the primary attachment. The secondary attachment is we love that which serves.

[14:04] Our lives and our children and dogs and cats, through their labor, serve our lives and our children. Therefore, we have great attachment to those. And that is an evolutionary thing. And listen, the evolutionary thing doesn't mean that it's not a value. It doesn't mean that it's not a great experience. I had great affection for my pets when I was growing up. So when I say, well, it's just biological, well, that doesn't mean that it's not a value. I mean, an orgasm is just biological. Does that mean that we talk ourselves out of that pleasure? Well, of course not, right? great food is is you know really good tasting food is is biological but that doesn't mean that we talk ourselves out of enjoying food right that doesn't that wouldn't make any sense right so the biological pleasures are not to be sniffed at they're not to be ignored they're not to be risen above you know like in this sort of uh fearful of the passions spock like dedication to pure reason well that's a life and empty of meaning and content and value and in the long run a virtue, right? If we get rid of our emotions, then we also get rid of our love of virtue.

[15:07] Because love is an emotion. And to love virtue means that you have to be in touch with your passions. So people who tell you, well, the way to be rational is to overcome your emotions and to reject your emotions, they're just training you to be amoral. Because if you don't have the capacity for love, then you can't love virtue. And you can't love wisdom, you can't love truth, truth you can't love the world enough to want to help it get to a better place so abandonment of the emotions is abandonment of virtue because you lose your motivation you know i think one of the things that when i was an actor you would always ask these questions okay well what's my motivation and what's my goal what's my purpose in the scene what am i looking for what am i trying to get and you know almost all scenes have in in theater and movies is two characters embroiled in conflict conflict maneuvering to get their way, right? So to where there's some sort of conflict.

[16:05] So, that explains the evolutionary cause of affection. Now, of course, in the long run, right, things got to balance out. So, if people, like, it is an evolutionary maladaptation to not care for pets or to care for pets too much, right? It's Ginny and Garofalo in some old movie, you know, it's okay to love your animals, just don't love your animals, right? Well, that's important because if affection for pets serves your reproductive goals in aiding the survival of you and your children, good thing. If you love your pets to the point where they become a substitution for children, well, then your genes is a dead end, right?

[16:48] So, you know, evolution is constantly tinkering with these things. And the promotion and the internet has a lot to do with the promotion of pet fetish the pettish right it's a pet fetish where a fetish is where you take natural healthy sexuality and bonding and attachment and affection and you promote and provoke it to the point where it becomes counterproductive to your reproduction so yeah cats are cute cats can be funny and cats are fun under pet and you know there is a blood pressure lowest blood pressure and stress and so on so yeah pets are fun and cool and and great and one of the things that the internet has done whether this is you know part of a general depopulation plan or it's just a drug offered to lonely people part of what the internet has done is by promoting a pet fetish which a lot of the internet does right mostly pornography and cats, right? And a tiny smidge of philosophy. But by promoting...

[17:53] By promoting pets to substitute for children, it turns it from a healthy affection to a lineage-ending fetish. And so the way that you promote, and this is particularly true for women, although there are, of course, men who say, you know, a dog is better than any woman. But in particular, what you do is you, if you anthropomorphize cats, then you short-circuit the affection for cats that's part of protecting your offspring, particularly, as I said, from rats and mice.

[18:29] By anthropomorphizing cats, you cross the wires in a woman's head to the point where cats aren't there to serve her offspring, but by promoting human imagining, projecting human characteristics into cats, you short-circuit the woman's brain to the point where cats aren't there to serve her offspring, cats are her offspring. Because women are wired to feel satisfaction in relations with human offspring. And so when you give your cat, you know, three different names.

[18:59] Then, you know, or Chairman Meow, or you talk incessantly about the quasi-human characteristics of your cats, oh, they really like doing this, or he hates that, or, you know, you promote all of this quasi-human consciousness into the empty fur-brained skull of a cat, then you short-circuit a woman's reproductive choices and desires to the point where she feels the satisfaction to some degree that she would normally get from a human child, she feels it with her cat, because you've anthropomorphized the cat to the point where the woman's brain feels like it is a cat. And the same thing, of course, happens with pornography and so on, right? Right. So the problem is if you anthropomorphize animals to the point where you go from affection.

[19:53] To love and devotion, which should be reserved for your own children and your spouse and so on, the problem is when you over-invest in pets, they no longer serve the survival of your offspring. Offspring they serve the death of your offspring or they serve the alienation of your offspring and if you've ever had a parent who's cruel or you've ever seen a parent who's cruel to children but kind to pets then the pets are used as an abusive weapon against the children and and.

[20:32] The pet is something that alienates the children from the parent. So rather than the pets serving the children, the pets serve to alienate the children, or they serve as a substitute for the children, all of which diminishes your children's capacity for survival.

[20:51] Impact of Alienating Children

[20:51] So whatever parents do that alienates their children, historically, this is why there's such a taboo against parental alienation. And the reason for that, I mean, it's partly for the transmission of often toxic ideas through parents to children, grandparents to grandchildren. But it also has to do with the fact that if you alienate your parents, your children, evolutionarily speaking, like historically speaking, would have less of a chance of survival. Now, they would have less of a chance of physical survival because if you don't talk to your parents, then your parents won't take care of your children, which means your children are exposed to a lot more danger than they would otherwise be, is number one. And number two, that if you alienate your parents, if you don't spend time and see your parents, then again, we're talking evolutionarily, we're not talking sort of current day where independence and individualism is possible.

[21:50] If you alienate your parents, then they will trash talk you, if they're bad parents, right? And which is really the reason that you would alienate them, that's sort of unrelentingly corrupt and abusive, then they will badmouth you, they will interfere with your children's mating prospects, and they will do their best to sort of end your lineage that way. So it's a very dicey thing, evolutionarily speaking. So this is sort of one of the reasons why. So when people overbond with their pets...

[22:20] Then yeah, they will take the death of a pet with the kind of sadness that would normally befit the death of a human child because they've anthropomorphized that pet to the point where it has become a substitute child, which interferes with their capacity to have children, and it also interferes with their capacity to bond with children. I mean, you can't bond equally with two wildly dissimilar things. And if you bond primarily with a dog, that's a great insult to your children. Because when you say, I prefer the dog to you, you have less of a status to me than a pet that's alienating to your children, and it's really nasty. It's really nasty.

[23:04] So yeah, we should have great affection for that which serves our survival and the survival of our are children. But when you hear nonsense like, it's my fur baby, no, it's not. If you hear things like a dog is a man's best friend, it's like, no, the dog is also, because the dog is pair bonded, the dog is just running on dopamine. So pets are also a way for a lot of people to just not grow up and deal with people, right? A dog can't judge you morally. It can't correct you morally. It It can't evaluate you from an ethical standpoint. Sorry, that's a bit of a redundant phrase. But a dog will only judge whether you provide the dog dopamine or not. So you can be a serial killer, but if you're nice to your dog, the dog loves you, quote, loves you.

[23:56] And dogs don't challenge you. They don't say, a dog is never going to say to you, why are you wasting your life? Why aren't you married? Why don't you have children? Why are you working this dead-end job? Why are you spending time with corrupt people? Like a dog is never going to do that. And so people who don't want to grow up are drawn to pets.

[24:21] Pets as a Substitute for Growth

[24:21] Pets, and again, I'm not saying this is the only reason to have affection for pets, but pets are very often a drug that people use. They're a delivery mechanism for dopamine and affection that people use instead of growing up and taking on the real adult challenges of having a relationship with an intelligent, curious, judgy, critical person who is going to give you feedback on how well or badly you're doing and attempt to guide you towards a better place. Dogs will never do that. Cats will never do that. So it's a way of staying immature by dealing with animals that have the cognitive abilities less than a baby. So there is a process, of course, that goes on when you're in a long-term relationship, right? There's a process that goes on where you become fully human to your partner.

[25:14] There's a certain amount of idealism and hero worship and heroine worship early on in the relationship, and as you grow and you mature, you get to see your partner as a full human being, and the scales fall from your eyes, and you're imperfect, and they're imperfect, but you're perfect together.

[25:33] Now, dogs don't go through that process of evaluating you and seeing you as a human being with your strengths and your weaknesses, your virtues and your flaws. They just bond with you and are happy every assuming that you feed them and pet them they're happy every time you come home and you don't have to be a better person to win their love you don't have to make any progress in life in order to win their love right so a lot of people get stuck in this time loop right this this groundhog day time loop where they just don't make any progress in life right they're living basically the same life at 45 that they did at 25 and i mean i know this this of course because we all know people like this but of course it seems like sometimes half the call calls i get are people who can't get to the next phase in life who can't get married have kids or maybe even if they're just a career person move ahead in their career and they're just living the same life over and over again the same life over and over again i mean there are not too long ago i was taking my daughter to the science center and the science center is near where i I grew up in Canada, at Don Mills and Lawrence. Don Mills and Eglinton, so it's fairly close, stone's throw.

[26:46] And, of course, I took my daughter to see where I grew up, the apartment building, I took her back in the neighborhoods. Now, of course, for me, it's fraught with richness and depth and happiness and sadness and meaning and so on.

[26:58] Reflecting on Personal History

[26:58] For my daughter, it's just a bunch of buildings and stuff, and we did talk about it. And she did show interest in all of that, because, you know, it's part of my history. So I have this sort of attachment for things that she doesn't particularly have much attachment for, but I want to sort of transfer that so she remembers that I also am a full human being and not just a father, and I had a history before her, and so on. But...

[27:21] I looked at buildings, and of course, it's been forever since I was back in the neighborhood, and I'm not in touch with anyone and haven't been for, I don't know, 15 years, 16 years from anyone from the old neighborhood, but I was absolutely certain that there were some people, some men that I knew, and maybe some women too, but some men for sure, like I knew this for sure, or at least as certain as you can be with these kinds of things, that some of my friends were still in the same neighborhood, were still living in the same buildings that but their parents were. They're sort of crappy matriarchal manor apartment rent control buildings and were still roughly in the same place in their career and were still pursuing the same hobbies, and were still doing Dungeons and Dragons, which, you know, is fine if you're doing it with your kids. But, you know, if you are in your 40s or your 50s and you're still playing Dungeons and Dragons, it's because you're seeking it. Dungeons and Dragons didn't prepare you for an adventure called life. It became a substitute for an adventure called life. You get your excitement from dice rolling rather than actual achievement in the world. It's like doing endless warm-up drills and never playing a sport. What's the point? So we all know people who haven't made progress.

[28:33] And it's really, because people live these Groundhog Days as if time's not passing, and then they get this panic. They get this panic that time is passing, and what do they do? Well, that panic is there to have you, the panic is there to tell you to get started with your life, to take some risks, to achieve, to go ask the girl out, to maybe have kids, you know, to move on with your life, to get something done with your life, this incredibly rare precious gift. It's not such a gift that it's designed to be wasted. Wasting gifts is an insult to the glory of existence. Wasting your gifts is an insult to the glory of your existence. Would you give... A million dollars of precious inheritance to a friend who was going to spend it on online gambling, Star Wars figurines, and getting drunk. Well, no, it's just going to be a waste of this precious and scarce resource called a million dollars. And the universe gives you this life if you waste it, if you allow fear to paralyze you, and you convince yourself of progress when you are a tapioca quicksand of stagnation that is the gravest sin. Risk something. Do something. Try something.

[29:56] There is no failure bigger than the avoidance of failure. There is no risk greater than the avoidance of risk. Because we're all going to die anyway, and what we get done between the here and the hereafter is all that we can be. If you hide from failure, you die anyway you just die having spread failure because you justify it like whatever we do we justify or we challenge that's it we have no other choice whatever we do we either justify, or we challenge so if you're wasting your life you either justify it can't win don't try the system's rigged i'm doing the right thing women are terrible and and family is a trap and and you know you can't get ahead because the man runs the system like whatever if you're wasting your your life, you will justify it. And by justifying it, you spread it. You become an environmental toxin that paralyzes other people, or at least tries to. You become a temptation, and the people who are wasting their lives will almost always put on this facade of satisfaction and happiness so that they can lure other people into reproducing their mistakes. Why? Because misery loves company.

[31:00] And pets are a way, for those who use them as a substitute for progress, whether it's progress in a career sense or an intellectual sense or a family sense, whatever, progress. We don't need to define that too much. We all know when life's moving forward or not. But those who use pets as a substitute for human companionship often do so because they use the pet's programmed affections as a substitute for the dopamine called achievement. Right? Dopamine is the reward we get for taking calculated risks. Not jumping off a cliff, but, you know, taking calculated risks. We are frightened to ask the girl out. We ask the girl out. She says, yes, we're overjoyed, thrilled, over the moon. Sure. I mean, that's how it should be. But if instead of through taking calculated challenges in life, instead of through that and actual achievement, instead of through that, we get our dopamine because our dog is happy we came through the door. Well, then we're using the dog as a drug to consume and feast on our own potential.

[32:05] So it's a great danger. And we can see, of course, that this pet thing is really being pushed. And this, of course, is why when people have a pet fetish, which is when you have a pet not to serve you and your children, but instead to block you from reproduction, it comes out of cowardice.

[32:25] Facing Regret

[32:26] Right so a pet fetish comes out of a cowardice to take rational risks in life to achieve to fail to get back up you know the the normal striving of life which is some success some failure some progress some regression and having the confidence to take on life because you have to have a care for the second half of your life and the second half of your life if you fail fundamentally and the only failure is not trying right you understand the only failure is not trying so if you fail fundamentally the second half of your life you are a misery usually usually you're a misery and a toxin because you have to you can't fix it right if you failed up to the age of 40 let's say can you fix it oh well i can think of an exception and grandma moses only started painting when she was 70 and it's like that's the exception that proves the rule that's the exception that proves the rule i don't know like for for men let's talk about the wall for women Let's talk about the war for women. Oh, she's 40, so sexual market value plummets and eggs are dino eggs. And I get all of that. And of course, I've talked about all of that. You know, there's a war for men too, right?

[33:31] That if you're a failure in your late thirties, the odds of you becoming successful are virtually zero.

[33:38] It doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It doesn't mean you shouldn't. You can become more successful. You should shake off things. But if you've wasted almost a quarter century of adult time, the odds of you catching up are zero to people who've tried and, right? And again, we can always think of people who, you know, they didn't get their first. I remember reading about, I can't remember his name, of course, but it was some guy who became a golf pro and he was working as a foreman or office manager in a factory or something. And people were like, man, you're really good at golf. You should go and do this golf thing. And he's like, well, maybe, maybe, maybe. And he ended up doing it. But of course, he'd been playing golf for many, many, many years. So he was ready, right? I mean, I kind of burst onto the scene, so to speak, in my late 30s. But I'd been doing philosophy for 20 years already. I got my education. I had learned enough about the business world to know how to run a podcast effectively. So, you know, I was ready. The success that I had didn't come out of nowhere. where it came out of having taken a lot of rational calculated risks in the past and failing and learning and progressing and achieving.

[34:48] So men have a wall too. And if a woman, if she doesn't have kids, she's likely to face regret for the last 40 years of her life. And if a man wastes his youth and early middle age, then he's going to face regret. Now regret quickly turns into justification. People can't live with the pain of having messed up their lives. They can't live with that. And so a survival mechanism becomes justification.

[35:11] I haven't failed. I'm wise to the system. I haven't failed. I've just accepted the fact that nobody will let me succeed. And then of course, because you justify, you spread. You talk about it with others. You talk about it particularly with the young because people who are like middle-aged failures, it's really, really important for young people not to hang out with middle-aged failures because because they would transfer that failure with everything in their heart, mind, body, and what remains of their soul.

[35:42] So for men, it's really, really tough, particularly career-wise. It's a little bit different with romance, but particularly career-wise, where you are when you're 40, for the most part, is where you're going to be. Now, it doesn't mean that that's where you stay. Let's say you get 10% better every year, that's likely to continue.

[36:02] Stagnation or Progress

[36:03] It may even accelerate. But if you work in the same job at 40 that you were at 25, then you have failed to take the necessary risks and do the necessary work. I spent quite some time early in my business career floundering around trying to figure out how to do things because I didn't have any business expertise in the family and I was a self-taught coder. And so, yeah, and I didn't have any sales experience or access to sales expertise really so or marketing. So I just really had to figure these things out for myself. There was a lot of discomfort involved in that. So, what's the alternative? You know, you're going to suffer either way. So, oh, there was discomfort in me trying to figure out the business world. There was discomfort in me trying to figure out the podcasting world, although less, because I already had the business world thing down. So, there's discomfort. So, okay, so what's the option? There's discomfort in asking the girl out, but there's even more discomfort in being a lonely masturbation addict for the rest of your natural life, right? I mean, there's discomfort in going to the gym, but there's more discomfort in having bad back, bad joints, bad knees, fat.

[37:12] There's discomfort. All you do in life is you choose your discomforts. But the idea there's no discomfort. So you say, well, it's uncomfortable for me to go to night school, learn something new, and try and get a new job in a new field. That's uncomfortable for me. It's like, okay, sure, I get that. So compared to what? Compared to stagnating and rotting in the same job for 40 years? That's uncomfortable too and yeah really the the people are so men have the wall as well which is the wall of success and again that's more focused around career than romance but the wall is real for both sexes and men love to talk about the wall for women for reasons of i mean there's lots of complex reasons for all of that and we'll get into that another time but they don't as much much like to talk about the wall for men, which is, I mean, and I know this as a hiring manager. I was, again, hiring. I interviewed a thousand people, hired a hundred people, mostly successfully. So I know what I'm looking for. And if somebody had stagnated, I would know that they had little potential. Like if some 40-year-old guy came to me for a job as a a junior programmer, and he'd been in software for a long time, I would view him as unhirable.

[38:31] Because if he was still a junior programmer, it would mean that he didn't have any particular ambition. And what that meant is that he would then be toxic in spreading that lack of ambition to others, because you're not just hiring for the position, you're hiring for the whole team.

[38:48] Because he was almost certain to try and, he couldn't encourage the ambitions of younger programmers because he hadn't pursued any ambitions himself. Anyway, so it's a bit of a tangent, but I just wanted to point out that, yeah, there is a wall for men and for women. And for men, a lot of times it is, they're drawn to, men who failed in life are often drawn to hang around younger people and spread that failure. Failure, because it's a complete agony to look at your life and say, I failed.

[39:20] Justification Mechanism

[39:21] Especially when it's too late, all you can do is justify. When it's too late, all you can do is justify. I saw this video, was it yesterday? It's a 61-year-old woman on social media talking about how she's completely effing thrilled that she never had kids. She gets to sleep in, she gets to go to concerts, she gets to do this, that, and the other.

[39:44] But she can't. And it's rare, it's rare to see a woman, let's say who's 60, who says she bitterly regrets not having children because you can't process it. I mean, that way, self-destruction lies. That's almost like if you can't fix a lack of courage in your life, you have to justify it because the alternative, probably I would imagine is suicidal thoughts because the colossal loss of the gift that you were given like the couple of pounds of wetware that is the greatest glory in the universe and you wasted it to inherit a billion dollars and blow it on nothing and have nothing to show for it I mean how can you I don't know how people process that kind of regret and because I don't know how people process that kind of regret I've always tried to take rational risks rationally calculated risks.

[40:33] Wasting Potential

[40:33] I mean, even deplatforming was a rationally calculated risk, which is I didn't want to disappear in the future by flourishing in the present, because flourishing in the present means lying. So, yeah, pets are a great boon and a great temptation. Like food, right? Food is necessary, but it's easy to abuse. So, I suppose the same thing is true of exercise. Now, the last thing I'll touch on here, and we can do this fairly briefly, is babies. Babies. Well, if love Love is our involuntary response to virtue, but babies can't be virtuous. Does that mean we can't love babies?

[41:10] That's a category error. So, for instance, I love my wife because she's virtuous. When she is sleeping, she is not virtuous. She's asleep.

[41:21] Dreaming of me, I'm sure. Right? So, if I say, well, I love my wife because of her virtues, well, when she's sleeping, she's not performing virtuous actions. Does that mean that I don't love her? No. I mean, if you love your wife and you see her sleeping, it's like great tenderness and you want to kiss her on the forehead, head but you don't want to wake her up and you want to arrange her pillow so she's more comfortable but you don't want to disturb her and there's great affection in all of that if i'm playing a sport with my wife i suppose there's virtue even in sport you know being a good loser and encouragement plus a little trash talk very sexy but is she virtuous when she's not actively engaged in promoting or acting in a virtuous manner well no neither am i neither is anyone one, right? So when I say I love my wife because of her virtues, am I saying that I only love my wife in the act of her being morally courageous or having a particular kind of virtue that's manifesting in the moment? Well, no. That's like saying, well, I'm healthy because I exercise. So I exercise about eight hours a week. And that's not all, you know, weights and cardio and so on. A lot of that is sort of the brisk walking that I do in call-in shows and so on. So I exercise about eight hours a week, which is a small fraction of the week.

[42:48] So if I say I'm healthy because I exercise, and then people say, well, you're sitting on the couch, therefore you're not healthy because you're not exercising, right? So saying I'm healthy because I exercise is not to say that I'm only healthy in the act of exercising. In fact, if I exercised all the time, I would be unhealthy because I would injure myself, right? So do you follow this? If I say I eat because I'm hungry, that's not to say that I'm hungry every time I'm not eating, because after you eat, there is a period of satisfaction, of satiety, right? I drink water because I'm thirsty, but that doesn't mean that I'm thirsty every time I'm not actively drinking water. order.

[43:40] Choosing Discomforts

[43:41] So love and health and satiety and so on is something that is part of a continuum that involves it not being there. Because inevitably, it won't be there. After you eat, you don't want to eat again for a while. After you exercise, you gain the health benefits when you're not exercising. In fact, you would gain a health loss. Gain a loss, you know what I mean? You'd lose health benefits if you kept exercising because you'd injure yourself. Some tendon and things, some RSI, some carpal tunnel, pulled muscles, whatever, right?

[44:15] Moral courage is good. Excess moral courage is foolhardy, right? That's the old Aristotelian thing. A deficiency of courage is cowardice. An excess of courage is foolhardiness. Neither are to be admired. A deficiency of anger is spinelessness. An excess of anger is rage and abuse. You've got to find a balance, right? So at a time when I see people I love being morally courageous, courageous, I love them for that moral courage. But that doesn't mean I don't love them when they're not being morally courageous, because you can't be morally courageous 24-7. So loving someone for an action doesn't mean you don't love them when they're not performing that action. I mean, there are other things like, I don't really think about it, but I suppose I love love my wife for her monogamy. A man loves his wife for her monogamy. If she breaks that monogamy and has an affair, then he would not love her for that, and so on, right? But we're talking about general positive attributes, right? In the same way, I have self-respect for moral things that I do in the world, but if I'm, I don't know, sitting playing some mindless video game because my brain is tired from philosophy, that doesn't mean I now have self-contempt.

[45:39] Because there's a continuity, and there's a bell curve with these kinds of things. So hopefully this makes, I love my wife for her virtues, but that doesn't mean I don't love her when she's not actively being virtuous. If we're just sitting, cuddling and watching a movie, is she being virtuous?

[45:58] I don't think that would be in that category. Does that mean I don't love her in that moment? Of course not, right? There's a continuity. So with regards to babies, we have a very strong attachment to them that's biological in nature, which doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it or it's bad or it's not real. That which is hardwired into us is very real. You know, hunger is hardwired into us. It's very real. Sexual desire is hardwired into us. It's very real. Thrust hardwired into us. Very real. Being tired hardwired into us. This is not unreal. These are not bad. These are not negative, right? So the attachments that we have for our babies, the delight in life, they come from a philosophical place. They come from a biochemical place, a biological place, an evolutionary place. It's all the lovely soup of attachment. attachment. Now, taking joy in life is a beautiful thing, and it is part of the philosophical optimism that is the foundation of virtue.

[46:56] Despair is the enemy of virtue, because despair says virtue is not worth it. Which is why when virtue is translated to the political realm, it's kind of demonic in a way, because there's very little that you can change and affect, if anything, and therefore virtue becomes pointless, and it becomes kind of a grift. A lot of times, not always.

[47:13] Exercising Virtue

[47:13] Whereas what I was talking about last night in the show, that we have morality, that is exercisable in our own personal lives at all times, that's something you can act on, right? So the purpose of corruption is to move your sense of virtue to things which you cannot change and thereby inflict you with the sin of despair and have you avoid virtue in the future as being sort of pointless and useless. So, I mean, I remember the sort of back in the day with Ron Paul. I love Ron Paul, but, you know, he was never going to be president. He was never going to be president. Trump had a shot, but Ron Paul was never going to be president. And, you know, maybe it's for spreading the ideas and so on. But those people who said, well, here's the path, you know, the revolution, here's the path to Ron Paul becoming president. It's like, no, that's not true. That's not a thing that can happen.

[48:04] That's just math. so with regards to babies if you you have a very strong attachment to your baby is it is it the refined love of moral achievement and moral courage no because they're a baby so you have a bond you have a love of life and what do you have you have a love of potential because the The baby, and in particular, through your love, the baby can become a moral agent, can grow to become a moral agent in the world, right? I mean, if you were to imagine, let's just say, let's just create some fantasy scenario, right?

[48:46] So if you had a baby, again, this is completely imaginary. I don't think it would ever happen, even in a theoretical sense, but let's just put this out as a mind experiment. If you had a baby and you knew for sure that baby was going to grow up to be a mass murderer, would you feel the same level of affection towards your baby? Well, probably not. I mean, I would assume almost certainly not, because the potential for the baby being an addition to moral virtue and courage within the world would not be there. In fact, your baby would grow up to be a great evildoing mass murderer, right? So what you love in your baby is, of course, the attachment, the life, the laughter, the bonding, the cuddling, and you love the potential in your baby that is manifested by the love of them as an infant, right? So a baby has a stronger chance of being virtuous if the baby is loved as a baby, right? But what are you loving? well, you love virtue and therefore you love your baby because that's the best way for your baby to grow up to be virtuous. Does that make sense?

[49:55] If you love virtue, then your love of your baby is the greatest chance for virtue to grow and spread in the world.

[50:02] Seeking Optimal Quality

[50:03] I mean, to take a sort of silly example, nobody loves fertilizer, but we love food and we need food, and fertilizer is a great way to ensure we get adequate food because it's very good for the growth of crops.

[50:17] Don't love editing audio and video, but if I don't do that, then my shows don't get out into the world, right?

[50:26] This is like my probably ninth microphone for doing these things. I think I finally found a sweet spot of portability and quality. Do I love shopping for microphones? Not really, but I do love having higher quality source audio for the production of shows, and I also don't like having to sit in a studio hunched over like a question mark every time I want to to record because the brain works better when you're moving, right? Your mind works better when you're moving. I learned this sort of many, many years ago with a guy I was in business with who'd say, oh, we've got a meeting, let's go for a walk. And we'd have much better meetings, shorter meetings, more productive meetings when we would go for a walk rather than when people would sit around a conference table snacking on donuts and staring off into space. This is even before people were on their phones. And I mean, you can look up the science. If you're in in motion, your brain is doing better. So it's better for the show that I'm moving around, but it's tougher for audio quality recording. So I've tried to find the sweet spot for that for many years. I also don't want to have a microphone that I hold up because for me, at least, if I'm doing a show for an hour and I'm holding up a microphone, that's tough on my shoulders. It's tough, like I end up with cramps in my shoulders or, you know, little discomforts in my shoulders because I'm holding up a microphone. So I have to have a headset, but sometimes the headsets clamp on your ears so much such that every time you talk, it hums in your ears, which I don't think is great and kind of distracting, and so on, right?

[51:48] So we love the potential. We love virtue, and loving our babies is the best way to increase and improve virtue in the world.

[51:58] Producing Virtue through Love

[51:59] That's why loving a baby produces virtue, which is what we love. We also, by loving a baby, we produce a child who acts virtuously, which means that we're even more likely to love our child because the child is acting in a virtuous manner. Now, no amount of loving a dog will make that dog virtuous because dogs are not capable of virtue because they cannot compare proposed actions to ideal standards. No amount of loving a cat or a hamster or a horse or a cow will ever produce one additional scrap of virtue in the world. I guess if you take care of your cows, then you get milk to feed children so the children can become virtuous. So maybe it's sort of a means to an end. But loving children produces virtue. Loving dogs does not. Loving cats does not. And loving children is the best way to give them a base of happiness and attachment and respect to emulate your behavior, right? If you're a virtuous person, then you're going to show, obviously, affection towards your babies. You're going to show love towards your babies. Say, ah, yes, but the baby's unvirtuous. Yeah, but I love my wife when she's sleeping and I love the potential and virtue of my children. And that love, right? If you have affection with your children, they respect you, they enjoy your company, they look up to you, then it's the best chance to transfer your virtues to them, right? right? I mean, we don't love the medicine. We don't love the cure. We love life and the medicine and the cure serves life.

[53:27] We love virtue. Therefore, we love our children, both for the fact that they have life and the fact that they have developing minds and the fact that they just develop enormously rapidly. And the fact that we love virtue and therefore want to spread virtue is why we have children to a large degree and also why we love children because loving children is the best way to have them grow into virtuous people and make the world a better place. So I hope that that answers the question. I really do appreciate. It's a great question and keep them coming, man. Post them. You don't have to wait for the invite. Just post them away. I'm happy to answer. Thanks a mil, everyone. So much. Lots of love. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

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