The Truth About Reality! Transcript

[0:00] All right. Yeah, got a couple of minutes. Well, more than a couple of minutes.

Introduction and Setting the Stage

[0:03] And hey, if it's epistemology, I am on it like white on rice.
Metaphysics, metaphysics also. So, yeah. What would you guys chat about?
Is there anything I can do to help? Tickle my neurons, baby.

[0:16] Yeah, I believe, I don't know. I think it's pronounced Timotoy.
He was in the conversation, too. Do we know if he's joining?

[0:24] Um i don't know i definitely um it did put out the invite but whether he's here or not we must forge on with the time that we.

[0:32] Yeah sure so it was the conversation kind of uh deviated from what the original prompt was the original prompt was actually about uh i had some questions about something you said or you've said for years and i was hoping to see if somebody would clarify and And then we ended up getting into like the whole Kantian external, internal world thing.
And then like Cartesian doubt. And I had to do a little bit of clarification.
But I guess you want me to just address with the question that originally prompted the whole conversation?

[1:05] Well, I mean, certainly if it's something I said, then maybe I could find some way to clarify it. It's hard to tell.

[1:12] Certainly. Yeah. Yeah. So I've said this just like, cause I've heard this from you for years.
And the other day somebody called me out on it and I really, I had to really revisit the thought.
So for years, I've heard you say the state doesn't exist.
And you know, I'm not going to quote you verbatim, but like it's along the lines of like people exist and those people have guns and those people with guns have opinions about what you should do with your tax dollars and they'll enforce these opinions violently, et cetera. Right.
And so somebody called me out there like, what do you you mean the state doesn't exist and i said well like the state's really a concept um i'm sorry can anybody hear that echo or is it just more uh.

[1:49] Tiny bit yeah.

[1:50] If you're not talking if you're not talking if you could beat, anyways um, So I was saying, it's a concept, you know, concepts don't exist.
And that went further on. I basically was convinced now that a concept is an existent.
Actually, before I even go that far, I don't know what the point of your statement was.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your statement. What do you mean by the state does not exist?

[2:21] Well, are you just tossing that hot potato over to me? So you just want me, I mean, it's fine, but do you want me to talk about the state does not exist?

[2:28] This i'm.

[2:28] Not sure what you mean by what is the point of the statement i.

[2:31] Guess i mean that's that's saying that there's an end goal like.

[2:35] There's an end goal other than identifying something that's important truth.

[2:38] Um i i guess what i'm saying is i'm asking for what that meant because maybe i misunderstood it you want me to tell you how i understood this yeah go for it, so the way i understood it was the state is a concept um and therefore concepts don't exist exist but um i was reconvinced that a concept is an existence otherwise we would not be able to refer to it if it didn't exist now why why you.

[3:05] I mean you're flipping definitions so it exists and now you've introduced this phrase called existent and i.

[3:11] I'm not.

[3:12] What is the difference between exists and existent is it something to do with ants or something separate.

[3:16] No no know existent just refers to like a thing that exists um to exist would be just i guess you know it might be a little tautological right but if it exists it simply exists but an existent is referring to a particular unit of existence got it okay, so like i said maybe i misunderstood what you said but i've been saying that for years until somebody called me out and i was like wait a minute maybe you're right maybe i maybe i do need some clarification on that okay.

Defining "Existent" and Understanding the Statement Further

[3:48] So how do you define an existent something which exists.

[3:53] Um so if you're able to refer to it it exists and obviously there's a difference between like floating abstractions and concepts that are valid with something something that actually refers to something so like if i just said who blah who bloody hang on hang on if you're.

[4:10] Able to refer to something it exists so there is such a.

[4:14] Thing as middle earth.

[4:14] There is such a thing as There's a Klingon, there is a unicorn, there is a what?

[4:18] Yeah, yeah, I'll elaborate. So what you're referring to, those concepts exist.
We're not saying that the reference exists.

[4:26] Okay, so hang on. So now you've got stuff in the head and stuff out of the head, right?
So stuff outside our brain has an existence, and certainly concepts exist within our mind. Absolutely, yeah, for sure.
I mean, if I learn the definition of a mammal, my brain neurons rearrange so that I understand what a mammal is, right?
So there is a physical measure of change in the brain when I know what a mammal is. So, they certainly exist within the mind, but there are things which exist in the mind that don't exist in reality, right?
Like the aforementioned unicorns and things like that, right? Is that fair to say? Yes.

[5:08] Those would be floating abstractions.

[5:10] I'm not sure what floating abstractions... I mean, imagination or things that we've created or whatever, right? I mean, I write entire novels of people who don't exist, right?
So, there are things that exist in the mind or concepts that exist in the mind that don't correlate to things in reality, right?
There are things in reality for which we do not have concepts in other words we assume that there's life somewhere in the hundred billion stars and the hundred billion galaxies but we don't know what it is we don't know if it's carbon based or silicon based it could be something else entirely like so we have things out there which almost certainly exist or do exist for which we don't have concepts what is the uh what is the core of jupiter look like well we don't know because we We haven't drilled through to the core of Jupiter, right?
What does the dark side of the moon look like? Well, before we went there, we didn't know, and so on, right?
So there's things in the mind that don't exist in the world.
There's things in the world or things in the universe that don't exist in our mind.
And those two circles overlap, and there's things in the world that do exist in the mind, and there's things in the mind that do exist in the world, right?
So if I have a concept called a tree, that refers to real things in the world, and the real things in the world correspond back to my concept in the mind.
So things in the mind that aren't in the world, things in the world that aren't in the mind, and things in the mind that are in the world and vice versa.
Does that give a rough delineation?

[6:38] Yeah, I mean, I'm just applying terms to those things.
Like I said, like the floating abstraction is the one that doesn't exist in the world, like a unicorn, like you said.
And then like a valid concept would be referring to something that has actual reference with like ENT, by the way.

[6:55] Sorry, ENT?

[6:56] So I mean.

[6:57] Oh.

[6:58] Sorry.

[6:58] Like existent. It's not existent. It's existent.

[7:03] Just like, yeah, just like the way I'm ending the word existent.
I'm saying referent. like there's concrete reference rather than with a ce at the end of reference i'm saying ts.

[7:14] Okay i i is that i i could be completely wrong about all of this but i really dislike these terms right so uh i they just seem overly technical to me and i'm a big fan of like it's as simple a language as possible so uh can we use imaginary for your thing floating abstractions yeah right so imaginary Imaginary is things that exist in the mind, but not in the world.

Simplifying Terminology: Imaginary, Real, and Unknown Concepts

[7:40] Yes.

[7:41] Okay. Real are things that exist in the mind and the world.

[7:48] Yes.

[7:48] Okay. Unknown are things that exist in the world, but not in the mind.

[7:56] Yeah, yeah. I'm with that.

[7:58] Okay. So, imaginary, mind, I'm just making notes here, mind, not world.

[8:05] That's okay. Yeah.

[8:06] So, Middle Earth is in the mind, but not in the world. Real, mind equals world.
And unknown... Now, unknown is something which is not contradictory.
Like, a square circle is... We don't have to scour the universe to find whether a square circle exists. It doesn't exist by definition, right?

[8:28] Yes. It's a violation of the law of identity. Yeah.

[8:31] So unknown is stuff that's out there that we don't have in our mind yet.
What is the atmospheric composition of a planet around Alpha Centauri? We don't know.
But it's not contradictory to whatever, right? So we've got imaginary, real, and unknown.
Now, can we say true for valid concepts?
I mean, we could say valid, but if we could... I'm trying to, I like to boil the language down as much, and I appreciate you going along with me on this, hopefully it's helpful.
I like to boil the language down as much as possible.
If it's too simplistic, then we have to, right? So true is accurate about things in the world.
So real is something that exists in the mind and the world, like a tree, and then saying that that is a tree when you're pointing at a tree is true.
So we can just say true is accurate or something. We can use the two probably interchangeably.
So imaginary, real, unknown, and true. Are we okay with those?

[9:39] Yeah, and I use the word truth the way you do. I've heard you define it as the accurate relationship between concepts in the mind and reality.

[9:46] Yes.

[9:47] Yes. Same terminology there.

[9:49] Right.

[9:49] Mm-hmm.

[9:51] Okay, so the question is, is, do concepts in the mind exist in reality, outside the mind?
So, a tree exists. It's a real physical thing. We can measure it atomically.
We can touch it. We can climb it, right?
An aggregation of trees, trees in proximity to each other, we can measure the trees.
We can measure the proximity to each other.
And then they thin out, or there's a river, and it ends, right?
So trees exist we can measure the proximity they all are close to each other now, the concept forest is a description of a group of trees in close proximity i mean i'm not trying to get overly complicated or overly simplistic but can we sort of go with that yeah.

[10:46] I mean you could uh would you say it's like analogous it's a unit it's a particular type of unit right like.

[10:52] No, it's not a unit. A unit is a singular thing. It is a marker of an aggregation.

[10:59] Oh, okay. I'm sorry. That works better.

[11:02] Right. So, the analogy would be, I am not a crowd, although sometimes brain-wise it does feel a little crowded in here, but I technically am not a crowd.
However, and, you know, three people is not a crowd. I guess that's why the two's company, three's a crowd. I think that's about dating, though, right? Right.
But at some point, it becomes a crowd. Like you see 100,000 people protesting, that's a crowd.
You see three people protesting, I don't know, that's a bunch of losers or something like that.
So at some point and we don't know exactly what that number is right but at some point there's a tipping point where people would say yeah that's a crowd right and you know three trees is not a forest uh you know 10 000 trees is a forest so at some point a copse i think is a unit of smaller like just a copse of trees or whatever it is right and when does you know when does a puddle become a pond?
When does a pond become a lake? And all that kind of stuff, right?
So, in general, we have the individuals which do exist.

[12:11] So when you add more people into a square, it goes from a single person to a few people to a gathering to a crowd or something like that, right?
Now, nothing changes in the atomic structure, nature, and properties of any individual when more people get added.
So if someone comes and stands next to me, it doesn't change who I am.
I mean, you could say I stop picking my nose or it changes my behavior or something like that, right? But it doesn't change the atomic or physical structure of who I am. Does that make sense?

[12:45] Of course, yeah.

[12:46] Okay, so when you start adding more and more people to a crowd, or you plant a whole bunch of trees and so on, it doesn't change the properties of any individual tree.
Now, you could say, and it's reasonable to say, it's nitpicky, but fair to say, which is, okay, when you get a bunch of people standing around me, it changes slightly the gravity.
Sorry, somebody's joined. If you've just joined, could you do me a favor and mute, please? Otherwise, we echo, especially if you're not wearing headphones. Thank you.
So you could say there's a slight change in the gravity around me.
Somebody might block the sun, and I would get a little chilly.
So that would have some slight effect on me, and certainly with trees.
Trees grow up next to each other. They cut off each other's sunlight, and they wrestle down under the ground for the water and things like that.
But, you know, in general, I don't turn into a dolphin when someone comes and stands next to me, right?
I remain myself, my sort of physical.
So when you get a group of people together, nothing changes with regards to their individual properties.

[13:55] If you have one sheep, it's a sheep. If you have a whole bunch of sheep, I probably shouldn't do an animal where the singular and the plural are the same. but if you have one sheep, it's a sheep.
If you have a whole bunch of sheep, they're still sheep. Does that make sense?
The word flock is what we use to describe them, but it doesn't change the nature of any individual sheep to be aggregated into a flock. Does that make sense?

[14:18] Yeah, of course.

[14:19] Okay. So if nothing changes in reality when you describe something, if nothing changes in reality, then the description cannot exist in reality, if that makes sense.

[14:35] Yeah.

[14:38] Doubt intensifies, which is great, because I could be talking out of my armpit.
So, if our descriptions don't change anything in the nature of reality, then the descriptions must exist in our head, but not in reality.

Rational Disagreements: Reality vs Perception

[14:56] I'll give you another way of dividing it is to say, if there can be rational disagreement, about the things, rational disagreement about the things, then what you're disagreeing about most likely doesn't exist in reality.
So for instance, you might say a hundred people is a crowd and I might say, oh no, no, you need at least 500 people for that to be a crowd, right?
Now, there could be rational disagreements, and people have, in fact, had, like, you know, there's this old movie with Hugh Grant, the Englishman who climbed up a hill and walked up a hill and came down a mountain or something, because he walked up someplace and it turned out that it was, after he measured it, it was like three feet enough to be called a mountain.
Everyone had referred to it as a hill, but it was now called a mountain, so there's sort of disagreements about that.
So, if you and I can have reasonable disagreements about the definition of a crowd, that's one thing.
However, we can't have reasonable disagreements about what a tree is. Does that make sense?

[16:12] Yeah, absolutely.

Distinguishing between empirical and non-empirical things

[16:40] Clarifying them, right? You and I are in the desert, we look on the horizon and we see, oh, I say, hey man, it's a lake!
And you say, no, no, it's a mirage, right? Well, we can figure that out by getting closer or whatever it is, right? So...
The question is, for things that are in the mind that are used to describe non-empirical things in the world, non-empirical, you can't have a family portrait without a family in it.
Right? The family is defined as the physical people, usually biologically related or legally related or common law or something like that.
So if it's in the mind but not in the world it can be valid or invalid accurate or inaccurate true or false right if i look at the tree and say it's a water tower i'm wrong it's wrong, but if we have so so the individual tree can be decided about the definition of a forest.

[17:51] Is easy in the extremes. One tree is not a forest. 10,000 is definitely a forest.
But it's loosey-goosey in the hazy middle.
That's because it's an aggregation of trees without a clear definition.
Like you don't sit there and say, well, 999 trees, definitely not a forest.
You plant one more tree, you get to 1,000.
It's a forest right whereas you know if you're with a if you're warm-blooded you're a mammal if you're cold-blooded you're like a reptile or a bird or whatever everything that's not a mammal or whatever right that's a sort of an objective thing because you're describing objective properties that are part of the individual rather than an aggregation which we use for the sake of convenience and the last example i'd say is that if operations are impossible possible on the description, on the concept, without affecting the existent, right?
If I say, cut down the forest, but don't touch a tree, can you do it?

[19:01] No.

[19:01] No, you can't do it, because you can't physically touch or verify the concept.
Now, if I say cut down the forest, and you cut down every tree in the forest, then the forest is gone.
The forest, no, because there's no standing trees, right? It is an ex-forest, I suppose, former forest.
So if I say, give the crowd $100 each, but don't give money to any individual, Well, there's no thing like Jabba the Hutt called the crowd that can take the money on the behalf of anyone who's in it.
If I say give $100 to the crowd, you would either give $100, like scatter it around, or you'd give everybody in the crowd $100 or something like that.

[19:53] But you would not be able to interact with the concept.
Now, if I say disperse the crowd, I don't know, like Napoleon Bonaparte, Gryff of Grapeshop style, then you could shoot cannons at each individual member of the crowd.
And then the people would leave. And so the crowd would be dispersed.
But you haven't separated or sawn apart this thing called the crowd.
Like if I say cut up this piece of wood, then you can cut up the piece of wood and give me a bunch of smaller woods.
But there's no such thing as a big blob called the crowd that you could then cut into its component parts.
There's only an individual group of people that we conceptually describe as a crowd for the sake of convenience.
But the concept does not exist in a material form in the world.
Now, it does exist, and you can even say in a material form in our mind, for sure.
But the concept does not exist in the material world. You can't measure it, except by measuring its individual component parts.
And the concept is just a convenient way of describing an aggregation.
Does this tell me if this sort of makes sense or needs to be refined or explained further?
You may have over-muted yourself if you're still around.

[21:15] Oh, can you hear me?

[21:17] Yes, I can hear you now.

[21:19] Sorry i was just speaking and i wasn't even oh my god that's embarrassing um, yes i'm mapping everything you're saying um if anything uh i had like a light bulb moment and a flashback while you were speaking go for it i was thinking of the term unit and in this yeah i was thinking of the word unit in the economic sense that like technically 12 of something can be considered a unit that was a mistake because in epistemology unit does refer refer to individual things so i'm with you on that i know that was like a few minutes ago but well that's like that's like dozen.

[21:50] Or score or whatever it is right.

[21:52] Yeah but those are like two different senses epistemology and economics are like you know that they use those terms differently so that was my uh confusion there well if you say if you say uh.

[22:06] Here's a dozen donuts, but you can only eat the word dozen. You can't eat any of the donuts.
That would be kind of crazy making, right? Or if I steal your dozen donuts out of the box, and I say, but I left the concept of dozen, or if somebody says, I'm going to pay you with the idea of money rather than any actual cash, which I guess is sort of central banking or something, thing but um yeah the concept is whatever so the the concept is imperfectly derived from the instance or what you would call the existent so the concept is something we derive from the properties of that which we are describing and and fundamentally concepts and atoms are the same thing because most of what we talk about in terms of concepts has to do with atomic structure trees Trees have a particular atomic structure.
Mammals have a particular atomic structure. Now you say biological and so on, but so because atoms have things in common, we get concepts.

[23:14] Because living creatures have things in common, which obviously fundamentally is at the atomic level.
A sheep doesn't give birth to a wolf, right? So it gives birth to a bunch of atoms that end up looking like a sheep.
So because atoms have properties in common and because natural laws act upon atoms in the same way consistently because of that consistency of atoms and matter and energy we get concepts in general that are accurate right so when we look at a crowd the atoms of the people are all arranged in people form so to speak and so we're describing things that actually do have things in common but the in commonness is our concept is our concept and it doesn't change anything in the world like if i say if enough people get together they become lizards i guess maybe lizard men or whatever whatever theories are about the elites but if i say well you you get each individual person is a mammal but you get enough individual people together they turn into lizard of people, that would not make any sense, right?
That would, because the concept can't drive the instance.
The concept is like the shadow cast by the existent.
It has to be enslaved to the existent. It is a one-way street.
It is a one-way street. Only...

[24:38] Only instances can drive concepts, not the other way around.
Because concepts are describing that which is. They are not changing, inventing, creating, or denying that which is.
Like, you know, there's these old cartoons about some guy, he's walking along the street, and his shadow gets tired and sits down on a bench while he keeps going, right?
I mean, that's, a shadow is, the shadow is cast by the object, and the shadow is, in a sense, enslaved to the object.

[25:14] And the shadow has no independence from the object.
The shadow is obviously just where the light is blocked by the object.

Concepts as Shadows and the Scientific Method

[25:25] And it's the same thing with concepts. Concepts are shadows cast by the things themselves.
They don't go the other way if you've ever seen these videos of the little kids frightened of their own shadows right that's kind of funny because you think the shadow is some beast that's following you and it's going to harm you or something like that but that's not how concepts works concepts are imperfectly derived from instances which means if there's any contradiction between the concept and the instance the concept must fail the concept must be revised and this is is you know scientific method 101 this is sort of baconian scientific method 101 which is that if you have a hypothesis about the behavior of matter and matter doesn't behave that way you don't get to say well i'm afraid that the matter is incorrect the matter has not understood my theory and it's behaving badly and the matter needs to be reformed in order to conform with my theory right i mean if you say um gases contract when heated and then the gases expand when heated you don't say that the the gases are behaving incorrectly, and my theory is correct.
You'd say, well, my theory has to be a slave to empiricism, right?

[26:30] Which is why reproducibility and testability are essential for the scientific method, that the concepts have to be like a shadow cast by the objects.
And in any contradiction between the concept and the instance, you must decide in favor of the instance, because that is what the concept is there for, is to describe and aggregate the properties of related instances.
Does that, again, sorry, I know this is kind of flying all over the place, but does that make some kind of sense?

[27:01] Yeah, I believe I'm tracking the whole thing. Do you mind if I just ask a few questions?

[27:05] No, no, no, go. This is not a monologue. Yeah, go for it.

[27:08] Yeah, I might be jumping the gun, but I'll see if I can work my way there.
If I was to put it in, I guess, epistemological terms that I'm familiar with, and you should, I'm sure you are too.
The nature of man does not change once he's in a group.
That is, I believe that's one of the fundamental points that we're getting at here.

[27:29] The word nature is something that does a lot of dual purpose in philosophy, because the nature of man could be that which man prefers, and, you know, a man will prefer his own thoughts and his own preferences when he's alone, but when he's in a crowd, those preferences tend to change.
You know, particularly if he's, say, being chased by the crowd or wants to merge with the crowd or the crowd is threatening or, you know, like nobody applauds on their own.
Like, but like if you're watching a movie at home or what you don't applaud, sometimes people will applaud a movie or whatever it is or a play.
So people's behavior, the nature of us is sometimes to conform to the crowd or be frightened of the crowd.
Out so it has to be something that doesn't change and the atomic physical properties of the human being doesn't change in the aggregation they don't turn into something else so nature sorry i just physical properties are probably closer to what would be more accurate would.

[28:28] You be okay with me using the term just modifying the statements in the metaphysical nature of man.

[28:32] Well since we're exploring metaphysics that seems a little bit like begging the question so we're trying to figure out Yeah, we're trying to figure out metaphysics here, so we can't use the term metaphysics in our exploration of metaphysics, because that's to assume a conclusion that we haven't gotten yet.
Is there something wrong with physical properties? I'm happy to change it.

[28:54] Um it's just not the i mean nothing's wrong with it it's just not the language i would usually use but i follow you i mean i don't have any disagreement with it um so.

[29:04] Like when we talk about female nature and the reason so the word nature does a lot of double duty right so when we talk about female nature we're not talking about the physical properties of women right we're talking about the the preferences both romantic and sexual and maybe economic, so and all of that can change and fluctuate over the course of someone's life, But the fact that they're subject to gravity doesn't, right?
So nature is really tough because it often does refer to preferences that change over time and preferences that change in combination with other people.
Like, you know, this old joke that women know what they want to eat unless there's a man around and then they don't, right?
So, yeah, I think nature is tough because it really does refer to a lot of time to subjective or cultural preferences or gender preferences.

[29:50] Yeah okay i mean i think i could work with the way you're putting it it's very concrete anyways i mean to say um oh man well who is the exact way you worded it again i think you just.

[30:02] Go with physical properties i think that's the clearest.

[30:04] Yeah yeah the physical properties of uh us as people don't change when when in an aggregate obviously um i'm with you there so i believe um, the natural conclusion, I believe the natural conclusion of this line of thinking would be because there is no change in our physical properties when in an aggregate, the state being a violent monopoly or a monopoly has this initiation, or sorry, this organization with the monopoly on force isn't, that's not actually valid.
Uh they are not there's nothing that grants them that uh the capacity to do that or not the capacity but the maybe the right i'm not sure what word you would prefer to use that but nothing legitimizes their violence just because they're in a group and they agree with one another that they should uh you know violate the nap with you or or towards other people right well so hang on Hang on.

Blending Metaphysics and Ethics: A Stretch and a Half

[31:11] So you're trying to blend metaphysics and ethics?
That's a stretch and a half, man. Because we're talking about the concepts and instances, right?
Ideas and existence, thoughts and things, right?
So the realm of metaphysics is a long way removed from the realm of ethics.
Because metaphysics encompasses everything. Everything. And ethics is particular choices for human beings or particular arguments about ought or should, if that makes sense.
So, if you want to jump from metaphysics to ethics without anything in between, you're going to land badly.
Sorry, this is like getting shot out of a cannon with no place to land, right? So, we've got to build it step by step, right?

[32:01] Yeah, I guess I could potentially be jumping the gun. Well, then, before exploring what those steps would be, I'm just curious.
So, just correct me if I'm wrong.
I want to say this is what you're saying. saying uh actually before i jump to the ethics was everything else i've said fine about like, just because we get in an aggregate doesn't mean our physical properties change therefore there's no such thing as a state there are just a bunch of individuals is that is that correctly mapping what you said yeah.

[32:28] I mean it it is a it's a concept.

[32:31] It's.

[32:33] A concept that describes human beings now the problem with the question of the state is you are and we don't have to get into ethics We simply have to talk about the definition of what a state is.
So the problem with it is, is that you are dividing human beings into two categories, with opposite properties, right?
So the state can initiate the use of force and the state, so that you have human beings who can initiate the use of force.
And sorry, there's still a lot of background noise here, but so whether you, whether you agree with the non-aggression principle or not, it doesn't matter.
It fundamentally doesn't matter.
It is not logical to create a category and then divide it into opposing categories without any reason.

The Logical Fallacy of Arbitrary Definitions

[33:26] Yes, yes.

[33:26] Like, if I've got a pile of rocks, and I divide them into two, and I say, these are rocks, and these are the opposite of rocks, that would be arbitrary.
Right? And if I take a rock, if you take a rock from the pile of things I call rocks, and I move it to the pile of things I call the opposite of rocks, anti-rocks, I say, oh, and that's gone from a rock to an anti-rock.
And it's like, what the hell are you talking about? How could it go from a rock to an anti-rock when its physical properties haven't changed?

[33:56] Changed. Do you see what I mean?

[33:59] So that can't be the case. You can't say rain is water falling from the sky and say that it's raining both where water is falling from the sky and where it is sunny and no water is falling from the sky.
Like you have a definition of rain for water falling into the sky and then you say it this definition applies to water falling from the sky and sun and sun of course is technically where water is rising to the sky in in the form of evaporation right does that make sense yes.

[34:31] I so i had a question but i think you just answered it so let me just try and put it out there and you clarify um so this distinction that's being made with like the state and any other group of people is necessarily different than like saying a dozen eggs right because this dozen eggs doesn't have this attribute that people are claiming the state has.

[34:53] It doesn't it doesn't matter see this is why i say the morals don't matter because you you cannot in a valid way you cannot define the same group of things, as that thing and the opposite of that thing like honestly it doesn't matter what the ethics are if If I say all human beings are made of mass, mass is subject to gravity.
But these 10% of human beings...

[35:26] Have anti-gravity, right? This is just not logical.
All that is made of matter is subject to gravity. Human beings are made of matter.
And then I carve out 10% of people and say, these people have anti-gravity.
It doesn't make, like, it's absolutely, like, it doesn't matter what property, whether it's the non-aggression principle, whether it's gravity.
If I say all human beings are mammals, except for these 5% of human beings who are cold-blooded, but they're still mammals, then I've, it fails.
Like, that's why I say the metaphysics say that everything that you define as human being has to be common to all human beings.
Why? Because you claim it is common to all human beings.
All human beings are mammals and it's almost tautology, right?
All human beings are mammals therefore every individual human being must be a mammal.
And if you claim that a human being is not a mammal, you've contradicted yourself because you've already said all human beings to mammals so you can't claim the two percent of the population is the opposite of a mammal.

[36:27] Yes so okay let me try and run it back because i i believe i follow now and i won't include the nap here um it's uh necessarily invalid because this category has a um i guess opposite attribute or a claim there's a claim that this particular aggregate has a opposite attribute to that of or a property to that of other humans.

[36:55] Well again and whether it's a non-excited trap whether it's a non-aggression principle or not doesn't matter but if you say human beings should not use violence to get what they want or human beings should not initiate the use of force and let's just like even Even if you disagree or disagree with, like, even if you disagree with that, we can look at the logic of it, right?
So you say human beings should not initiate the use of force, except for these group of human beings who should initiate the use of force.
It's bad for people to initiate the use of force, except for these group of human beings that it's very good to initiate the use of force.
Okay, so you've said human beings should not initiate the use of force.
It's bad, but these human beings should initiate the use of force.
It's good. it that's a that's exactly the same as saying all human beings are subject to gravity except for these group of people who have the property called anti-gravity like it just it's a complete contradiction.

[37:51] Yes, yes. And I believe what you just said, and kind of, as you pointed out earlier, this is just another, I guess I already know this, but you just kind of demonstrated in a way that I really liked, that if you have the incorrect view of metaphysics and epistemology, it is very likely you'll end up at the wrong formulation of ethics or conclusion of ethics. Yeah.

[38:13] Because if you say, that's why the U in UPB is universally.

[38:19] Yes.

[38:19] Universally. So if you say this property, I mean, the property could be gravity.
It could be needs food. Like if you say human beings need to eat food in order to survive, except for these 3% of people, they don't need any food at all.
Right? Then you've got a contradiction.
Now, if there's a valid basis for changing the category, hot-blooded versus cold-blooded, or warm-blooded versus cold-blooded.
Warm-blooded is mammals, cold-blooded is reptiles.
Okay, but warm-blooded and cold-blooded are objective properties that can be measured, right?
Do you have hair or scales, right?
Human beings have hair, or mammals as a whole have hair, and reptiles or whatever have scales, or I guess some salamander. I don't know.
No, they would be amphibians or whatever, right? But so there's some objective property. So you're measuring a real difference.
You're measuring a real difference. It's real, it's empirical, it's testable, it's objective, and so on, right?
So if you're going to say there's a property of human beings called should, ought, moral, whatever you want to say, this is how they ought to behave.
Okay, then you've made that a property of all human beings.
And if you then carve off a section of human beings and say these human beings have the opposite property, the question is you have to say why?
Why do these human beings have the opposite property?

[39:46] Why do these people you claim are in the same category, why do some of the people you claim are in the same category have the opposite property?
Did you hear me out? How's that possible? Sorry, go ahead.

[39:59] I, like, I'm familiar with you, PB. I've listened to you for years.
So I've heard you say this in, like, so many different ways.
But, like, right now it's, like, really clicking for me. I mean, I guess I've always understood that there's a false distinction being made that this particular group is said to be able to do whatever this opposite attribute is.
Again, it doesn't have to be anything like you said. I mean, all these other attributes.
But I've heard you say that. You've worded it in so many different ways over the past few years. But I think right.

[40:29] Now that's it. Oh, it's hard to get through the propaganda. It really is.
I mean, and I still short circuit on UPB from time to time.

[40:36] Because we're still not we're still not at the.

[40:38] Final stop here but go ahead.

[40:40] I i'm with you i'm like i'm a libertarian anarcho-capitalist and have been for years but my understanding of ethics has always been worked on and philosophy in general especially over the last two years i've just really been reading a lot and uh revisiting a lot of your older podcasts and stuff with a new understanding of things and whatnot i mean i've talked to you a few times over the last few months during these things i've got into objectivism and it helps me really understand metaphysics and epistemology which is why i was bringing these other terms i guess that maybe to other people wouldn't click immediately right and um so i think in some ways it's better to use your terms well.

[41:17] And and of course the reason why.

Statism: The Changing Terms and Metaphysical Analysis

[41:19] It's.

[41:19] Tough to to do a metaphysical analysis of statism is the terms keep changing so so we say i mean this is coming off of Hobbes to some degree, right?
So people will say, but no, the government doesn't initiate force.
People voluntarily form a government in order to protect their property.

[41:46] So it's like a woman who has sex with a man when she wants to have sex with a man isn't being raped.
A woman who is forced to have sex with a man is being raped, right? So you say rape is wrong.
And then they say, well, no, but the woman, come on.
The woman wants to have sex with the man, therefore it's not rape.
And so they say people want the government to be there.
They want to surrender a portion of their property to the government in order so that the government can protect the rest of their property.
So let's say you pay 30% in taxes, but then you get to keep 70% of your property.
But if you didn't pay the 30% in taxes, you wouldn't get to keep any of your property because it would be a war of all against all.
So they redefine and say, it is not coercive, it is chosen.
And then they say, well, you vote and so on, right? The social contract and the Hobbesian argument of, well, if there wasn't a government, my God, it would just be a war of nature, red and tooth and claw and war of all against all and life without a government is nasty, violent, brutish, and short.
And so this is like the government is the minimum violence we can possibly have.
And people come together to form the governments because it's either ruled by law or ruled by criminals all warring with each other, right?
So what they do is they say, it's not the initiation of.

[43:05] Of the use of force it is a voluntary social contract that people enter into it so uh if i hack into your bank account and steal 50 bucks a month from you that's theft but if you sign a contract with the cell phone company and they charge you 50 bucks a month that's not theft because you voluntarily entered into a contract with them does that so this is this is what people do all the time to justify statism is they say no no no no it's not it's not violent it's it's not it's not the initiation of force it is a voluntary contract that actually diminishes the initiation of the use of force in other words taxation is the price we pay to live in a civilized society blah blah blah so it's not force it's voluntary and to conflate the two is crazy yeah.

[43:52] Yeah do Do you remember the term from your brand readings, package deal fallacy?

[43:58] I mean, I can remember them. Yeah, for sure.

[44:01] It would seem that this is what's going on.
It's a package deal, both ethics and metaphysics, when people defend the state.
They're wrapping the two. This fallacy about, well, I guess not.
We wouldn't use metaphysical nature in this conversation, but about the actual properties that this group contains.
Contains and then the ethics they're both wrapped into this like bundle of uh justification quote unquote justifications right rationalizations maybe would be more appropriate for their defenses of the state.

[44:33] Well the analogy yeah the analogy is to to redefine something which is of course coercive right i mean the state is is coercive so to redefine that as voluntary, is is very interesting and the analogy which analogies are not proof but they tend to take people out of propaganda, because if you can find a parallel situation where the propaganda hasn't been applied, people can see the errors in their thinking much more easily, right?
So the analogy would be, if a woman...

[45:04] Uh, is, is, goes into a marriage where she can never say no to the man wanting to have sex with her.
And if she doesn't get married, then she is going to be raped by strangers.

[45:20] Is it still rape? Now they would say, no, no, no. Because if she voluntarily chooses to marry a guy where she can't say no to him wanting to have sex with her, that's the least sexual coercion she could could possibly encounter because otherwise she's going to get raped by everyone so in a sense the citizens marry the state because otherwise there's going to be a bunch of warlords stealing everything from them and so it's the minimum amount of um rapiness that the woman can experience is to get married and or should rather be married off or she'd be married off because you're born into your country right so she'd be married off and then you know if she wants to do a huge amount amount of paperwork and pay a huge amount of taxes and accountants and legal fees then she can change from one one husband to another but she still doesn't have the right to say no to sex no matter what right so is that a situation so she would say but that's the least rape because hey man if she's having sex with her husband maybe she likes him uh maybe uh whatever right but it's still better than being raped by random warlords so uh that's it's a sort of pragmatic argument and what What they do, of course, is they bypass the metaphysics, which is, first of all, they're saying that some people have the right to initiate force and some people don't.

[46:42] And they'll try and get you tangled up into, well, democracy.
I mean, it's been well proven.
I mean, just every single study in every single culture that I've ever read about, which is not obviously perfect, but the citizenship does not influence public policy.

[46:59] Voters don't influence public policy uh that's that's well i mean you could read brian caplan's myth of the rational voter uh i mean for for literally decades uh people in the west have wanted less immigration and yet immigration continues to escalate i mean as far as you i mean you can just see this all over the place in just about every every sphere and And so public policy does not reflect voter preferences.
So it's not. And also if you say, well, there's a social contract.
Okay, so now you're saying that human beings have a social contract.
They have the ability to create and enforce social contracts.
Okay, so if that's a characteristic of humanity, then why is it not a characteristic of everyone?

[47:51] And I did this video many years ago, the social contract defined and destroyed in 60 seconds or less, which is, okay, so if there's a social contract that I have to surrender my rights to others in order to get their supposed protection, then if they have that right to impose it on me, then why don't I have the right to impose it on them?
Oh, you tax me $10,000, I tax you $20,000, right?
Like, why is it only some who have this, right? right? And of course, it is an appeal to fear.
It is not an appeal to reason. It is an appeal to fear to say that in the absence of the state, it will be a war of all against all.
Now, maybe this would be somewhat true in a situation where rampant child abuse is prevalent, which is sort of one of the big contributions I've made, is that the real non-aggression principle that causes problems in the world and violence and evil in the world is that against children, not against citizens or warlords or this or that or the other.
Like, where do the warlords come They come from child abuse, right? Where do the criminals come from? They come from child abuse.
So, yeah. So, and back to the metaphysics, does the state exist?
No. It's a concept.
It's a concept. And it describes a section of humanity with opposite moral qualities.

[49:14] And it's invalid because you can't say morality is universal carve off some people and say you now have opposite moral qualities.

State Rationalizations: Different Forms of Package Dealing

[49:29] I follow you. In all these different rationalizations of the state are different forms of package dealing, right?
Like some are sneaking the metaphysics through the back door.
When you introduce social contract theory or warlords, there are just like loads of false premises, right?
That they're, forget the back door at this point, we're leaking into the windows. Well.

[49:51] It's a mafia tactic.

[49:52] Yeah.

[49:53] It's a mafia tactic fundamentally. So the mafia comes to you and says, if you pay us $500 a month, that's the least violence you will experience, or that's the least property loss that you will experience, because if you don't pay us $500 a month, we will burn your $100,000 store to the ground.
Right so nobody says well the mafia is protect is is giving you the least violent option right nobody says well that's great pay them the 500 because that's the least violent option, because i mean the warlords or whatever are theoretical but if you don't pay the state you go to jail right which is you know pretty horrible I assume, so and you are not paying to protect yourself from warlords I mean that's all theoretical but what you are doing is you're paying to protect yourself, from the state it's the state that will throw you in prison, yeah so in the same way everybody knows if the mafia says pay us $500 and we'll make sure nobody burns down your store I mean everybody knows the mafia is going to burn down your store So it's not the least violent option because they're threatening you with more violence if you don't comply.

Paying the State for Protection: The Threat of Violence

[51:13] Yeah, you've clarified a lot for me. I'm going to take this back and chew on it and then debate my friends about it. Well.

[51:20] So if we can, I know if you have to go, that's fine. I'll just. No.

[51:24] No, no. I would love to talk more.

[51:27] Yeah, no. I mean, it's meat and drink for me. And this is sort of where I started from 18 years ago.
So then the question is, people will say, but it is the least violent option.
You know when there's when there's social breakdown when the state, loses its functionality right if you look at when the state loses its power you can look at fascist revolutions you can look at communist revolutions you can look at the French revolution you can look at all of these things and say well when the state loses its legitimacy, you know mass slaughter, mass murder, gulags and so on.

[52:08] Arise and there's the reign of terror and they guillotine everyone and their dog and all this terrible stuff occurs right so having a state with the peaceful transition of power right is is the least violent option that you can have and so no but that's that's now an appeal to pragmatism and consequences and then what they do is they try and drag you into to well is it the least violent and you know then you have this sort of fall of rome and and you have this sort of 250 year cycle of societies and you have debt and and all of this kind of stuff right and you get dragged into you know there's this meme of that snotty fedora wearing intellectual it's like ah if you're if you're an anarcho-capitalist you have to answer every conceivable, objection that I create, oh, your system just isn't going to work. And it's like, no.
No, we just have to appeal to the rational people.
Definitions that that are going on.

[53:13] Yeah that's um that's i'd say that's like another kind of um sneaking in the door of a premise they it's predicated on that if you can't explain the way an economy would look in every capacity and every facet you could he could imagine that the person challenging you then your rights are not valid um which is obviously not the the way you debate debate how a society should look.
We're not arguing on whether the certain economic standards would be met.
We're arguing that it's a moral standard we're meeting, and by consequence, we'll have great economic results.
But they're sneaking in a premise there. And I always say libertarians should not engage on, well, generally shouldn't engage on trying to justify our our positions via trying to talk about the economy.
That is because you, you.

[54:09] You'll end up bribery. Yeah.

[54:11] It's the, well, it's this also never ending thing, right? Like the person challenging you can just keep coming up with questions.
And the funny part is the person who's challenging you doesn't even understand economic.

Posing questions about self-knowledge and justification of rulers' power

[54:20] They don't concern themselves with these things on a daily basis.
Just now that you proposed your theory, all of a sudden the things they never once cared about are all relevant.
And you know, and they, it's a, they're just endlessly rolling out the list for you.

[54:33] Well, it's all the other way around.

[54:34] Hitting on that false premise.

[54:36] Yeah, and there's another to be, it's a basic question of self-knowledge, right?
So, if somebody says, I have all of these automatic arguments that justify the power of our rulers, right?
And I've said this in debates, like, okay, so you have all of these, they just keep rolling off your tongue.
All of these, like, it's not really coercive, it's voluntary.
Voluntary and even if it is coercive it's the least amount of coercion like there's a social contract like you get to vote like all of that so so you have in your mind already implanted and rolling off your tongue justifications for the power of the rulers right now you don't view it that way but but that's you know i'm telling you that that's what's happening now uh who is is in charge of your education who is in charge of your education now of course they would say if they're honest hey wait it's the state the state is in charge of my education ah isn't that interesting so the state is in charge of your education and you have all these justifications rolling off your tongue about how the power of the state is the greatest thing since sliced bread, does that not give you any pause at all.

[56:04] And if they've never made that connection, it should give them some pause right.

Challenging the notion of conspiracy theories

[56:14] If they have thought of this connection, but it hasn't given them any pause, then they're not worth debating.
Like, if they just say, oh, come on, that's just conspiracy theory. Really?
It's a conspiracy theory to say that those in charge of your education and also in charge of your adult life would have an interest in justifying their power over you. I mean, like, what would you even say?
It's a conspiracy theory that Catholics teach their children about Catholicism.
Oh, come on. I mean, this is like, it's not a conspiracy theory.
It's exactly how culture works. It's that you teach people your values.
So that's a question. And when people keep changing the definitions, well, it's not coercive, it's a choice. And then you disprove that.
It's like, okay, well, it's not a choice, but it's the least violence you could possibly have.
And then when you challenge that, then they talk about economic consequences, right?
So, you know, when somebody keeps changing their position, always with the same goal of justifying the power of the state, if they don't have enough self-knowledge to say, maybe I'm programmed, maybe I'm propagating, maybe these are NPC points, maybe this is input-output stuff.

[57:31] If they don't have the humility, and if they've mistaken the propaganda for their own identity, if they don't have the humility to say, it's possible that people in power might lie to me about the virtue and value of their own power? It's possible.
Is it possible that people in power who have also controlled your education will train you to justify their power over you?
Is it possible that slave owners teach their slaves that slavery is the best thing for them?

The power of coercion and self-rule

[58:06] Of course they're going to try and do that. Anybody that wants to maintain a coercive power Yeah, if you can.

[58:13] Get people to believe in the morality of your power over them, you've got a pretty easy time of it, right?
Like, even from an economic efficiency standpoint, if you can get people to self-rule rather than having to rule them coercively, right?
If you can get the cows to bite and kick at each other the moment one of them tries to leave the paddock, you don't need to put up any electric fences, right?
Like if you can get people to self-police, you need far fewer police.
So it's just economically efficient.

[58:54] I believe this was kind of some of the line of thinking you expressed in your old video, the story of your enslavement, if I recall correctly.
It's been a long time since I've seen that, though.

[59:05] Oh, you should check out the remastered version. It's very nice. The vet an ass.

[59:11] Has it been updated in dialogue, too? or just like a...

[59:15] It has, well, yeah, we enhanced the audio and the video and translated it to a bunch of different languages as well. Oh.

[59:22] Yeah, that's awesome.

[59:23] Yeah, yeah, so, yeah, so does the state exist? Well, it's not about the state.
It's not about, when you hit the state thing, you get all of this wiring, this crossed wiring that goes off in people's heads.
So, and this is why it's important to talk about, metaphysics, which is why I wanted to jump in here, it's important to talk about metaphysics as a whole.
Because propaganda doesn't cover metaphysics.
I mean, it can't. Then it's not propaganda. Because if you give people a general tool for determining truth from falsehood, then you can't propagandize them.
Like, if you teach people how to reason, you can't program them.
Because programming is all about creating general rules and then either making invisible or justifying exceptions to those rules, right?
Make a rule for everyone else, break a rule for yourself and your friends.
That's the essence of power and the essence of corruption, why power generally gets more corrupt.
So it's really tough to oppose people's thinking right where the propaganda is the strongest.
So, if the argument is, you know, as is happening in the world some places today, you are what you think you are, okay?

[1:00:47] So, that's a general question, not a specific question.
Now, people try to confine it to a specific area and just talk about that area, which is where the propaganda is the strongest.
But if you teach people the general principles, then you can bypass the propaganda, and they can then apply the general reasoning to their own specific areas of propaganda, rather than you taking on that which is the strongest and most fortified place within them, which is what the propaganda has built, right? Right.

Bypassing propaganda through metaphysics

[1:01:27] So the general, this is why, you know, for me, the metaphysics is great.
And this is why, you know, we spent the first part of the conversation talking about the trees and crowds and so on, because people aren't propagandized about trees and crowds because we're not ruled by trees and crowds, right?
So people aren't propagandized about that stuff. So you can start to generate the general principles.

[1:01:46] Yeah. I mean, you've heard the objectivist saying Kant, therefore Hitler, right?

[1:01:53] Right right right.

[1:01:55] Yeah uh if we have the wrong conclusions in metaphysics we will arrive at the wrong conclusions in ethics or we should say most likely maybe maybe there's some weird way that people could have wrong conceptions in metaphysics and incidentally or coincidentally i should say are correct about ethics i don't know how often that happens maybe in some ways i guess but um I mean.

[1:02:17] I've yet to see it happening. I've yet to see it happening. Because how can you, you can't be accidentally right.
Right? Like, let's say I'm a great golfer because once in my life, while blindfolded, I sunk a hole in one.
Right? You can't be accidentally a good golfer.
You could be a lucky guy who hit a ball, but you can't accidentally be a good golfer, and you can't accidentally be right.

[1:02:44] You know what my contention would be, that I think you would align with me on, but you will speak for yourself.
Uh i'm an atheist but it would appear to me that like christians despite having the wrong views about metaphysics um somehow arrive at like their moral principles that still for the most part are nap adjacent right i mean they respect property rights um they don't believe in the initiation of force or at least that's how it's coded in the ten commandments right um so i would i would would argue they have the wrong metaphysics but uh somehow land on some of the right uh ethics or many of the right ethics.

[1:03:23] Well so they accept universalism that was the big i mean the great advance of jesus right so socrates accepted universalism but not knowledge right because he said i can't the only thing i know is that i can know nothing right so that's nihilism so So universalism...

[1:03:43] Oh, I didn't know he said that.

[1:03:44] Yeah, yeah, yeah. He said, the only thing that I know for certain is that I know nothing.
And that's nihilism, right? And because he could only tear down, he couldn't build. He couldn't build a system.
He couldn't build UPB. All he could do was expose that everyone around him knew nothing, and from that, he blackpilled.
And that blackpilled lasted until Jesus.
And Jesus was universal morals.

[1:04:14] Not in-group preference, not tribal preference. You owe honesty to everyone, not just people of your religion. You owe virtue to everyone.
You love your enemy, right? You owe the highest moral standards to everyone.
So he took philosophy from tribal to universal.
And of course, he did this on the basis of faith, but he had some arguments as well, but he did this on the basis of faith.
And so once you get to universalism, you get to accuracy in morals, no matter how you get there.
So, of course, a lot of the people who were, and this is true even now, but a lot of the people who were the greatest scientists of a couple of hundred years ago were explicitly and specifically religious.
And they said, God gave me reason and a stable universe.
Therefore, to use my reason to explore the stability of the universe and come up with universal principles is to serve God.
So the source of their science was God, but their methodology of pursuing science was universal, objective, and rational.

[1:05:26] I guess that would be, well, I don't know too much about his work, but I would assume this is why Aquinas is actually still appreciated by some objectivists about, you know, in regards to some of the stuff he believed in. Yeah.

[1:05:39] I mean, if you haven't listened to the history of philosophers, I've got a whole thing on Aquinas.
But, you know, God does not play dice that God gave us reason and a stable universe, and therefore it must be the purpose of our reason to understand a stable universe.
If God didn't want us to use our reason to explore a stable universe, he wouldn't have given us either reason or a stable universe, and certainly not both.
So the pursuit of science you know i'm studying the mind of god by and this is a lot of people had this perspective i'm studying the mind of mathematicians even not just physicists or biologists i'm studying the mind of god by studying the natures and property and universal, rules of the physical world i'm studying the mind of god and is that i would assume that's better than a materialist nihilist who thinks that all is chaos and nothing means anything and all of that.
But if your theological beliefs lead you to reason and evidence, then your metaphysics leads you to rational epistemology.

The problem with theological approach and reason and evidence.

[1:06:55] Because your metaphysics are god created us god created reason and the purpose of of life is to serve god so that's your metaphysics and then you say well therefore since god created reason in a stable universe using my reason to determine the properties of the stable universe is the highest good then your metaphysics have led you to reason and evidence now your metaphysics i mean that does does not pass the test of philosophy, but it leads you then to reason and evidence.
The problem is, it's not reliable.
The problem is, it's not reliable. Now, if you take the correct methodology of philosophy, as we've been talking about here, then it will always lead you to reason and evidence.
But if you take the theological approach, If you have a predilection for, a talent with, and a desire to pursue reason and evidence, then your guard will lead you to reason and evidence.
However, if you have a traumatized, aggressive, homicidal soul, then your guard could easily lead you to burn witches and kill the heretics, right?

[1:08:14] So, it then becomes more a test of personality style and preference, rather than, like, philosophy has to be irresistible.
It has to be. Otherwise, it's just a personality test writ to infinity.
It turns your personality into absolutism. And we know this.
We know that people who've got aggressive parents have aggressive gods.
And we know that people with peaceful parents have more peaceful gods.
This study has been replicated many times.

[1:08:44] So the problem with theology is it is not objective, and therefore it tends to take personality attributes and turn them into, quote, universals.
So the people who are curious and scientifically minded and love reason, and that they then make a virtue of that, I'm serving God, right?
Whereas the other people who are hounding the unbelievers and burning witches, they say they're serving God.
And who can 100% disprove the other you can't because of course you can find bible verses to justify the study of science you can find bible verses thou shall not suffer a witch to live right it's another bible verse right and of course we would expect the bible to have shifted like a kaleidoscope to accommodate all possible personality types so that it could have the widest reach possible.
So philosophy, this is sort of my particular passion and has been since I was in my teens, it's like 40 years now, is philosophy has to be no kidding, can't escape.

[1:09:52] If it has anything to do with opinion or anything to do with data that can be manipulated, I don't care.
What I want is it's inescapable. Like you can abandon this argument, but that means abandoning reason and truth.

Abandoning reason and truth in philosophy.

[1:10:09] It's not subjective. It's not personal. It's not relativistic.
It's not what your personality style is.
It is you cannot escape it.
And if you can't make arguments that can't be escaped then you're wasting your time because you're pretending that you have some kind of truth but all you're going to end up doing is preaching to the choir so to speak.
You're going to say I'm going to preach to people who have a similar personality style to me and.

[1:10:44] We're going to call it universal good but we will never ever change the mind of anybody who doesn't already agree with us in some foundational sense.
And philosophy has to be able to wrestle and put down those with the exact opposite personality styles, those with the exact opposite preferences.
It has to be inescapable in the same way that math is inescapable, right?
Two and two are four. I don't care what your personality is, your trauma, your this, your introvert, extrovert, rational, more mystical, bent. It doesn't matter. Two and two is four.
And if you want to abandon that, then you're just abandoning mathematics. thematics.
So philosophy has to have, I mean, in order to be useful, valid, and true, it has to be independent of personality style, which means it can't have a shred of subjectivity to it.
And the moment that you start introducing preference subjectivity, which happens with, You can't chase the anti-rational away.
You then end up having to absorb them. And I think that produces a certain amount of toxicity in the whole discourse. Sorry for that minor rant, but that's...

[1:11:53] No, you're good. There's so much I could comment on. I'll try to keep things brief.
On the subject of math, I have to look into this.
I've been meaning to, but I've just got so much to catch up on in terms of reading and um just living like day-to-day tasks um and it's hard to get to everything but uh apparently uh harry binswanger recently did a lecture about saving math from plato where he like goes through i guess platonist thought and math and tries to correct it um which is super interesting i've never even heard of math being corrupted by platonist ideas is that something you've ever heard of before um.

[1:12:31] I've heard hints about it like imaginary numbers and so on um i you know it i assume it's the same thing as quantum you know like every frank.

[1:12:43] Every jerkwad.

[1:12:44] With the subjectivist preference starts talking about quantum physics it's it's inevitable as sunrise well quantum flux means you can't know anything for certain it's like but and while there certainly is some confusion and uncertainties at the very bottom level building blocks of matter, all of that resolves itself before empiricism.
All quantum phenomena turn objective by the time you get to anything close to sense data.
And of course, morals operate at the level of sense data, because morality is about things you can measure in the real world, right?
There's no such thing as murdering someone's subatomic particles, right?

Quantum mechanics and the stability of matter for communication.

[1:13:22] It's all about things you can measure in the real world. so morals, which is the purpose of philosophy have nothing to do whatsoever with quantum phenomena because quantum phenomena cancelled themselves out long before, uh you get to the sense data level and of course the people who are saying quantum mechanics means nothing is subjective are using physical properties to transmit their language through sound or reading or something like that so i mean my reply my reply when i debate these people say quantum mechanics means you can't know anything for certain that's like i'm sorry i didn't understand what you said because there was too much quantum flux in your words, yeah they'd be annoyed at that it's like so they have to rely on the stability of matter in order to communicate this objectivism sorry go ahead it's.

[1:14:08] A self-detonating argument as you put it um there was um oh god my brain is uh a hyper drive right i'm trying to think i'm trying to collect my thoughts what was the last um.

[1:14:20] My daughter says my brain is not braining.

[1:14:25] Um the uh the quantum physics thing i it's funny uh what i've been from like fellow objectivists They'll say in response to these kinds of people, what you should say is a physical description of a does not negate a.
And that's really what these people who are getting into the nitty gritty about quantum physics are doing, right?
They're just trying to explain the physical properties of this.
And by describing what something is, doesn't negate the fact that it is.
It's so silly. They don't even understand their own premise when we're doing that.

[1:14:59] Can you give me an example?

[1:15:02] So like, you're familiar with the identity axiom, A is A.
Yeah. So when somebody starts describing like, what is this particular, whatever we're referring to as A, right? Like we can say water or something.
The moment they start getting into like these chemical breakdowns and then quantum level and all these like deep descriptions of like, what is this thing?
What makes this thing this thing?
By saying that, they're trying to negate that A is A by describing A.
Does that make sense?

[1:15:42] Right, got it. Or there's the purity argument, which is every drop of water contains things that aren't water.

[1:15:52] Yeah, I guess that...

[1:15:54] When you say this is water, you're saying, well, water is H2O, but every drop of water contains things that aren't H2O.
And I get all of that. I understand all of that.
I think it's a pitiful cry of incipient schizophrenia. schizophrenia, because it doesn't...

[1:16:10] The water has a drop of salt or a drop of sugar, therefore it's a little bit better.

[1:16:15] Well, you know, I mean all household water has a certain amount of bacteria or whatever it is. Well, that's not water and so on, right?

[1:16:22] Therefore it's not water, yeah.

[1:16:24] No, but there's water, and this is confusing the theoretical with the empirical.
This is confusing the concept with, the be existent so the concept is h2o that's the definition of water and they say but every instance of water that's sensual right that's that's aggregated contains things in it that aren't that thing and it's like well sure the definition of water is h2o the practical manifestation of water contains things that aren't water because you can't purify it perfectly perfectly.

The Definition of Water vs. Its Practical Manifestation

[1:17:02] So that's saying, well, the thing is not identical to the definition.
Therefore, the definition is false.

[1:17:11] Yeah yeah um quick question i think it's a yes or no if it's if it's a longer explanation and and you don't feel like explaining now um you can tell me that but uh um you've referred to the empirical and and yourself as an empiricist in this conversation and throughout like the years and um i'll try to condense this as much as i can um you hear austrians all the time reject empiricism right they claim that they're rationalists and not priorious and stuff but um i have some i have some friends that say we should consider ourselves empiricists as objectivists because as rand positive this is a false dichotomy you can clearly obviously do both deduction and induction but the only way you can even do deduction in the first place is because you use empiricism you employ your senses to um gather like sense data data you know then you have the whole constant formation thing you know to percepts and concepts um but like the only way deduction can occur is via integrating knowledge in the first place via sense data so the people who have called themselves empiricists throughout uh the history of philosophy that reject deduction um they were operating from a false idea they had the right premise that we We must start with empirical data or sense data.

[1:18:37] But this dichotomy is false. We're employing both. It's just we start with empiricism.
Is that why you call yourself an empiricist?
You reject the same false dichotomy and just acknowledge that that's where we start?

[1:18:51] I mean, yeah, that certainly is a very big topic. It's a very big topic.
I mean, I could keep it relatively brief. My understanding of...
The Austrian school's rejection of empiricism has to do with the fact that they are a priority.
So we don't print a bunch of money and see if it causes inflation.

[1:19:10] Yeah.

[1:19:10] Right? I mean, we know that when we do print a bunch of money, inflation, as defined by price rises, all other things may equal or occur.
But they say we don't just try a bunch of things and see what works.
That we have to have principles ahead of time so that we know what to do.
Now, I certainly understand that. and that makes good sense to me because otherwise you're just consequentialism right which is i'll do something and see if it works or not and this is um this is the great critique uh at that risk that uh dostoevsky puts forward in the novel crime and punishment was this guy has a theory, that murder should be okay murder should be okay because the great men in history all, you know, most of them perform a bunch of murders and if I do good, with the money, if I help the poor with the money that's under the old pawnbroker woman's block box, I'm doing good things, murder can be justified and so based upon my theory, I'm going to kill I murdered the old woman and then her half-sister by accident or unexpectedly.
So I'm going to murder this old woman And see how I feel.

[1:20:29] Now, that's not moral. It's not moral to initiate the use of force, particularly with murder, the worst crime, and then say, let's see how I feel.
I mean, morality does not function in a state of experimentation.
I'm going to knock over this old lady, take her purse, let's see how I feel. See if it works for me.

[1:20:50] Right?

[1:20:51] That's not... So I'm with the Austrians as far as that goes.
And yeah so but i call myself an empiricist because reason comes from empiricism now we then take reason and we make reason absolute because the nature and properties of matter and energy are absolute so reason comes to us through the senses and if you've been a parent of course you you see this happening with your kids where they get object constancy they learn They learn how to make predictive things. They learn how to catch and throw balls.
All babies are doing is learning language concepts and matter.

[1:21:31] Matter first right and of course we know that somebody's insane if they report that the behavior of matter is inconsistent but that's how we know they're having a psychotic breakdown or you know like the the armchair turned into a giant clam and then turned into a shark like we know that they're seriously disturbed like and of course in nightly dreams uh in nightly dreams physics have no objective properties and we can transfer places without transition and we can fly and all these kinds of crazy things right so but reason comes to us through the senses reason is the abstraction of the absolute and predictable properties of matter at the level so the law of identity yes so if if if matter randomly changed its properties well we wouldn't exist right the only reason that we can exist the only reason evolution can exist the The only reason that we can survive is because nature and reality and the universe have stable, absolutely stable and predictable properties.

[1:22:36] Like fresh.

[1:22:37] Fresh, well-cooked meat, assuming we're not allergic, will always nourish us.
And relatively clean water will always slake our thirst.
And when we're tired, resting will usually refresh us.
And if it doesn't, then something's kind of wrong. So reason comes to us through the senses. And I call myself an empiricist because reason comes from the senses, reason comes from reality.
Reason can never overthrow reality.
In the same way that you can't have a shadow that has no properties or characteristics of that which casts the shadow.
Like if you saw a guy on horseback with a raised sword, a statue, right?
And then there's a shadow which looks like a unicorn flying.
There's something wrong, right? The shadow has to represent the thing that casts it.
That may be elongated or stretched depending on the light source or whatever, right? But it can't be different.
You can't have a cube statue and then the shadow is a ball, right?
Like that would be, that would mean that you've gone psychotic, right?
You're having, you're on drugs or revisions or something like that.
So I call myself an empiricist because.

[1:23:47] Reason comes from external objective reality, and therefore reason can never, ever oppose the properties or nature of external reality.
Reason is a slave to reality. Reason is imperfectly derived from reality.
In any contradiction between reason and reality, it must be decided in favor of reality.
Hearsay always fails against actual evidence, right? I mean, if you have actual evidence of Bob killing someone, like video evidence, physical evidence, DNA and everything, and then there's a witness who said, well, I heard from someone that Bob didn't kill anyone.

Empiricism vs. Hearsay: The Power of Evidence

[1:24:25] Well, what do you go with? You don't go with hearsay. You go with the actual material, physical, empirical evidence.
And empirical evidence trumps everything, because, of course, Bob is going to say, I didn't kill the guy.
But when you have incontrovertible evidence, smoking gun, eyewitnesses, blood, DNA, whatever you want to say, incontrovertible evidence.
Then Bob's protestations don't matter. So I'm an empiricist.
Now, they can say, well, empiricism means that you just have to try a bunch of stuff and see what works.
It's like, no, that's consequentialism. Yeah, that's not empiricism.
Empiricism says that the source of universal absolute knowledge are the universal and absolute properties of matter and energy.
That's the source of our absolute and universal knowledge are the absolute and universal properties of matter and energy.
Otherwise we wouldn't even have those concepts and if there were no absolute and universal properties of matter and energy we never would have been able to evolve over the four billion years that life has been around like it just wouldn't have happened right if gravity reversed and food became poison and you know the sun both uh helped plants and then destroyed plants randomly like we just couldn't evolve like we are here and we have these incredibly wild brains because of the stability of matter and energy the absolute stability of matter and energy and that So saying that reason can somehow go against reality is saying that the shadow can be something other than.

[1:25:53] The shade cast by the object. No. Our reason comes from the evidence of the senses and the nature of reality.
And so, I call myself an empiricist to constantly remind myself that I can never have ideas or arguments that go against the nature of reality, and universalism is the nature of reality, and nothing that contradicts that universalism can ever be valid. Sorry, go ahead.

[1:26:22] Yeah, I'll try to keep this one under 60 seconds.
I can't promise, though. So, I believe that the Austrians are, like, playing into this false dichotomy and calling themselves a priori rationalists, but, like, they're not acknowledging that we start with...

[1:26:43] Sorry, we start with what? You just cut out the most important sentence.

[1:26:46] What?
Um sorry about that you said we start with one oh no you need to take.

[1:26:54] A sec that's fine i just wanted to make sure i get that word.

[1:26:56] No no no i don't need to take a second i just had to like i had to afford them anyways we start with sense data um so these austrians they understand we can do deductions i mean obviously that's that's totally um the right method for economics, but they're not for some reason they're rejecting that without empiricism they don't know what money even is.
They don't know what inflation is. They don't know the whole praxeology, the idea that man acts.
There's no such thing as that if you don't depend on sense data.
You don't know what man is. You don't know what action is.

[1:27:32] You don't know what any of these things are. Yeah. Accepting the objectivity of sense data is accepting the absolute preconditions for our existence as a species, as biological entities.
Again, if the universe acted randomly, we never would have had the stability to evolve.
You think of the billions of years of complexity to evolve our brains today.
Nature acted 0.00001% randomly we never would have we wouldn't be it's just acknowledging i'm here therefore nature must be stable i'm here therefore the properties of matter and she must be universal i've just i can't like to to deny the very preconditions of my existence while existing seems to be insane well.

[1:28:09] That's unfortunately the austrians have bought into this because it's it's derived from mises who for all the great things he did there's i have have no criticisms of Mises, right?
Like he's the greatest economist of all time.
He was influenced by Kant. So he did believe in rationalism and a priorism.
And again, you and I and many others understand this is a false dichotomy.
But because, you know, Kant believed it, therefore Mises believed it, many Austrians believe it.
And they also call themselves a priorist or rationalist and reject empiricism on the basis that they don't even realize it's a false dichotomy.
We can do deduction and induction but it must start with you know induction we must perceive reality first you can't do anything before um until you perceive reality sorry you said it must not be deduction is that is.

[1:29:01] That to me i.

[1:29:02] Would say it's not deduction i'm sorry i might have used the wrong word when austrians engage in their illogical chains that's deduction deduction, right?

[1:29:11] Yeah. So, yeah, deduction is 100%. Induction is probability.

[1:29:16] Oh, okay. So, I used the wrong terminology. Whether it be deduction or induction that is being employed in any method, economic, scientific, philosophical, all of the information that we are working with necessarily starts with knowledge derived via the senses.
And for some For some reason, again, Austrians just, I don't know, they reject this idea because there's a straight lineage from Kant to Mises to the rest of the Austrians, except Rothbard, who was very much so an empiricist and an objectivist in many ways, you know, until he had his split with Rand and whatnot.
But his methodology was not a priorism. He actually rejects it.
So it's just a weird thing that exists in, like, libertarianism.

[1:29:59] Yeah.

[1:30:00] And to me.

[1:30:00] It's also, it has to be, this is, like, nonsense because you can't psychologize people in this way, but if I were to sort of put my guessing hat on, I would say that a child who is raised to embrace the senses, to embrace reason and evidence, and who is, you know, praised for accepting reason and evidence and criticized, you know, obviously mildly and gently and lovingly when they approach things from a contradictory or mystical standpoint and so on.
So they're going to grow up accepting and respecting reason and evidence.
Now, the problem happens when children are raised and their parents aggress against them for pursuing reason and evidence and asking for consistency, right?
Like, so the kid who says, well, wait a minute, you tell me not to hit people, but i you tell me not to hit others but you hit me right that's i mean this is where the whole justification for the state comes from right the state and the family is sort of one of my earliest podcasts right so no no but i'm hitting you so that this is the least violence you'll experience which is you know in the states the least violence will experience because you know i hit you therefore you won't hit others therefore they won't hit you back and you won't end up in fist fights all the time and right so this is me hitting you is the least fire like all of this kind of of stuff.

[1:31:19] Now, I think when people say, because rationalism is the argument that language trumps reality, that language, and this is Platonism too, right?
The concepts, ideas, language trumps reality.
Now, why would you think that? It's not empirical. It certainly doesn't come through the senses, right?
So why would you think that? Well, I think the argument is, or what would make sense to me, logically, is that if your parents verbally abuse you for following reason and evidence because it leads to their own hypocrisy and corruption, then you have to obey their words over your evidence.

The Influence of Parents on Language and Reality

[1:32:01] Because in the choice between denying immediate sense data and retaining the bond with the parents, children choose retaining the bond with the parents.
So why would people end up putting language over reality?
Because they have to follow their parents' abusive commandments rather than their own sense data, rather than their own thinking, their own logic.
So then you then follow words, and words become more important than reality.
Reality because the reality is you have to have the approval of your parents to maximize your chance of survival otherwise they'll ignore you or not feed you or not protect you or maybe even physically expel you or maybe kill you because remember i mean infanticide and child murder was very common throughout most of human history as it still is in some places in the world, so to me it's not it's not a logical phenomenon it's like nobody sits there and says that words are more important than reality like nobody lives that way in any practical sense to me it's just a bunch of scar tissue if you suffered a lot of verbal abuse for thinking for yourself.

[1:33:01] If you suffered a lot of verbal abuse for thinking for yourself, and then you choose to bond with your abusers, then you have to say words are more important than facts.
And rationalism trumps empiricism, and concepts are the most important thing.
And in any contradiction between concepts, which would be a parent's definition or justifications of their own behavior, which is inconsistent with how they treat you, concepts and contradictions are fine, that doesn't matter but in any conflict between language and reality language has to win well no child evolves that way but they will choose that as a survival path if their parents punish them for asking questions or thinking clearly.

[1:33:44] Just to be clear, because I believe from just my understanding of your work, this is how you've arrived at the conclusion that if we endorsed not spanking or applying the NAP to children in our highest moral standards, we would naturally lose the state.
Because this is this behavior or the the idea of spanking children and uh you know just using violence against children the poor treatment of children has led to um i guess submitting to like false authority or mysticism and you know just i guess maybe we can just leave it at a false authority right but this is how you've arrived at your conclusion that um if we had a society that strived for the better treatment of children we would eventually lose the state right.

[1:34:32] So, why do people justify the use of coercion so instinctively, so powerfully, and so deeply?
Well, because they justify, or they've internalized the justifications their parents used for their own violence, whether it's verbal or physical.
So, why is it that people are so incredibly fluid and fluent at defending violence from those in authority?
Minority because they had to bond with their parents who used violence against them and so to say the state is coercion is to get dangerously close to the giant wound of my parents were coercive and not just were coercive but lied to me about it and made it moral and thus really corrupted me like that's really really emotionally explosive and again a lot of the kids who proudly proclaimed that during our evolution didn't make it usually more than five minutes after his proclamation, so we're very much, we're very hesitant to do that.

The Danger of Honesty and Asking for Universality

[1:35:30] Honesty in a tribal situation is the most dangerous predator, and asking for consistency from those in charge, as Voltaire said, it's dangerous to be right when the state is wrong, and it's dangerous to be.

[1:35:45] Ask for universality and true morality from those whose authority relies upon, twisting morality to suit their own ends and making really only the pretense of morality.
As Socrates found when he, even not just morally, but when he examined people in his environment and found out that the Sophists only had the pretense of knowledge, and he proved that they did not know what they claimed to know, they got pretty angry at him, and that was partly why Meletus ended up bringing charges against him.
And, of course, all of the pederasty, which, which, you know, is not unimportant in the time. So.

[1:36:17] Yeah.

[1:36:18] If we treat children with reason and we don't use violence against them, then they bond with peace and reason.
And then if they bond with peace and reason, then they will be able to identify without trauma violations of the non-aggression principle in their environment.
And we work to have, and of course they won't be criminals, they'll peacefully reason with those around them and so on.
And so the need for authority will diminish, the belief in authority will diminish, the level of criminality will diminish, and we coast ourselves to a beautiful future that I wrote about in my novel from two years ago.

[1:36:55] Yeah, and I know you've been talking about this forever, but just how long ago did the conclusion actually happen in your brain?

[1:37:03] Well, I don't, it's hard to say. I remember the flash of the DROs, the Dispute Resolution Organizations. I remember that one very clearly.
Yeah, I think it was just a sense, like, I remember my therapist saying, I don't know, a quarter century ago or whatever, it all starts with the family.
Like, that just, that, you know, that was like a brand on my soul.
It all starts with the family. It's like getting that tattooed on my forehead in reverse, so every time I look in the mirror, I see it all starts with the family.
And so the idea that we are these blank slate creatures who then develop our particular ideas close to adulthood is not the case it's not the case it all starts with the family that we have particular early experiences that often traumatize us and that conditions colors and sometimes even even almost determines our subsequent thinking.
And so it all starts with the family. It's like, okay, why do people believe irrational things?
I mean, we need reason to survive. You know, this is the objectivist argument.
Reason is man's major tool of survival. It's the most important tool of survival.
Okay, so if we need reason to survive, then why do so many people believe things that are completely anti-rational? Why?
It certainly doesn't make sense from a mere survival regarding reality.

[1:38:28] Sorry.

[1:38:29] Go ahead.

Setting the Stage and Requesting Muting

[1:38:33] Sorry.

[1:38:34] If you've just joined, if you could mute, I'd appreciate that.

[1:38:39] I wanted to come last weekend.

[1:38:42] Are.

[1:38:42] You doing a little better now? Yeah.

[1:38:45] Hello. If you could mute, I'd appreciate that.
All right. I think we're back.

[1:38:52] No, they're still doing it. I think you have the ability to mute, don't you, Steph? I'm not sure.

[1:38:56] I do. Let me just turn up the brightness on my screen. I haven't been looking at my screen in particular.

[1:39:02] Yeah. I'll tell you, Steph. I could question you about things forever. Yeah.

[1:39:07] Yeah, I can do another couple of minutes if you have another yearning burning.
But my family has returned from their outing, and I want to sort of get caught up. But yeah, I can do another couple of minutes if you have something else.

[1:39:17] No, no, no, I don't even have a thought right now.
I've told you in the last few chats we've done that I'm very involved in a couple of communities that are doing some really cool libertarian and objectivist work, work both like in economics and philosophy and uh ever since i started reading rand over the last two years i just keep revisiting your work because it gives me a different understanding of your stuff and so like i always have these like new pop-ups in my head that i uh they might last a few minutes they might last a few days months weeks whatever but um whenever like you get these live chats going i'm like oh god i gotta jump in there throw whatever it's been on my mind because he knows i know that you know that the same path uh that i've well i don't want to say exact path right but like as a libertarian and objectivist you would know a lot of the things i'm thinking about uh in order to you know uh arrive to the same conclusions uh right and so just to finish up my thought from before.

[1:40:20] About like okay why do people believe irrational things well.

[1:40:24] Because the.

[1:40:25] Price of survival is conforming to irrational others right so we're tribal animals which means that we have to survive, we require the approval of others in order to survive.
So if the price of survival is conforming to anti-rational beliefs, then reason is—I mean, this is an error with all due respect to Ayn Rand, who's a goddess of philosophy, but the error is, she says, well, reason is mankind's primary tool of survival, but Ayn Rand survived in a solitary way.
Way right so she was i mean she had a career of course she was a wardrobe dresser in the movies and so on but you know relatively young she became relatively quite independent through the fountainhead and and she didn't have to she could survive on her own she didn't even really compromise much with her husband and she didn't have any children so she did not require the approval of the tribe so she says well listen i'm rational and and that's like that's fine if you're You're living a life of semi-splendid, semi-isolation.

[1:41:24] So reason is man's primary tool of survival, and it's like, hmm, well, but what if it is rational to reject reason in order to survive?
I know this sounds like a contradiction, but this is most of, not just human evolution, but most of our childhoods.
We have to reject reason in order to survive.
It is rational to reject reason in order to survive. so if you have aggressive parents if you point out the hypocrisy they will simply aggress against you more when i tried at the age of four or so to escape my mother's abuse i mean she basically threatened my life so i had i had to conform and comply in order to survive so childhood, throughout our evolution and for most children across the world even today the rejection of reason, is a rational course of survival.

[1:42:19] If you're in school and you point out that the teacher is funded through coercion, the teacher will get enraged at you.
She might encourage bullying towards you that could get you harmed or killed.
She might fail you and hold you back. She might just interfere with your ability to get a job by constantly assigning you detentions and things like that.
There will be lots of punishment, which will really harm you.
And if you, of course, in a social situation, particularly when you get into your teenage years, like school, of course, what happens is the teacher will mock and exclude you and and encourage other children to mock and exclude you, which really harms your dating prospects, which really harms your reproductive options.
So it is rational to shut the F up, mouth the platitudes, conform and comply.
So for Ayn Rand, reason vis-a-vis reality was man's primary tool of survival. Yes, that's true.
And, you know, her famous example of the guy, the spaceman who crashes on an alien planet. Well, that's not a social situation.
It's not a childhood. It's not a social situation. so.

The Complicated Relationship with Reason and Survival

[1:43:30] We have to reject reason in order to survive our childhoods, it is rational to reject reason and this is why people have such a complicated relationship with reason now we can't reject reason vis-a-vis reality but as children our survival doesn't come from reality, it comes from people, right so if you're an adult you say well I guess I can go plant my own crops and hunt my own food and and build my own house.
I don't need other people to survive. It's like, well, yeah, duh, but you're not a kid.
When you're a kid, you are absolutely dependent not on reality for your survival, but on people.
And then Ayn Rand couldn't understand why some people would be social metaphysicians, right? Or why would they just say not what is true, but what other people believe is true?
They don't say what is right. They say what is approved of. And she couldn't understand why people were like that. And she put it down to some soul rot or something like that.
Corruption, Dells with Tooey, and the James Taggerts and it's just a rot and they just have the bad ideas. It's like, no, no.

[1:44:32] No.

[1:44:32] Miss Rosenthal. It was not soul rot. It can manifest eventually as soul rot.
And she writes about this, of course, even with regards to Peter Keating in that he has an incredibly manipulative, neurotic, narcissistic mother and no father.
So she wrote about it accurately, but she did not understand it philosophically.
The art in her got the truth, but the philosopher in her rejected it.
And that's partly vanity.
So why is it that people would say not what is true, but what do people believe is true? It's because they need to survive truth.

[1:45:17] And they are dependent upon people, and they won't survive if they reject what other people accept of as true.
So if your parents say X is true, and you reject that, that's bad for your survival throughout most of our evolution.
So why do people focus on what other people believe?
Because as children, we have to survive through the approval of others.
Why, why, why are people so focused on the approval of others?
It's because that's how we survive. Now, maybe she was very lucky as a kid and had a parent who approved of her, and therefore she couldn't understand.
But if you have a parent who says, you've got to reject reality, truth, reason, and yourself in order to survive, well, we have a biological imperative to survive, which is, okay. Yeah, okay.

[1:46:06] I will survive by rejecting reason. reason.
And then Ayn Rand turns into this like demonic morality play when it's just about your childhood.
Now, this doesn't mean that people aren't responsible for pursuing truth.
And listen, I mean, I'm humble about a lot of things, but I've now had so many call-in shows over the last 18 years, well over a thousand, easy, probably more.
And the dysfunction in the present can always be we trace every single time.
Trace back to abuse or neglect in the past.
And if you don't address that and give people sympathy for that, but rather castigate them as evil, which is what Ayn Rand does, right?
The social metaphysicians are evil, manipulative scum, right?
So she's taking the victims of child abuse and further abusing them, and then wonders why the world doesn't get better.
Whereas I take the victims of child abuse, give them some reasons, some principle, and some standards, right? I'm not just, oh, everything you do is fine, right? But sympathy.
You've heard me say this a million times. I'm so sorry for what happened to you as a kid. It's just terrible.
Just terrible. Let's try and figure out the causality and how you can break the cycle.

Rand's Neglect of Parenting and Children in her Theories

[1:47:17] Certainly. I think that is something that is unfortunate about Rand that she never really wrote much about, like, her theories on parenting or children, you know?
I mean, it's tucked on, right, in some books ever so lightly.
But yeah, I think that's like a whole subject she kind of unfortunately neglected.
Maybe it's because she didn't have kids of her own. I'm not sure. Well.

[1:47:40] I mean, there was Nathaniel Brandon, who's a trained psychologist, right?
And he should have told her, look, there is corruption in the world.
And I'm not saying that nobody is evil because they get abused as children.
I'm not saying that at all.
But the people that you want to rescue, you can't condemn.
And you can condemn the people you can't rescue, right? But that's triage, right? People you can save, people you can't.
And, of course, I don't know, obviously I have no idea what Nathaniel Brandon and Ayn Rand talked about in private, but he should have been, as a trained psychologist, who's fully aware of the effects of childhood on adult personality, he should have been saying to her, look, a lot of what you're condemning in your books is the effects of child abuse.
And you and i maybe we won't abuse in this kind of way but we should have some sympathy for those who were now of course she only met nathaniel brandon after the fountainhead and i i can't remember exactly the timeline i think they were were they having their affair after atlas shrugged or during i don't know if you remember this at all i.

[1:48:55] Believe it's after but she meant it like Like, when she first met him, like, Atlas Shrugged wasn't fully written yet.
So, it's somewhere between that timeline.

[1:49:04] Okay, so let's say that he talks to her about childhood and child abuse.
As a trained psychologist, you would know all about this stuff.
So, let's say he talks to her and, you know, I've been in a fortunate position. And not just fortunate.
I mean, I've worked hard for it, but there's been some luck involved.
I haven't had to do any major retractions.
I mean, I've obviously had corrections and things I've made mistakes on and gotten wrong and so on, but I haven't had any like, wow, you know what, the entirety of the R versus K stuff is completely falsified.
I haven't had to do any sort of major, major retractions in this way. Sorry.

[1:49:47] What's R versus K?

[1:49:48] Too oh uh that's uh gene was the gene was presentations that i did saying how uh the um yeah the different uh styles of parenting and the and so on i haven't had to retract anything about iq i haven't had to retract anything about child abuse i haven't you know i haven't had to say gee i was wrong uh modern college arts courses are in fact teaching you reason and evidence right like i haven't i haven't had to have uh to print any major retractions or have any major reversals in what i've said again tweaks and course corrections but i have i haven't faffed up in some now of course the challenge is once you've published your two magnum opuses and you're basically done with your writing and your life work is complete and you spent five years on the fountainhead and 13 years on latin destruct if you push out these works which absolutely, morally condemn and castigate with a few like the wet nurse is sort of a transitory character a transition character, but if you put out as your life's work something which is actually piling verbal abuse on the physical and sexual abuse of children, you're probably going to feel pretty bad, aren't you?

The Impact of Atlas Shrugged and its Reception

[1:51:01] You're probably going to feel pretty bad.

[1:51:04] Now, can she sit there, and then she stopped writing.
So my guess, and she stopped writing. She never wrote another novel, and there's some non-fiction, of course, right? She never wrote another novel after Atlas Shrugged. My guess is, I don't know why.
I mean, partly it was depression on the reception of it, but I think partly it's like, Nathaniel Brandon probably talked to her about child abuse, and she realized that her next book would have to be kind of an apology, for morally castigating the victims of child abuse and calling them just stone evil.

Childhoods and Character Development in Ayn Rand's Works

[1:51:42] And childhoods don't play any part in her character's lives.
Again, other than Peter Keating, maybe one or two other examples, but childhoods don't play...

[1:51:54] Howard Rourke and John Galt have no childhoods. They're born, like, from the forehead of the gods of time, fully formed, absolute integrity adults.
Which, again, I mean, and if you look at Howard Rourke, the fact that he was an orphan and grew up in a series of orphanages and obviously would have been brutalized and so on, and ends up this shining paragon of virtue and integrity, I mean, come on, right?
This is, I mean, orcs are more believable, right? Right.
So I think that and she could have learned and she could have grown and she could have taken this path again.
She had an affair with a psychologist. There were a bunch of psychologists around.
I'm sure they talked to her about child abuse.
Was she able? Was she able to say, I have taken the wrong path?
I mean, the metaphysics, great epistemology, great ethics are great.
But and she herself claimed, she said, I don't understand. So she's like temperance Brennan, right? bones. She says, I don't understand psychology.
I don't understand psychology. It doesn't make any sense to me.
Well, if you're talking about the origins of corruption and immorality, criminality and dysfunction, and you don't understand child abuse and human psychology at all, then you're going to be a polemicist and a very gripping and powerful polemicist with many wise and wonderful things to say, but you're not going to get the origins of human evil and you're not going to get a prescription to solve it.
And I don't think she did. Sorry, go ahead.

[1:53:21] I was just going to say the foundations were there. Nathaniel Brandon, he expanded on the concept of self-esteem.
She used that term all the time, but he expanded with that book, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.
Where do you get self-esteem, right? That foundation for attracting into childhood was right there. It was literally right there.

[1:53:40] Well, but the self-esteem stuff was kind of wrong, too, because people, in many ways, right?
Sorry about that. Am I back? I'm back. So, yeah, sorry about that.
I just have this, no, I have this, I have this retarded, this retarded tablet that doesn't tell me, but it's low on power and it just shuts off.
So that's just my, I should probably replace it, but I haven't got around to it yet.
So, yeah, I mean, so the self-esteem thing, and I did an interview with a psychologist many years ago about this whole self-esteem thing, that, of course, there are a lot of people who are really bad who score incredibly high in terms of self-esteem.
Now, then you'd say, well, that's false self-esteem, but, you know, that's still a challenge to the theory.
So, yeah, I just wanted to mention that. All right. Well, sorry, I am going to stop now.
I'm really sorry to flake out and come back. But, yeah, I really appreciate the chat today. Jay, yeah, I really appreciate the chat today. Great, great stuff.
And I thank everyone, of course, for stopping by.
And I thank you all for supporting the show. If you're listening to this later, of course, slash donate to help out the show and have yourselves an absolutely wonderful afternoon.
I guess I'll be talking to everybody 11 a.m. tomorrow.
And lots of love from up here. Take care, everyone. I talk to you soon.

[1:54:56] Thank you, Steph. Bye. We love you.

[1:54:59] Love you guys back.

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