One of the greatest challenges of having a public conversation about complex philosophical topics is the wide differences in expertise between those new to the conversation, and those well-versed in prior arguments and evidence.
Formal education deals with this problem by requiring mastery of more basic skills before being exposed to more challenging topics.
That does not happen in a podcast.
I want to provide enough challenging topics to maintain the interest of long-term listeners – while not simultaneously alienating new listeners. I have to teach intro to philosophy – as well as intermediate and advanced philosophy – all at the same time.
In particular, I let listeners guide the conversation during call in shows. I gauge the level of expertise of the listener, and respond accordingly.
Now – one trick of my attackers is to take a more advanced conclusion, and present it without any of the prior arguments and evidence.
This way, the conclusion can be perceived as shocking or offensive.
Group differences in IQ exist, and have been well-validated for over a century. I am far from alone from discussing these realities – Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray – as well as many other public intellectuals – have talked about these facts.
However, the discussion has been often viciously suppressed – partly so that the conclusions can be presented as “shocking” and “racist.”
But here is the reality:
I’m not particularly interested in race.
I am, however, interested in peace, which brought me to the topic quite a few years ago.
Racial conflicts are quite high.
Group differences exist in a meritocracy, and meritocracy exists in both natural and man-made environments.
If I try to survive unaided in Africa, I will not do very well. Prior to modern technology and medicine, the average white European only survived for 11 months in Africa.
The meritocracy in modern Western market economies is largely conceptual and intellectual.
In a free market, IQ is a strong predictor of financial success.
Financial success is not everything in life – the rich are not “better” than the poor – and should have no more rights or privileges – but wealth differences are easily measurable, and can cause great resentment.
Ashkenazi Jews, East Asians, whites, Hispanics, blacks, pygmies and the indigenous population of Australia all have different IQs as groups.
As I have constantly reiterated, we can never justly judge an individual by group averages.
Men are on average taller than women, but we cannot rationally predict whether any INDIVIDUAL woman will be taller than any individual man.
We have a problem – a challenge – in society, which is that different groups in society have different levels of education, income, home ownership, total assets and so on.
When I say that it is “insane” to ascribe ALL differences in group outcomes to racism and bigotry, I really mean it – but it assumes a certain understanding of facts long suppressed.
What do I mean by this?
Well – men go to jail far more often than women.
Is that just because the legal system is sexist and biased against men?
There are very few Chinese or Japanese athletes in the NBA – which is disproportionately black.
Is that because the NBA is racist against Chinese or Japanese athletes?
Of course not.
IQ has correlations to income, educational achievement, criminality, marital stability and a wide variety of other social and economic outcomes.
Group variations in IQ produce many group differences in outcomes.
These group differences are significant, and troubling.
No society can utterly ignore these differences.
And here’s what’s most important: different ideologies will provide different explanations.
The most prevalent current explanation for economic ethnic differences is white privilege and white racism.
This explanation is false.
If whites are so racist against non-whites, why do East Asians and Indian immigrants make more money than whites in majority-white countries?
Why do East Asians across the world make so much money?
If whites are racists against blacks, why do black immigrants to majority-white countries make so much more money than African-Americans?
The answer usually provided is the “legacy of oppression.”
European Jews were oppressed for centuries in the West – culminating in the horrors of the Holocaust, which was certainly worse than slavery in most respects.
Yet when European Jews came to America – often not speaking English and with little or no money – they very rapidly achieved income parity with whites.
Japanese-Americans were stripped of property and thrown into concentration camps under FDR – yet their incomes remain higher than the white average.
If it’s just that whites unreasonably hate blacks, why are so many black artists and politicians loved and celebrated? How could Barack Obama have been elected?
No – the “racism plus oppression” narrative is incorrect.
If groups that remain less wealthy in a market meritocracy are constantly told that whites hate them and stole from them, and continue to oppress them at every opportunity, then the stage is set for a racial war.
Can you imagine the horrors of such an outcome?
What if these escalations could be prevented?
What if we could all get along?
Philosophically, the only place human beings can meet and negotiate is in objective reality, using reason and evidence.
We don’t have to hate each other.
I want us all to get along.
How are we going to do that?
For over half a century, we have tried to eliminate group differences by redistributing income and shaming whites for endless “racism.”
Has it worked?
Because it is the wrong approach.
It misdiagnoses the problem, and so provides the wrong solution.
The problem is that different ethnicities have – on average – different brain volumes, different reaction times, and different average IQs.
What is the cause of this?
There is no way to answer this with absolute certainty.
Sub-species separated by tens of thousands of years – and inhabiting regions as different as sub-Saharan Africa and Siberia – have adapted in different ways to local environments.
The human brain is not somehow magically excluded from the effects of evolution.
However, even if we never discover the cause, it doesn’t matter much in how we deal with the current realities.
If we never discover the detailed causes for the relative shortness of East Asians, it still doesn’t change the fact that there will still be fewer professional East Asian basketball players.
The central answer to group differences is IQ differences.
IQ differences explain why Jews make more than East Asians, who in turn make more than whites, who in turn make more than Hispanics, who in turn make more than blacks, who in turn make more than Australian aboriginals, and so on.
IQ differences explain why highly motivated and intelligent immigrants make more money than whites in America.
By our late teens, IQ is 80% genetic.
IQ is not everything of course – wisdom matters more than mere intelligence in the pursuit of happiness, and understanding basic philosophy is essential to living a good life. I have dedicated my life to helping people live wisely – the 650 million views and downloads of Freedomain show how powerful philosophy is for people all around the world.
I do not require that people who talk to me be previously educated in philosophy – it is MY job to bring philosophy to life for them.
We can ALL understand and appreciate basic philosophy, regardless of IQ.
Environment DOES matter of course – looking at a genetically identical group – North and South Koreans – we can clearly see that the market freedoms enjoyed by the South Koreans have made them far wealthier than the bitter enslaved poverty of their Northern brothers and sisters.
In a market meritocracy, however, group differences tend to widen.
Economic freedom highlights group differences – income inequality often increases in the free market.
Which brings us to our most essential choice.
We can continue down this path of rage and blame, of guilt and bribed appeasement – or we can start discussing facts, reality, reason and science.
I know these are difficult subjects – but, the elemental question in philosophy is: compared to what?
Many people do not understand why I focus on these issues, and imagine that I take some sort of pleasure in the topic.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is sad and challenging information, but I was raised to speak the truth and shame the devil – to speak the truth, though the skies should fall.
Honesty is the first virtue – for without it, no other virtues are possible.
Talking about IQ differences is not “white supremacy,” because whites fall in the middle of the IQ spectrum.
If we suppress conversations about these issues, we do NOT solve the problem of racism.
We just become racists against whites for their imagined “privilege” and “racism.”
That is unfair.
This is no-one’s fault.
No one is to blame.
We have a challenge that we need to come together to solve, to reason with together.
We are all human. Diversity should NOT divide us.
These facts can be denied, but they cannot be ignored.
I have interviewed 17 world experts in the field of human intelligence. I have assembled and presented detailed breakdowns of the data and realities of group differences.
I do not do this because I love conflict, but because I do oppose violence.
If the escalation of rage and blame for realities which are beyond the control of any individual or group continues to escalate, where does it end?
I would be very keen to NOT find that out.
I am guessing you would be too.
What is the solution?
The solution is curiosity, truth and understanding.
The solution is an energetic conversation aimed at dealing with these challenges without rage, without blame, and without violence.
All solutions must be peaceful, voluntary and in full compliance with the non-aggression principle.
In this area – as in so many others – the truth will not just set you free.
The truth will keep the peace.
Indeed, it is the only thing that can.
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