Join and support freedomain.locals.com for a great community.

[0:00] All righty. It's me. Questions from freedomain.locals.com. Hope you guys are doing well.
Great community to join. I strongly suggest, urge, and ask you to join and support at freedomain.locals.com. All right.
Somebody writes, I'm someone who is struggling to stay motivated in my business.
I own a small contracting business where I do estimates, provide services based on a monthly subscription and also provide installations.

[0:28] The work is very rewarding, but on some days I struggle to even get out of bed.
I'm having the freeze response when I overbook or just have health issues.
In my past, I suffered from overworking and drinking after work, although I don't do that anymore. I still feel overworked.
I've also never taken a real two-week vacation in my adult life.
How do you balance work life and stress in a healthy way, especially if you're are the business owner?
Right, right, right. This is a very philosophical question.
I mean, they generally tend to be, but this one in particular is very, very philosophical because this one is about what is the meaning and purpose and value of your life?
What is the meaning and and purpose, and value of your life.
Are you there to serve people? Are you there at the back and call of others?
Are you like the tail of a kite being whipped around in a high storm?
Are you, in a sense, a kind of slave or serf? Now, this all sounds condemnatory.
I don't mean it that way at all.
Remember, most of humanity evolved to be slaves and serfs.
It's hardwired into us. It's a part of our DNA. We have to be able to go either full master or full slave.

[1:51] Because, as you know, prior to the Industrial Revolution, the majority of human beings were farm implements, were slaves, were soldiers, were serfs, were prostitutes, were concubines, were were forced wives and mothers.

[2:08] So to be a slave is to be defined by the needs and preferences and threats and bribes of others.

The historical context of being a slave or serf.

[2:19] What do you live for? What does a slave live for?
A slave lives for the reality of work, the reproduction of enslavement, and the vague hope of freedom, usually after death.
So when I say slave, of course it sounds negative, oh, you're a slave, but we have that tendency, and that's baked into a lot of people's parenting.
It's baked into a lot of people, how they parent, how they are parented, how they relate to others, And of course, you know, the entire school system is designed to push out meek, broken, submissive, and panicked workers and soldiers.
Now, we have less need for soldiers, so we throw them into the endless fires of the ideological wars instead.

[3:05] So, what is the meaning and purpose of your life?
And this is the kind of thing, like, to have a meaning and purpose of your life is to be the ultimate aristocrat, right?
Do you understand, right? to have meaning and purpose.
Think of Marcus Aurelius or Seneca or think of the ancient historians, Hippocrates.
Think of all the people throughout history.
How many of them got to define their own meaning and purpose?
And I don't mean subjectively, I mean at all.
How many people throughout the course of human history history got to define their own meaning and their own purpose.
I mean, almost none. If you were born a king or a queen, you sure as heck didn't get to define your own meaning and purpose, right?

[3:59] To be a slave, which is, again, hard-baked, hard-wired into us for evolutionary and survival purposes, like 90% of populations in many areas were slaves.
A slave lives in fear and for scraps.
A slave lives in fear of being beaten and in the hopes that perhaps a small crumb of cheesecake might be left on the plate he's taking out to the kitchen.
I mean, when I worked in a restaurant and I was hungry, Well, we don't have to get into all of the details.
So what are you living for? Now, in this conversation, we aim to have a definition of life and purpose that is not reactive.

Living a reactive life vs. a purposeful life.

[4:42] It's not reactive.
You are not here to simply respond to the needs and preferences and goals and desires and aggressions and bribes and punishments of others.
Oh, I could get that promotion. I'm going to do X, Y, and Z.
Oh, I don't want to get fired. I got to do X, Y, and Z.

[5:02] Even your own that it comes from outside. Oh, I want to buy a new Xbox, so I got to save my money.
And that's your preference, but it's something that comes from outside.
It's material, and there's nothing wrong with material.
Of course, right? We need food. We need water. We need entertainment.
But all of that is hamster-in-a-wheel stimulus response stuff.
The purpose of philosophy is to say, whoa, slow the F down.
Slow down.
Let's take a big look at our life. Let's figure out what are we going to be defined by?
What legacy do we want?
What purpose is the most noble for our souls?
I mean I ask myself this of course on a fairly regular basis how much of my life am I living in, reaction I mean some of this happens I was going to go for a walk and talk today in the woods but it was snowing pretty heavily and I was concerned that snow would land and seep onto the microphones and wreck them or garble them or something like that so I ended up going to do a chapter of Peaceful Parenting, which of course I had promised to do at least, I did two chapters as a whole before Christmas, so it's a little Christmas present, some really great stuff, and I did that as a video.
So some of that's reactive, and I have a little bit of time now.
My family is out Christmas shopping, I'm going to meet them for dinner later.
I have a little bit of time now, and I.

[6:30] I had an option to do anything. I could go exercise, except I've been exercising pretty hard lately, and I think a day off is probably for the best.
I could go for the walk and talk, but it's kind of gray and dark out, and I wasn't sure whether the light would be any good, or I'm just like a monochromatic half-shadow among the tree branches.
I could put my feet up and read, reading an interesting book on the Salem Wish Trials.
But I wanted to do this, because other than love, a family, and friends, nothing brings me to life like philosophy.
Nothing means as much to me, I hope, of course, to the world, and in this case, to you.
So you're living in stress-slave-reactive mode. Now, why are you doing that?
I'm sure it's through no personal fault of your own. It's just how you were raised.

[7:24] It's how I was raised. I have an aristocratic nature was born into the most pathetically humble of circumstances it feels like since all of a twist so when I was a kid for most of us and certainly for me everything was just reactive right I had school assignments I had a boarding school I had to go to I was yeeted all over the place visiting places parents and so on I had to react to my mother's violence and plan for that and attempt to assuage that. It was just, it was reactive.

Reflecting on a reactive childhood and choosing virtue.

[8:00] You have this conveyor belt of things that are coming your way, and that's always going to be the case in life to some degree, but there's this conveyor belt of things coming your way, which you manage and deal with and do.
But our lives become satisfying rather than fear, management, and desire pursuit, right? Fear, I'm afraid I'm going to be alone.
Oh, I've got to guy somewhere now. Oh, I really like that girl.
I'm going to ask her out, right?
And again, that stimulus outside. But, How much of your life is chosen according to virtue?
How much of your life is chosen according to you?
I was thinking about dodgeball. We called it murderball, but I guess that was too honest.
Dodgeball, right? So dodgeball, some kid, and I remember playing when I was in sort of grade 8 and grade 9 when some kids didn't seem to have hit puberty at all, and other kids could pick up basketballs with one hand and needed to shave the backs of their fingers.
And I remember there was this one giant kid picked up the ball, and whenever that kid had the ball, man, you'd hide behind a girl guide in order to avoid it, because he was just psycho.
Huge, strong, he was basically Civil War cannon fire. It wasn't even a game anymore, it was just survival.

[9:20] So, when that big, I can't even call him a kid, when that testosterone monster, got the ball, all, everybody fled.
Except a couple of the stoner kids, who didn't really seem to process much about what was going on. But yeah, everyone fled.
So that's reactive, right? You're not sitting there thinking about meaning or depth or purpose or passion or a legacy or anything like that.
You're just like, I hope I don't end up in the nurse's office or the hospital, from that ball taken off my nads, right?
So that's reactive. And you know, it's worth worth looking over the course of your life and say, okay, whoever encouraged you to pursue that which was most deep, important, powerful, and meaningful for you, right?
Whoever did that? Whoever said, well, what do you want to do?
What's most important, deep, powerful, and meaningful for you?
What do you think would give you the greatest life satisfaction?
What would give you the greatest self-respect?

The Chaos of Life and the Need for Purpose

[10:16] I mean, most times what we do as kids is we're just like pinballs bouncing from one need to punishment to hope to assignment to homework to threat to like boom boom boom right and then the hormones kick in and we're just booted all around by nature right it's it's pretty horrible and it was absolutely needed for us to survive as a whole as slaves so you got to take that deep breath you know life hurly-burly right hurly-burly it's a play a line from a Queen song, it's in Shakespeare, from Shakespeare, I think, the hurly-burly, just chaos and reaction and I think all these people lining up to buy some new phone and the new phone's coming out and they line up all night, it's a new phone, it's reactive.

[11:03] And again, there's always going to be some of that, but you've got to try and find a space and say, okay, what's it for?
What's my life for? Is it for others?
Is it for minimizing pain and pursuing pleasure?
Is it for virtue or is it for productivity?
Am I a moneymaker or a meaning maker? And again, nothing wrong with money.

[11:31] That's going to happen anyway. You know, people who tell you to change your breathing, like the Wim Hof stuff, people who tell you to change your breathing already acknowledge that you breathe anyway, right?
They don't need to keep saying you need to change your breathing.
Now, of course, I understand that you still breathe. So when I breathe anyway, so when I say, you know, well, am I a moneymaker or a meaning meaningmaker.
The whole point is not then to abandon any kind of money-making, because you need to live, right?
To consume, we need to produce, but we pursue this animal level of stimulus response and punishment avoidance and pleasure pursuing and so on, and we lose track of our meaning, our purpose.
Oh, you know, most times, of course, we're never even really allowed to develop it, right?
So the reason I'm saying all of this, struggling to stay motivated in my business okay what's your motivation for your business what's your motivation for your business.

[12:22] And growing out of childhood means very fundamentally defining your life on your own terms not subjectively you can't just make things up i can't say well i'm i'm i'm gonna set fire defenses and call it morality right i can't just make things up but it is about not reacting reacting only again there'll be some reacting there'll be some reacting for sure but as little as possible how much of my life is defined by what i want and choose and prefer and have defined for myself.

Temptations and distractions in the pursuit of life satisfaction

[13:01] Stimulus response means that, yes, there's going to be a bunch of stuff out there that is going to be tempting for you to be distracted by, to be absolved by, to be absorbed by.
Going beyond the pleasure-pain principle to the philosophy principle is essential for life satisfaction.
For us to be men and women, we have to do that which only men and women can do.
Otherwise, we're not men or women. We're not human beings. And what is it that only we can do, that no other creature or thing can do?
Well, define abstract meaning, values, virtues, and purpose.
Go against the pleasure-pain principle towards the meaning-virtue principles.

[13:49] So, and I read this again with that background. Hopefully this is helpful.
You say, I'm someone who is struggling to stay motivated in my business.
I own a small contracting business business where I do estimates, provide services based on a monthly subscription, and also provide installations.
The work is very rewarding, but some days I struggle to even get out of bed. Right.
My guess is, I don't know, obviously, but my guess would be the days that you struggle to get out of bed are the days when the pleasure-pain principle is not enough to motivate you.
You know, maybe you've made some money for the month, and you don't actually absolutely have to. to maybe there's no one yelling at you that you've got to get things done or they're going to sue or whatever might be happening.

[14:34] Because the pleasure-pain principle is start-stop, right?
Meaning is continuous, but pleasure-pain is kind of like food, right? It's start-stop. You don't eat all day. You eat, you're full.
Hopefully you stop eating. You get hungry, you eat some more.
You don't sleep all day. You get tired, you go to bed, you sleep.
You wake up, it's gone with your day. start your day.
So when you look at things that are real rollercoaster, up and down, up and down, I want, I don't want, I like, I don't like, this could be work, ambition, relationships, a desire for like maybe you're learning the piano and it just kind of comes and goes, starts and stops.
Well, that's because you're operating on the pleasure-pain principle and the pleasure-pain principle is self-limiting, right?
You have a headache, you take aspirin, headache goes away, you're done, right?
You don't keep taking aspirin, at least not for the headache, right?
So if you have this up and down stuff, the pleasure-pain principle, the slave principle, what does a slave do when he's not ordered to get out of bed? He stays in bed.

[15:47] Think of the beginning of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn, right?
He just, he spends the whole morning desperately trying to get out of having to go on his work detail.
So he says, I'm having the freeze response when I overbook or just have health issues.
Now, of course, my sympathy for the health issues, maybe they're related to stress. I don't know. Of course, I'm no doctor.
So when you overbook, so why do you overbook? You overbook because you feel great anxiety in saying no.
Now you understand that the slave mentality which again we all have the slave mentality will give you great fear at saying no right your master orders you to go and gather wood in the forest if you say no i don't really feel like it you're going to get beaten so you overbook because it's hard to say no and you also have a scarcity mindset and again scarcity mindset is It's great.
You know, you need food for the winter. You've got to store it up in the summer and fall.
But the scarcity mindset is, well, I can't say no to anything because maybe I'll never work again.

The Importance of Evaluating and Saying No

[16:56] And recognizing that you'll be fine in the future, okay to say no, and that you have to evaluate and not just react.
So a lot of small business owners, and I've been there, right?
If somebody says, I want to hire you for something or I want to pay you for something, you say yes. You don't say no.
Because what is your purpose? Well, your purpose is to serve people, make money, allay anxiety, and so on, right?
He says, in my past I suffered from overworking and drinking after work.
Although I don't do that anymore, I still feel overworked. Well, you are overworked, and slaves are overworked.
Right? That's the buy and burn mentality they have for software engineers.
Slaves are overworked. Of course.
What is it for? Why? Why are you doing it?
I mean, obviously, the ideal is to get to a place where you don't have to work and do what you love.
And it's obviously fine to make those sacrifices in order to get in that direction or go in that way.

[17:57] Business for. If you enjoy helping people out with their installations, if you enjoy giving people heat in the winter and cool in the summer and whatever it is that you're doing, contracting, if you find that meaningful and valuable and helpful, good.
Then guard it. When you like something, when you love something, you absolutely must guard your pleasure in doing that thing.
You absolutely must guard your pleasure in doing that thing, which means don't overwork. Look, if I said, my gosh, I have to do 16 hours of philosophy a day.
I have a limited time on this planet. I have a good brain for this.
It's desperately needed by society.
I have to do 16 hours, 18 hours, 20 hours of philosophy every day.
How quickly would it, how quickly would I get burned out, right?
I mean, it's an overused analogy, but it's worth remembering, right? This is a marathon, not a sprint.
And you have to pace yourself because you probably won't be long for your career or the world or health.
I mean, stress is really, really tough on health.
You've got to pace yourself.

The Power of Not Doing

[19:07] Not doing is doing more.
Not doing is doing more because if you try and do everything all at once, just think about it. I mean, here's a silly example, right? Right.
So let's say you're starting a workout program. Right. And you say, well, I'm going to start and I'm going to do, you know, however many reps, you know, 20 reps or whatever.
And then you say, well, you know, over the course of a month, that's like 200 reps.
So I'll just do 200 reps when I start. Now, of course, you'll work to failure, you'll work past failure, you'll work to injury.
Right. Doing less is doing longer.
Try and do everything all at once, you'll burn out, you'll injure yourself, you'll get sick, and you do it less.
I will get more philosophy done by doing less philosophy every day.

The Importance of Rest and Recharge Days

[19:55] Rest days, off days, recharge days.
If you're training for a marathon, you don't just wake up, sprint all day, and then collapse, because you'll just injure yourself.
Maybe for half the day you'll run more, but then you won't run for two weeks because you pulled all your muscles.
But being able to say no is really tough because we grow up in an environment where we can't say no.
I mean, the government spends our money on our behalf, our children's money on their behalf. Teachers tell us what to do or punish us.
Bosses tell us what to do when we're young or punish us. Parents tell us what to do and punish us, right? So we just react, react, react.
What are you doing it for? And you don't have an answer for that, it sounds like, because when you have an answer for that, you have a consistency.
Never taken a real two-week vacation in my adult life, right?
Because slaves don't take vacations, right? If you look at everything you're doing, everything you're doing is entirely congruent with the mentality of a slave.
And please, please, again, I want to reiterate this.
I'm not calling you a slave. I'm not insulting you. We all have this mindset.
It was essential for our survival.

[21:07] So what are you doing it all for? Well, I've got to make money.
There's lots of ways to make money. money. And if you really want to make money, burning yourself out is not the right way to do it.
Right? Like if I want to train for a marathon, and what I do is I just, I run for, I don't know, 16 hours straight or something.
And you say, well, I really want to train for the marathon. People would say, well, that's not how you train for a marathon. That's just how you injure yourself.
So you're not training for a marathon. You're just injuring yourself.
You say, well, I got to work to make money. Well, burning yourself out ain't going to make you much money. Right? You're going to burn out.
You're going to pull a muscle. You're going to get really depressed.
You're going to to get sick, right?
Now a slave doesn't get to choose his own rest.
A slave rests in scraps and bits wherever he can, right?

[21:54] Of a slave driver in your head, as we all do, as we all do.
And if you want to call in about that, call in at freedomain.com.
But that slave mentality is really important to get up and define what your life is about, what the purpose of your life is, what the value of your life is, what you can choose.
Without the ability to say no, you have zero functional free will.
I mean, you live in the richest society the world has ever seen.
You get to define your own business, your own job, and you can't even take a vacation.
You know, in the Middle Ages, the serfs in Spain had five months of holidays a year, and you can't take a two-week vacation while being infinitely richer than they could ever dream of.
Being able to say no establishes you as an independent soul with free will.
And the feeling, of course, that if we are not present, we will be forgotten.
If we're not in people's faces, they will just forget about us.
And you can think of tons of people who've taken long breaks from their careers and come back roaring, and they've been fine, right?

[23:04] So, how do you balance work, life, and stress in a healthy way?
You have to figure out what it's all for.

Balancing Work, Life, and Stress - Finding Purpose and Value

[23:10] What are you working for? What is your job for? What is your life for? What is your day for?
My day today was to hang out with my family do a peaceful parenting reading chat with some listeners publish it all i took a little rest so it's kind of tired peaceful parenting book is tough it's tough man it's tough to muscle and wrestle through it really is and have a little bit of time before i go meet my family for dinner so i'm doing some of this it's all a choice, ah steph yes but you know you work from home and blah blah blah it's like i don't know i get that I get that.
But part of the reason why I get to do this is because I defined my life as being this, as wanting this, as pursuing this.
Didn't just react, right? Okay. I mean, sorry, just if you still wanted me to do politics, right? I say no to politics. I didn't want to do politics anymore.
I don't know a lot of you want me to keep doing politics or want me to go back on Twitter X or whatever. I get all of that. But I mean, I'm free to say no, and it's a healthy thing.
Isn't it? If I don't want to do it, and I have, I think, some good reasons for not wanting to do it.

[24:18] Like it's the right thing to do. So I can say no.
And if I let people pressure me to do it, I'd be surrendering my free will and modeling dysfunctional behavior for others. So not a good thing. All right.
Next question. Have you thought about compiling all your podcasts and books into a hard drive and selling that to the viewers for 50 to 100 bucks so that if the internet goes down or whatever, whatever, your work will be stored in different sites of the world?
I have thought thought of that kind of stuff and we have done that kind of stuff in the past.
I had a whole merch shop many, many years ago, but the sales really weren't worth it.
And so I protect, let me tell you something, it's a little secret here, right? It's important if you're a business owner too.
I really, really work to protect my love of the audience because I do love you guys.
You guys have given me the greatest life ever and I really, really thank you for it.
So I try not to to do stuff that's going to give me a negative view of the audience.
And I sort of remember way back in the day, there were, I don't know, a lot of people saying, hey man, get merch, get merch, do merch, do merch, I'd love to buy it.
And then I spent a lot of time and energy creating a merch shop, and then like nobody bought.
And that was just annoying, right? So I try to avoid things which are going to give me a negative view of the audience when they're not particularly necessary.
All right. What are cold feet?

[25:39] Why do some people want to move across the continent or across the the world, no matter how many times they do it.
What is the addiction to travel? Okay, so let's do these one at a time.
Cold feet. So cold feet is your body screaming at you to not do something, right? So you know this standard story, right?
It's a standard story that a woman is getting married or a man is getting married and they get really nervous. They can't sleep and they're scared to do it, right?

[26:05] And their friend says, oh no, you're just getting cold feet.
You're just just nervous about change, you know, it goes, everybody does, it happens to everyone, don't worry about it, it's fine, you'll be okay, and they just talk them into doing it, right?
But it's, I mean, I remember when I was getting married, I looked forward to the marriage, I loved the day after marriage, I loved getting married, I loved everything about it.
I remember we went on our honeymoon and the place we went was pretty brutally cold we were looking at bailing and flying somewhere else and all of that but I remember we had as part of our package we had dinner on the beach and it was really windy and cold the sand was blowing in our faces and I have a picture of my wife just laughing when all of this these sorts of catastrophes were going on we were just happy to be with each other, so and I've never had Even the briefest of moments doubt about.

[27:07] Happiness and value and virtue of the marriage, like not even a smidge of a moment ever since.
Now, I'm not saying this to brag. I'm just saying that, you know, whereas I did feel nervous about the woman I was going to marry, but then didn't marry. That seemed like that was, I'm pretty nervous about that.
And rightly so. So I think that cold feet is your gut, right?
Because sometimes it feels in life, this is sort of hearkening back to the first guy's question.
Doesn't it sometimes feel in life like you're just on this kind of conveyor belt? I said, I don't remember feeling that when I was younger.
You're just kind of on this conveyor belt.
You know, you go from class to class, the bell rings, go to another class, go hang with your friends, go home, do some homework, go to a job.
You're just on this conveyor belt, like a train track, right, just moving along.
Maybe there's a couple of switches, you go left or right, but you're kind of on this conveyor belt.
And people, I think sometimes that conveyor belt includes like, well, I met this girl and we've been dating for a certain amount of time.
I guess we've got to get married. She seems to want to get married, so let's get married.
You're just on this conveyor belt, and then, yeah, she wants some kids, and, wow, she wants to buy a big house or whatever. Just this conveyor belt.

Cold Feet: The Lack of Choice and Free Will

[28:11] And I don't... Maybe the conveyor belt or the train tracks is the wrong analogy. It's kind of like...
On a skyhook just going along a monorail thing, right? Just back and forth over and over, right?
So cold feet is, we're not choosing it.
We're not choosing it. It's just happening to us. It's just the next thing, right?
So I think cold feet is something which you haven't fully chosen and fully willed, but it's just kind of happening to you.
You are resisting that because it kind of cements you into less and less and less free will.
Every time you refuse to choose, your choices diminish, right?
So cold feet is stay away from the train track. Why do some people want to move across the continent or across the world, no matter how many times they do it?
What is this addiction to travel, to the enjoyment of surrounding oneself with strangers and fleeing desperately, even when it's very financially irresponsible, from the familiar?

[29:02] Its effects are always feeling back at square one and being at the bottom of the social hierarchy. They reject commitment in business, romance, and pastime.
So i mean to get at the most basic level people move because like it move historically how we evolved we move because we're in pursuit of something or being chased by something, a lot of times when people move they are both in pursuit of something and being chased by something the in pursuit of something is in pursuit of adventure ego gratification the casual sex cool people cool adventures now in particular of course with rise of social media travel has become something where it's a huge clout right it's a massive clout for people to travel and say to everyone look how cool i'm at this waterfall in bali and so i met this beautiful guy and you know had an affair with my kayak instructor in indonesia whatever it is right and so there's this envy and and it's i mean it's fundamentally satanic right i mean because it is saying that That you can live a life of the consumption of sensation without any purpose or build or generosity or life-creating or life-bringing or life-giving or child-raising or devotion or sacrifice or charity or anything like that.
You just live a life like Pac-Man, just chewing on the glowing dots of stimuli.

Pursuit of External Stimuli and Emptiness

[30:23] At the level of an amoeba. Food, good.
Rock, bad. Pursue food, withdraw from rock. Right?
Stimulus response, back to the pleasure-pain principle.
So, they're in pursuit of stimuli because they're being hunted by emptiness.

[30:43] If you live for the outside in, your inside empties out.
If you live for sensation, your soul implodes.
If you live to tickle your nerve endings your humanity disintegrates if you polish only the outside you rot forever on the inside we can continue these analogies but i think you get the general purpose so what happens is this is a vicious cycle that happens you pursue external stimuli at the expense of internal virtue and your conscience rails against you which means It means introspection, being at peace with yourself, defining meaning, pursuing virtue, becomes more and more painful in the same way that the longer you spend overeating and not exercising, and the worse your health becomes, the more difficult it is to recognize that, deal with that, cut back on your food, start to exercise, because, you know, when you've gone a thousand miles in the wrong direction, and turning around is pretty hard, right?
If you've been waiting for a bus for five minutes and you decide to walk, that's okay.
If you've been waiting for the bus for two hours and you could have walked there in half an hour, you feel like an idiot. You feel bad, right?
So people, maybe they have a bad conscience or maybe they're lured in by the satanic, tickle your dopamine and that's the best life you can get.

[32:07] Sex in the city stuff, right? We're going to parties. We're sleeping with guys. We're drinking.
You know, all this kind of stuff, right? There's no virtue. There's no charity.
There's no kindness. There's no curiosity. There's no children. I mean, the whole...

[32:21] It's a dead universe of decaying middle-aged corpses with no families, no children.
I don't think I've even... I don't think I ever saw one child in any of those shows. They don't exist.
The consumption of stimuli, like an amoeba, is the highest calling of the soulless.
So they are in pursuit of stimuli, and they're being hunted by emptiness, the lack of meaning, living like less than an animal.
I mean, it's an insult to animals to say human beings are living like animals, because animals don't have the capacity to live like human beings.
All you're doing is living like the opposite of a human being.
Whatever that is, right? I guess that would be the satanic definition or aspect.
And again, travel's fun. fun. I've done my travel, but not at the expense of virtue. All right.
What else do we have here? And thanks again for these. Just wonderful.
I was just thinking the other day, like, when was the last time I just came up with something on my own? It didn't just bounce off questions.
Talk about reacting. I'm like, oh yeah, the whole piece of parenting book. All right.
So, in your talk with Dr.
Pester, y'all discussed sacrifice in the context of the Bible.
This week in a Q&A, Now, you also discussed the topic. I've always seen these biblical and social concepts of sacrifice as morally incorrect, in that I don't think humans are or should be sacrificial animals.
I see the rant notion that something is not a sacrifice unless you give up something you value for something you value less.

[33:48] A more accurate human concept, it requires you to first have defined your values, then rank them, then choose with free will.
It seems more appropriate to describe what parents do for their children.
They value continuing their genetic life more than the other stuff they could buy or time on other pursuit, yet it isn't altruistic or loss or negative of for themselves.
Even the example of Mother Teresa, or a similar elk, could also be explained this way is the act to increase their values by actions that seem altruistic, but instead are not, as they are choosing the reward of those actions, accolade, sense of accomplishment, emotional reward of helping, etc., over time.
Money or other alternatives they could have chosen, but value less.
I'd be interested in hearing how specifically you define sacrifice and relate it to both the concepts of the Bible and that which Rance describes, not so to call the latter Rance concept.
Big topic. I think Christopher Hitchens did a pretty powerful takedown of Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa would have been infinitely more helpful to the poor if she had proposed free market economics rather than done all of this income redistribution stuff that she was doing.
But even Mother Teresa said that she does it for the Jesus in the poor, not for the poor themselves, right?
She sees Jesus in the poor and she's doing it for Jesus. So she's looking to pursue virtue and she's looking to get to heaven.

[35:08] His commandments and so on. So it's not selfless. The problem I have, the sacrifice of a higher value for a lower or non-value, I think is the technical term that Rand used, and obviously the objectivists still use, but that's kind of incomprehensible.
Why would you sacrifice a higher value for a lower or non-value?
That would be incomprehensible, right? So let's say there's a a beautiful smart funny accomplished virtuous woman and next to her is some monstrous tattooed blue-haired psycho and you could ask both girls out they're both smiling at you and you pass by the beautiful accomplished intelligent woman and go for the obviously obviously dysfunctional and messed up woman, right?
Like, why would you do that?
So you're sacrificing a higher value, beauty, intelligence, wit, and all that, for a lower value.

[36:11] Ugliness, malevolence, whatever is going on for this other woman, right?
Or somebody offers you the job of your dreams for a million dollars a year.
Somebody offers you the job of your dreams for a million million dollars a year.
And somebody else wants you to be a dishwasher for $10 an hour.
Dishwasher is the worst job I think I ever had. It was just absolutely horrible.
And one of the few jobs I think I lasted two or three days. Anyway, so why would somebody give up the job of his dreams for a million dollars a year and instead become a dishwasher for $10 an hour?
Well, that would be sacrificing a higher value dream job and good money for a lower value, terrible job, bad money. So why would somebody do that?

[36:57] And the general answer as to why somebody would go past the beautiful woman and go for the ugly woman, I mean spiritually, and why somebody would avoid their dream job and do a terrible job is because they hate themselves and they believe that they need to punish themselves or that they're bad and therefore they shouldn't have anything good in their life.
Like whatever masochism but then masochism is not putting a lower value right they're choosing masochism which is a higher value than the great job or the beautiful woman so the masochism so nobody chooses a lower value right nobody chooses a lower value everything that people choose is a reflection of what they value so if a woman has a baby and wants to stay home with her baby but then all of her friends and relatives are all saying, oh, being a stay-at-home mom is retarded, and you've got to be a professional woman, and you've got to go make some money, and daycare is great.

[37:57] And it's lame, and you'd just be a breeding cow, and a broodmare, or whatever vicious, nihilistic, antinatalist crap that they would spew.
Okay, so let's say she then dumps her baby in daycare and goes back to work.
Is she choosing a lower value? No. She's choosing the higher value of conformity to the insistence of everyone around her over what she deep down maybe wants to do and what would be best for her baby.
So she's not choosing a lower value. Now, we can of course say she's choosing wrong, but for her, conformity with other people's pressure is a higher value.
Right? Do we follow? I mean, sorry, I don't mean to be overly obvious.
You're all of the smartest crew in the known universe, so we follow. smaller.
Empirically, whatever someone chooses is their highest value.
So if somebody dates a physically beautiful but spiritually ugly woman over a physically plain but spiritually beautiful woman, then clearly he values physical beauty over spiritual beauty.
He values the flesh over the virtues, right?
Now, he may come and probably will come to regret that choice, but that's empirically what he values whatever people do is empirically what they choose to do assuming they're not in a state of coercion.

Intentions vs Actions: The Ghost of Intention

[39:15] Says sacrificing a higher value to a lower or non-value it's a little hard to know what that means and i i have to be i do have to be like for so many reasons i think it's correct but there's also consequentialist reasons as well i absolutely forever and a day from here to 20 minutes after i die will resist as strenuously as humanly possible the idea that people have intentions that they they prefer other than their actions.
I didn't mean to.
That wasn't my intention.
Well, intention's a ghost that can be used to explain anything.
I remember when I was a kid, I read a story, it was a poem about, and if anybody knows it, you can let me know, but it's about a kid with an invisible friend, right?
And the kid says, well, I'll need two chocolate bars because my invisible friend wants one too.
I probably will end up having to eat it because his teeth are kind of new.
Got an invisible friend.
I mean, if you're a kid, you're out of the room, a vase gets smashed on the ground, you come back in, your kid's standing there with his hand outstretched, and he says, my invisible friend did it, would you believe him?
You'd say, no, listen, it's not the end of the world that you smashed the vase, but I really don't like that you're saying some invisible friend did it.
And if we don't allow kids to have ghost-like, intangible, unprovable, invisible friends, why would we allow adults the excuse of intentions? Right?

[40:41] Mean to. I didn't mean to turn you on.
I didn't mean to. Whatever people choose is what they prefer.
And the only empirical evidence we have is their action. Is their action.
Now, if you get into a fistfight with someone and you punch them and they die, you say, well, I didn't mean to kill him.
But everybody knows that if you get involved in physical violence, there's almost always a chance of grievous injury or death.

[41:15] I mean, if I, not me, if someone plays Russian roulette, right, one in six chance to be in the chamber, right?
Well, I didn't mean to kill myself. I didn't mean to shoot, right?
Well, but you're playing Russian roulette, right? So that's baked in, right?
I mean, every gambler who goes to the casino can come out and say, well, I didn't mean mean to lose the money it's like you know but you went and gambled so that's built in so people who risk bad outcomes and then say i didn't mean to have bad outcomes well if you didn't want to lose the money you wouldn't have gambled the fact that you gambled knowing that you could lose the money, i don't care what you're what you meant to do is it's such a strong defense for evildoers as well they say well i didn't mean to have parents who abuse their children well i did the best i could good, I didn't mean to upset you.
People who say obviously insulting things and then say, well, I'm sorry that you got so upset. I didn't mean to upset you.
It's like, I don't care what you said.
I don't care what you did. I only care what you said. I don't care your meaning.
I only care what you did. I'm an empiricist.
I mean, it sounds tautological.

[42:16] Whatever people do, they mean to do. Sounds tautological, but it's very powerful, because it allows you to bypass the infinite well of bullshit that people erect over the empiricism of their own actions.
Well, I did this, but I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to hurt you. I didn't mean to cheat.
I didn't mean to upset you. I didn't mean to abuse you.
I didn't mean, it's absolute, my invisible friend pushed over the lamp.
So whatever people choose to do is their highest value.
Now, we can say that this is an unwise, that it's not a true highest value. value, right?
So, the mom who dumps her kid in daycare and goes back to work, we can say that that's not really acting in a rational objective good for your child highest value.
Now, she would say, well, I want to do what's best for my kid, right?
I mean, parents say that. I just did this whole chapter in peaceful parenting.
So, I say, I want to do what's best for my kid, right?
So, then it's just a matter of saying, well, objectively, staying home with your kid is best best for your kid right now then when she's confronted with that she can either say well we have to balance these things my needs are important too okay so well then you don't want to do what's best for your kid you want to you have your needs you don't want to so you had a child and you'd rather work than spend time with your child right.

[43:36] Would you accept that if your husband says, let's have a monogamous marriage, and then he decides to go and sleep around?
He says, well, you know, but I have my needs too, got to balance my needs with my wife's needs.
It's like, no, no, no, that wasn't the deal. And having a child, of course, is a pretty explicit, well, it's an implicit deal for sure, right? Do what's best for the kid.

[43:57] So we can say that people don't have the right priorities.
Priorities, a woman who travels and cashes in on her sex appeal and her attractiveness to get money for men to travel around and so on, we can say, okay, well, yeah, I get it, man.
The first, you know, the first 10 years of your adulthood, you know, I don't know, 19 to 29 or 20 to 30 or 18 to 28, the first 10 years, maybe even 15 years, probably not 15, but the first 10 years is going going to be super fun right that's going to be a blast you're going to travel and see the world and have sex and get drunk and not have to worry about bills or right so all the people grinding through i don't know getting educated building businesses all the people grinding through all that stuff are looking at the person roaming around and saying man you're having a blast you know like the guy who quits his job and lives on credit sits by the pool and burps and watches as YouTube or whatever.
It looks like they're having fun with the guy who's getting up.
Oh, man, I gotta get up and go to work.
It's cold out and can't get the car started and this guy's sitting by the pool and later in the day and having a blast. Well, it looks fun, right? Yeah, it's not, right? It all looks fun. You know, every now and then I'm at a restaurant.

[45:14] And I remember this when I was in the States some time ago. I remember being at a restaurant.
And I got to watch what I order, right? I got to watch the calories.
I just got to watch what I order. So some meat and and veggies, and some water.
And I don't eat dessert, really.

[45:36] So, every now and then, you know, you go to the bakery, or I remember this when I was in the States, you'd see people with these, you know, these giant surf and turf platters that takes four waiters, like they're carrying Milo Leonopoulos into an amphitheater.
Elephant-backed, this massive machine. The food comes with a shovel and a snorkel, right? And you look at it, you're like, oh man, oh, I could eat that.
I mean, I'd love once in my life to eat until I was full. It just never seems to happen. I always have to will myself to stop eating because, honestly, I could just eat forever.
So, maybe I do have worms. No, I didn't have a colonoscopy. I'm fine.

The Conflict between Sensuality and Health

[46:15] So, you'd see all these people like, oh man, I'd love to have that meal.
But that meal is 2,000 calories and I can't have that meal. It's bad for me, bad for my digestion, bad for my sleep, bad for my health, bad for my weight.
So, yeah, it's, I'd love to sit at that table and face plant in that food, and then they, you know, they order dessert and all that.
That'd be nice. So they value the sensuality in the moment, I value the health in the future.
Now, of course, if it's their last meal, right?
Right? You know that old joke, the woman on death row? It's your last meal, what do you want to eat? Eat. I don't know. What do you want to eat?

[46:58] So maybe it's their last meal. Maybe they've got some terminal diagnosis.
They're going to be dead in three months and they don't care.
Like, I don't know. I mean, obviously that's not the case. Right.
But, but, you know, you could imagine a scenario where you wouldn't care about what you ate. Right.
Like they put the swab on that in fatal injection on death row.
I want to get an infection now. It's about to die.
So we can say, look, your values are not rational. They're not correct. They're not good.
Okay. So we're telling them that they should reprioritize their values so that more sensible and long-lasting and productive values end up at the top.
That's great. You know, that makes good sense to me. It makes good sense to me.
But they are still choosing their highest values. They value food over health.
They value taste over health.

[47:50] Now we can say they should change the value, like the smoker, right? Oh, I wish I'd never smoked.
Yeah, I can certainly understand that but if you smoke a pack a day for 30 years, say, well, my intention was never to get sick.
I never wanted emphysema or lung cancer or anything like that.
It's like, I don't know. It means nothing to me.
Like that avocado fellow, something avocado, went from being a skinny guy on YouTube to a very obese guy.
And he's got these videos of him eating these 10,000 calorie meals.
And so when people say, well, I ate 10,000 calorie meals, I never intended to get fat.

[48:28] I'm sorry, don't be the laugh, because it's deadly serious. That guy's made a lot of money out of destroying his health.
But I don't care about the intention. I don't care about what people say they want, I only care about what they do.
And this comes from, obviously, practical life experience, having a whole bunch of people say a whole bunch of nonsense about their intentions, but it also comes from being in business, running a business, right?

[48:56] Know I'm being in school. You can't, if you miss an essay, like you don't hand your essay in on time, you can't go to the teacher, at least maybe you can now.
You couldn't, when I was in school, you couldn't go to your teacher and just say, well, I meant to hand in the paper.
My intention was to hand in the paper. Like, I don't, do I see the paper in front of me? No, then I don't care what your intention was.
When I was involved in sales calls for a multi-million dollar software that I'd written, if somebody says I intend to buy, it doesn't matter.
I mean, it can be helpful in a little bit of planning, it can also be supremely unhelpful.
Because if you think you have a commitment for a big sale, you tend to relax a little bit.
And if that big sale doesn't materialize, then you're worse off, right?
You know, if you think you have a date on Friday and your date doesn't show up, you could have made another date or done something else, right?
So I can't pay my employees with people's intentions.

The Irrelevance of Intentions and the Importance of Actions

[49:49] Intentions are absolutely irrelevant. intentions are invisible friends so the higher value lower value thing i only care what people do and what they do manifest their highest values now they may claim other values they may claim that they regret those values it doesn't but what they did at the time like a guy who keeps smoking, obviously clearly by definition without a doubt the guy who keeps smoking prefers smoking to not not smoking.
He prefers avoiding the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal over future health, or money that he's spending on smoking, or the sports he could have done if he wasn't a smoker, whatever, right?
And that's just empirical fact. That's the reality. This is what he's done.
And intentions, you see, if we take away the excuse of intentions.

[50:41] We help people more than can almost possibly be measured.
If we take away this ghost of intentions, right? If you had a goat in your backyard and you genuinely believed, like let's say you're a smoker, and you genuinely believed, that all the damage from smoking went into the lungs of the goat and not you, right, would you be more or less likely to keep smoking?
Well, of course you'd be much more likely to keep smoking if you genuinely believed that all the damage from your cigarettes went into the lungs of the goat and not you.
You just, goat dies of lung cancer, just buy another goat.

[51:21] So, if people have intentions as an excuse, this is intentions, I don't mean to overuse the term satanic, but they have a satanic element to them in that they create the slippery slope down to hell itself.
So if people can just do bad things and then say, well, I didn't mean to. It wasn't my intention.
If we take away that excuse, Peace.
Goat, so the guy has to quit smoking, or at least he has a more, he's more likely to quit smoking, if he knows that, if he doesn't any longer have the fantasy that the goat's taken all the smoking damage, right?
So, with regards to higher, lower values, we can say to people, your values are not being served by your actions, right?
So, if a smoker says, I want to be healthy, you say, well, smoking doesn't serve that, right?
If you keep smoking, and he says, I want to be healthy, well, we'll say, no, you don't, right?
The two big defenses, one is intentions, the other is I don't remember, I don't recall, I got no memory of anything at all. Right, these are the two big defenses.
Intentions and forgetfulness.
And, I mean, you've heard this a million times in my call-in shows.
I don't accept either of those defenses, and that's why we are so productive.
Just don't accept people's nonsense, and you can get to the truth very quickly.
All you have to do is not accept nonsense, and you get to the truth in about 10 minutes, maybe not even less. often.

[52:43] So if people claim an intention that is opposite of their actions, the intention is the action. Everything else is nonsense.
And we shouldn't let people spout such nonsense, both because we value the truth and empiricism is the truth, and also because we don't want to encourage or enable bad behavior under the cover of intentions forgetfulness just by the way right now you can ask your parents something about the past and they'll remember and then you ask them about abuse if they were abusive and they don't remember then that's you know and i i have so much evidence for this right i mean really unique in this kind of way and that i've had well over a thousand conversations with people about their sort of deep history and personal issues and, way back to when they were little, little kids.
And every time they say, I don't know.

The Importance of Knowledge and Intention

[53:43] Oh look they know right so i know that that's the defense now of course if somebody doesn't remember what happened when they were two right that's probably a pretty real thing but when people claim they don't know something like let's say they've lived with their mother or they've known their mother for like 35 years and they claim they don't know why she does something it's like well yes you do yeah you do otherwise knowledge about people is impossible because you can't figure anyone out after spending 35 years cheek by jaw with them then no knowledge about human beings is possible and you can't ever have a relationship with anyone because right can't figure out anything about anyone even at 35 years exposure so so i maybe it sounds like a bit of a tangent to go on this intention a tirade but nobody sacrifices a higher value to a lower value and i would not accept that as an excuse from someone because ignorance, of the law is no excuse so if somebody says well i want to be healthy and then they never study what it takes to be healthy.
If they say, I want to lose weight, but they never study the human mechanics by which people lose weight, then they don't want to lose weight.
And I don't like to give people stand-ins for virtue. I don't like to give them substitutes for virtue. Intention is a substitute for virtue.

[54:56] If you act in ways that hurt people and you say, well, I never meant to hurt that person.
I didn't mean to. It wasn't my intention to hurt that that person.
I don't care. You hurt that person.
And I'm not going to give you the stand in for an excuse or a virtue called intention.
You did hurt that person. And the more you make excuses for it by claiming intention, the more likely you are to hurt that person again, right?
I mean, if I was play wrestling with my daughter and I hurt her in some manner, well, of course I didn't mean to, but I did.
And that's what matters. And I got to change my behavior to address and fix that, right?
So, yeah, the higher to lower value, there is no sacrifice.
The only thing that ever gets sacrificed is the truth. People avoid the truth in order to maintain the illusion of their own virtue and wisdom.
But that's because they prefer to do that.
So, anyway, I hope that helps. Thank you everyone so much for listening, for supporting.
Freedomain.com slash donate. Freedomain.com slash donate.
If you could help me out, particularly for this gorgeous, lovely lovely Christmas season.
I would very, very much appreciate it. And I hope you're all having a wonderful, wonderful holiday season.
And lots of love from up here. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

Blog Categories

May 2024

Recent Comments

    Join Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Community

    Become a part of the movement. Get exclusive content. Interact with Stefan Molyneux.
    Become A Member
    Already have an account? Log in
    Let me view this content first