Wresting With the Dead: HAPPINESS! - Transcript

Video: https://dai.ly/k3KUITMFC5GKXWAjKcC

Analyzing Bentham's happiness philosophy, the lecture stresses accuracy in arguments and the importance of moral judgment over societal pressures. It advocates for upholding universal moral principles and individual judgment for empowerment.

0:00:00 Wrestling with Philosophy: Jeremy Bentham's Greatest Happiness Principle
0:12:08 The Power of Moral Judgment: Slave vs. Master Hypocrisy
0:22:35 Healing Moral Wounds: The Role of Moral Judgment
0:30:52 Parenting for Happiness: The Importance of Moral Consistency
0:34:02 The Illusion of Happiness: Society's Role vs. Moral Judgment

Long Summary

In this extensive lecture, I delve into the philosophical arguments presented by Jeremy Bentham regarding the greatest happiness of the greatest number as the foundation of morals and legislation. I critique the tendency of philosophers to make popular statements that are then surrounded by qualifying statements, emphasizing the importance of wrestling with the core beliefs for which philosophers are known. I highlight the moral responsibility to accurately represent philosophical arguments and condemn deliberate misrepresentation as profoundly immoral.

I discuss the concept of sophistry as a call for power and how individuals may manipulate others by encouraging them to forgive without moral judgment, thus avoiding the responsibility of making moral assessments. I explain that moral judgment is a powerful tool that individuals often shy away from due to societal pressures and the association of judgment with negativity.

Furthermore, I explore the connection between moral judgment, happiness, and power dynamics. I stress the importance of adhering to universal moral principles and maintaining integrity to prevent falling into the trap of hypocrisy, which can be a sign of enslavement. I differentiate how hypocrisy can signify power when enforced upon others versus slavery when individuals are compelled to feign agreement or happiness.

I analyze the implications of societal messages that prioritize happiness over virtue, potentially leading to a passive acceptance of coercion and violence as means to achieve societal goals. I challenge the idea that legislation and government intervention can substitute for individual moral judgment and personal growth, underscoring the necessity of confronting past grievances and holding those responsible for moral wounds accountable. Ultimately, I advocate for the empowerment that comes from exercising moral judgment and upholding ethical principles despite societal pressures.


lecture, Jeremy Bentham, philosophy, happiness, critique, arguments, sophistry, moral judgment, power dynamics, universal moral principles, societal messages, virtue, legislation, individual moral judgment, empowerment


Wrestling with Philosophy: Jeremy Bentham's Greatest Happiness Principle

[0:00] Good morning, everybody. Hope you're doing well. Stefan Molyneux from Freedomain, wrestling with the dead this morning.
And I'll get to this guy in the History of Philosophy series at one point, but Jeremy Bentham, who wrote, and you've probably heard this about a zillion times before, he wrote, The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
Now, here's the thing. Philosophers will do this thing where they'll make a statement that gets popularized, and then they'll write a whole bunch of qualifying statements around it.
And then, if people disagree with the statement that is what makes them popular, they'll say, well, no, but it was more complex than this, that, and the other. I don't care. I don't care.
I don't care. If people say, oh, well, Steph argues that morals are universal and the initiation of force is immoral, yeah, okay.
I mean, there's a bunch of stuff I've written around that to justify and prove it, but the essence of that is absolutely correct, and I would stand by that, and I have stood by that for many, many, many years. years.
So when a philosopher is known for such a thing as this statement, the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation, well, that's kind of important.

[1:28] If then somebody says, well, but he meant for it to be constrained by this, that, or the other, or he didn't mean it in this sense or that sense or the other sense, I don't care.

[1:38] We have to wrestle with what philosophers are known for.
And philosophers know that they're going to be boiled down.
Now, of course, malevolent actors will boil down philosophers in a way that absolutely distorts their meaning. Like if he'd said, the moral proposition I disagree with most strongly is X, right?
If he'd said, if Jeremy Bentham had said, well, I really disagree with the argument that, quote, the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
Well, then, of course, that's just bad faith distortion and that's muddying the water. So that's profoundly immoral.
It's profoundly immoral. To misrepresent a moral argument is profoundly immoral.
And to knowingly, like to knowingly, obviously, misrepresent a moral argument.
In other words, if somebody had taken, I disagree with X and said, this guy here, he quoted X, right? Right.

[2:40] There was a a writer who had taken a feminist argument against men and substituted women for men to show how absurd it was.
And then for the rest of his natural born life, everybody said, well, he argued X.
And it's like, no, he was pointing out anyway. So this is just just bad faith nonsense.
But people are way too well paid for lying these days to expect them to tell the truth on any kind of regular basis.

[3:10] So we have to deal with what the philosophers have become popular for.
And again, you know, the philosophers will say, or their detractors, oh, sorry, their supporters would say, oh, but he meant X, Y, or Z.
It was more complicated than this, that, and the other. It's like, I don't care. We have to kind of deal with what has boiled into the main consciousness, right?
What people have dealt with and what happens. And, of course, you will see this.
You know, the greatest good for the greatest number is something that has become a trope in what is modernly laughingly called moral philosophy.
So yeah, that's what we have to deal with. That's what we have to work with.
So this is a sophist call for power, in my view.
I know I'm just saying, oh, don't misrepresent a moral argument.
Well, you know, be patient.
Maybe I make the case. Hopefully I make the case. I I think I'll make the case.
This is a sophist call for power.

[4:07] So generally, what the sophist does is he promises to take away, Your moral wounds, he says, I will take away the pain of your moral wounds without you having to judge morally.
I will take away the pain of your moral wounds without you having to judge morally.
So if you have been assaulted by your parents, of course, that gives you great and deep pain.
And someone comes along and says, oh, just forgive them.
Well, he's saying, then that will take away your pain. So he says, forgive your parents, and that will take away the pain of your moral wounds without you having to judge anything morally.
Just stop judging your parents, and you'll be fine. Just forgive your parents, and you'll be fine.
Your moral wound will vanish, and you won't have to judge morally.

[5:04] And that's what people do.
If you've been a failure in life, that's very painful to you.
And you have to judge yourself if you're going to have any chance of reversing it, or let's say for whatever reason it's too late to reverse it, at least you can be there as a warning to others as to the dangers of failure, right?
As to the dangers of failure.
So if you have failed in life, that's a wound for you.
Is it a moral wound? Probably, because one of the reasons you've failed in life is that you have not judged morally.
You've not judged morally.
Moral judgment is one of the greatest energy sources in the known universe.
Say it again. Say it with me. Moral judgment is one of the greatest energy sources in the known universe. in the same way that all universal judgments are the source of great power.

[6:01] Universal judgments in physics give you incredible power.
I mean, I'm having the power to speak to you because people made moral judgments in the realm, sorry, people made physical judgments in the realm of matter and energy to be able to translate my thoughts.
Bridges, airplanes, nuclear power, the gasoline engine, solar power, all of these are because people have made universal judgments in the realm of physics.
Nature to be commanded must be obeyed. All universal judgments carry within them the seeds of great energy.
Universal moral judgments carry within them the seeds of the greatest energy.
So if you've been a failure in life, it's almost certainly because you have refused to judge morally.
And those who want to control you will tell you that not judging is a great virtue.
And what they mean by that is, I want to emasculate you by taking away the mode of power of moral judgment, and instead, I wish to give you the pathological lassitude, the emasculation of non-judgment.
Judgment, moral judgment, is a marker of power.
Not moral judgment, non-moral judgment, is the mark of a slave, somebody who's subjugated, somebody who's conquered.

[7:27] The master can judge the slave.
Let's say the slave is lazy, the slave is inefficient, the slave is unmotivated, the slave is resentful, the slave is bad, the slave is disobedient.
All of these judgments can be handed down, but the slave cannot judge the master and cannot affect any judgments of the master.
So telling you not to judge is to put you into the mindset of a slave.
And I know people will, as my mind has, and maybe your mind has too, go to the Christian imperative, judge not, lest ye be judged.

[8:07] Judge not, lest ye be judged. But that doesn't mean don't have any moral judgment at all.
That's not what it means. It's not what it means.
What judge not, lest ye be judged. What it means, and this is Christianity 101.
Of course you're going to be judged.
God judges you, both in the moment and certainly at the end of your life, when the accounting becomes due. God judges you. Of course he does.
But you don't get to judge what is or is not universal morality.
So, if you want to sort of understand the relationship between UPB and Christianity, then when christians refer to god as the objective universal source of human morality well upb is the objective universal definition of human morality so in the realm of physics this would be like if you think that you can invent on the fly the laws of physics your life will not be very good or long, right?
So if you think that you can run off a cliff, flap your arms and fly, you will die.
You are not the arbiter, creator, and inventor of the laws of physics.
The laws of physics exist independent of your consciousness and universal in their application.

[9:31] Mean, if you've ever been in a pool where there's warm spots and cold spots, you don't sit there and think, wow, I guess the laws of physics have changed.
You say, no, there's uneven heating or heaven forbid you're in the kiddie section, somebody's peed.
So in the realm of nature to be commanded must be obeyed. If you wish to have a sane and rational life, you cannot create and invent physical rules to your own convenience, and it will not be to your own convenience. convenience.
If you judge that the laws of physics can be suspended and reversed at your convenience, the laws of physics will judge you as insane and wipe you out.
Does this make sense? Judge not lest ye be judged.
If I think I can run off a cliff, flap my arms and fly, I'm going to plunge to my death to the rocks below.
I think I can create the laws of physics. The laws of physics say, nah, and I don't have a very good day.
Judge not lest ye be judged is you cannot invent your own morality, because if you try to invent your own morality, your conscience will mess you up, because your conscience is the part of your universal processing brain that exists independently of opinion and relentlessly detects hypocrisy.
And one of the reasons we've evolved to detect hypocrisy is that if we are powerful, we can exercise hypocrisy. If we are not powerful, we cannot.

[10:59] So we do need to be able to detect hypocrisy because if we detect hypocrisy, we are most likely detecting somebody who has brutal power over us because they have the capacity to be hypocritical.
As people say, ah, but if the situations were reversed or whatever, or the guy who wrote the argument that was anti-feminist by taking a feminist argument and switching the genders, he's like, well, but it's hypocritical.
And it's like well yeah that's that's how you know somebody has power is they can continue to be hypocritical without repercussion so judge not lest you be judged is not don't have, moral arguments that you apply to others otherwise those moral arguments would be applied to you that's not what it means at all it means don't invent morality because your conscience will will judge you as a rank hypocrite.
Don't invent morality, because your conscience will judge you as a rank hypocrite, and others will judge you as a rank hypocrite.
And, of course, when Christianity came along, Christians had no power.

The Power of Moral Judgment: Slave vs. Master Hypocrisy

[12:09] In fact, they were subjugated by the state, and executed by the state on a regular basis.

[12:15] Judge not, lest ye be judged, is don't invent your own moral rules, rules because your conscience knows you're lying and will judge you.
And also, don't be hypocritical by inventing your own moral rules, because if you're hypocritical and have no power, you're going to get imprisoned or killed.
Hypocrisy is a throw for those who have power. It's a marker of power.
So I just wanted to sort of mention that. It's very important.
Don't invent your own morals, or you will be judged by your own conscience and those around you as corrupt.

[12:52] And if you invent your own morals, the only way you'll be able to enforce your judgments, you can't do it through reason, you can't do it through an example, you can't do it through your demonstration of integrity.
If you invent your own morals, all you'll be able to do is try to enforce them through sophistry manipulation, appeals to authority or brute force.
So, Jeremy Bentham comes along and says, says the greatest happiness for the greatest number is the sole purpose of morals and legislation.
So what's he saying? He's saying, again, this is my interpretation.
I think that's to be understood naturally. What is he saying? He's saying...

[13:34] That you have a wound, which is that the people in your community when you were younger were not dedicated to your happiness.
Now, being dedicated to someone's happiness is a ridiculously subjective status or a ridiculously subjective goal on every conceivable level, right?
Being devoted to somebody's happiness is so ridiculously subjective, it can't even be measured on the subjectivity scale.
Subjectivity scale is a sideways eight. It's infinity. It's infinity.
So, gosh, on what what level could we process this if i say i want to make you happy i'm relying on a double subjective measure that changes depending on the time frame right now this is what i mean it's as subjective a measure as you could possibly imagine because it is a double subjective measure measure that changes on different time frames.
It's subjective in the person who you want to make happy, whether their happiness is real or not, true or false.
It's happiness in that your definition of what makes somebody else's happy might be different from theirs, may be correct or incorrect.
And also, happiness changes on a time scale.
So you've got double subjectivity.

[15:04] Side of the relationship, and then you have subjectivity over time.
So what do I mean by that? Well, let's say that you're addicted to drugs, and I come along and say, I want to make you happy.
Then I'm going to take away your drugs. Let's say I could do this somehow, right? Then take away your drugs. Does that make you happy? No, it makes you miserable.
Now, will it make you happy, or might it make you happier in a year after you've gone through all the withdrawal, and maybe you've switched up your social environment to the point where you aren't hanging around with with a bunch of druggy losers.
Yeah, it might make you happier in a while. Can I measure your happiness objectively?

[15:40] No. I mean, you could say, well, what's the level of dopamine or this, that, the other, right?
But the level of dopamine may not be the result of what Jeremy Bentham would mean by happiness.
If a guy thinks he's about to get charged for a crime he committed, and then he doesn't get charged for that crime, then he's going to feel great relief, great happiness, dopamine's going to flood his system, but nobody would say that the purpose of society is to give people great relief by not charging them for violent crimes they've committed.
What does happiness can be? Relief at getting away with something.
So yeah, it's a crazy, it's a completely mental standard.
Also, happiness, and we can talk particularly, I'm not going to do brain chemistry measurement because that wasn't available when Jeremy Bentham was writing or all these other d-bags who talk about this stuff. Happiness can of course be faked.
Happiness can be faked.

[16:37] Do it as parents all the time. No, that's unfair. I was, yeah, sorry. I was just, I was thinking whether that's a fair statement.
Occasionally, right? Occasionally. No, for the most part.
No, we don't really. But sometimes. Like, oh, the, yeah, you can have a blinding headache and your kid's done something mildly decent and you're like, yeah, good job.
You know, I mean, a little bit, right? But we fake it.
I mean, we do this all the time. if you get a present that's not great but just okay but you appreciate the effort you're like oh no it's perfect i love it right right we can we can have a bad day we can be in the grocery store somebody says how's your day going the cashier or whatever say it's good yeah it's fine it's good the pretense of happiness is generally how people manipulate others the pretense of happiness or unhappiness right i mean this is the tradition of the nagging wife right that the The Bible says it's better to live on a corner of the roof than in the house with a contentious woman.

[17:38] So with a contentious wife, what she does is she says, if you do what I want, I'll be happy.
If you don't do what I want, I'll be unhappy and I'll tell you and I'll slam cupboard doors and I'll grumble and I won't give you any affection and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right?
So that's how we manipulate people, right? Right?
You know, dictatorships say, if you do what I want, I'll leave you alone.
If you don't do what I want, I'll throw you in a gulag.
Right? And then it's the happiness or unhappiness of those in charge rather than any morality.

[18:14] And there are some people who prefer being in jail. I saw a documentary with a guy who was like, oh yeah, no, it's way better for me in jail.
When I wasn't in jail, I was just doing drugs and doing all the wrong things and stealing.
And now I'm in jail, I don't do any of that stuff, and I get, you know, three hearts and a card, and it's good. It's better for me, right?
There was a guy who won the lottery, I think, in Canada, and he ended up blowing his money on drugs and so on, and he ended up being better.
He said, oh, it's better for me in jail. I can't access my money, can't access the drugs.
And sorry, just to circle back, I forgot to mention earlier, the end of that thought, just, you know, a little bit of suspense is great in the endless season of free domain, I mean, but a cliffhanger.
People who are losers, and they're losers and failures because they have failed to apply moral judgment and failed to get the energy they need in life by applying moral judgment, sophists come along and say, it's not you, it's the system.
That's right. It's the system.
It's systemic X, Y, and Z. You don't have access to the means of production.
There's bigotry everywhere. You can't get ahead.

[19:26] What they're doing is harnessing your frustration and pointing it in a direction of, quote, morality, of pretend morality that's going to serve their pursuit of power.

[19:35] Capitalists, particularly mid-level capitalists, small business owners and bourgeoisie and so on, they don't like growth of the state, right?
So what the sophists do, particularly on the hard left, is they say, oh, you failure, did you not get the life or wife that you wanted?
Hey, you know whose fault it is?
The small landowner who stole your ancestors' land.
And that way they weaponize the shame and self-recrimination of the people who failed in life and pointed at their enemies to destroy the small landowners so that the hard left can take over.
I talked about this in my documentary on China.
It's unbelievable to me to imagine what would have happened to the world if all of China had been Hong Kong. It would have been incredible.
We'd be past Mars at this point. So the sophist comes along and says, you have a wound.
You have a wound, and in particular, you have a moral wound.
The moral wound is, of course, if your parents assault you for being, quote, bad, then you have a moral wound in that your parents are supposed to love you, but they assaulted you, and they used, as their excuse for assaulting you, a moral justification that you were bad, and they were trying to discipline you and punish you to make you good, and all this kind of nonsense, right?
So, you have a moral wound. And the sophist comes along and says...

[21:05] Going to numb your moral wound by giving you an excuse to refrain from judging morally.
If somebody morally wounds you, you judge them as immoral, right?
If your parent beats you because your parent says you're bad, but doesn't beat you in public and doesn't like it when you, use any kind of aggression in your life, you know, this usual kind of hypocrisy that we've gone over literally a thousand plus times in call-in shows.
If your parent wounds you morally, then you judge your parent as immoral.
I mean, if somebody accidentally injures you, that's one thing, but if somebody purposefully injures you, claims it's for a moral purpose when it's not, it's for reasons of power and humiliation and leveling and so on, then you have a moral wound. And how do you heal a moral wound?

[21:57] Well, you judge the person who gave you the moral wound as immoral and you work to secure yourself from their danger, right?
So either by them admitting that what they did was immoral and promising to reform and change and improve and not give you more wounds psychologically or morally and not give your children psychological and moral wounds improvement, right?
Or whatever else you need to do to stay safe.
It might mean taking a break from the relationship, could be any number of things, right? But whatever you need to do to to stay safe.
So, somebody who wounds you morally, the natural response is to judge that person as immoral and to get yourself safe.

Healing Moral Wounds: The Role of Moral Judgment

[22:36] And that way, you stop having salt rubbed into the wound forever and ever. Amen.

[22:41] So, Jeremy Bentham, though, says that the purpose of morality is the happiness of others. No.
The purpose of parenting is to give the child the greatest chance of happiness through reasoned moral consistency.
The purpose of parenting is to give the child the greatest chance of happiness through reasoned moral consistency.

[23:07] Don't hit your child and say to your child, don't hit others.
You don't yell at your child and then say to your child, don't you dare raise your voice.
You're just not a rank, repulsive, moral hypocrite.
And you model moral integrity and the happiness that you get thereby, and sometimes the pain.
Moral integrity comes with a great deal of pain, which is why hedonism is, you understand, hedonism is inflicted on society so that people don't challenge the moral authority of those in charge because they say well the purpose of life is happiness you got to be happy don't don't worry be happy there was a great in one of the toilet stalls in my high school somebody had written don't worry be a dummy which always stuck in my brain because if people tell you that the purpose of life is happiness you know live life laugh love whatever it is right live laugh laugh Anyway.

[23:59] So if they sell you that the purpose of life is happiness, then they're steering you away from discomfort.
If the purpose of life is happiness rather than virtue, I'm sorry, when I say the purpose of life is virtue, purpose has to be something you can control.
You can't say the purpose of my life is to be six foot three tall or have blue eyes or the purpose of life is to keep my natural hair or, you know, that's not a purpose because you have no control over your height.
You have no control over your eye color. you have no control over whether you keep your natural hair or not you know outside of occasional medical things so the purpose of life has to be that which you can control now.

[24:39] Life is is happiness but the purpose of life is morality because you can't control happiness, because that's an emotional state but you can control your moral integrity you know whether you tell the truth whether you speak up whether you assist evil whether you resist where possible and legal right so yeah so they say that the purpose of your life is happiness which means you keep aiming for happiness, which means that morality, which comes with significant levels of discomfort, is not something that you're going to do.
You won't be moral if the purpose of your life is happiness.
So this is why in society they try to sell you this relentless happy, happy, joy, joy stuff, because if you're unhappy, that's considered to be the worst thing.
It's a sin against the eternal commandment of be happy.
And this is why people struggling with with unhappiness, what are they told to do?
Oh, take a pill, go to the gym, get sunlight.
You know, I don't know. You go into the gym and get in sunlight.
It's probably not the worst thing in the world.
But how about you're unhappy because you're a moral hypocrite?
And I say this, I've been a moral hypocrite in my life. Absolutely.
And it made me miserable. It really did. Because it's a mark of slavery.

[26:00] Sorry. And I just want to be clear about this because my head just spun a a little here because i said earlier that hypocrisy was a mark of power now i'm saying hypocrisy is a mark of slavery and i just want to be clear on that because that's obviously completely confusing and not a failure but an inconsistency in clarity of communication so.

[26:21] The man in power the master he can be a moral hypocrite at the expense of the slave the slave can't really do anything about it the slave has to be a moral hypocrite to the benefit of the the master, right?
The slave may hate the master but can't show it, has to pretend that he's happy to be a slave, that he's happy to serve the family or the plantation or the Roman Empire or whatever, right?
And so hypocrisy in service of power is the mark of a slave.

[26:52] Hypocrisy at the expense of the victim is a mark of power. So I just wanted to be clear about that because I wasn't being clear about it.
And it's like, well, wait, you said it was one thing. Now you're saying it's the opposite.
So I just want to be sort of clear about that, right? Right.
I mean, and we all have experienced this.
Even if you had a great family, you probably had a teacher who kind of sucked.
And what you did was you said to your teacher, yes, here's my homework.
You know, I'm in school. You don't criticize or question the teacher.
You don't say you're not inspiring. You suck. You're confusing.
I don't understand what you're saying. None of this makes any sense.
It all seems pointless and irrelevant. You can't be honest.
So it's kind of a forced, subjugated hypocrisy to show up in class and do the work, even though in a voluntary situation, you wouldn't do it.
I mean, hopefully you're finding value in what it is I'm doing here, and I'm not giving you credit, I'm not giving you a degree, I'm not, you know, this might make your life more difficult, probably will for a while, but you show up here because there's a value in what it is that I'm doing.
But you went to school, and you couldn't say, you know, to the teacher, well, I kind of hate everything you're doing, but I have to be here because my parents are forcing me to be here and they're forced to pay for it and right so let's let's not pretend we're having fun like there's no prisoner in prison there's no inmate in a jail who says he loves being in jail right.

[28:17] The best state given how terrible their lives are outside of jail, but there's nobody in the prison who has loyalty and fealty and loves and respects the prison guards, right? They don't have to fake it.
They're more honest in a way, or they're allowed to be more honest.
They're allowed to be resentful of where they are, which kids in school aren't allowed.
Prisoners have more freedom than kids in school sometimes. I mean, in terms of their expression, their honesty, they don't they don't have to fake it so you've got a wound based upon mistreatment and particularly moral mistreatment and i come along and say well moral judgment is the key that's going to release you from your misery because when you morally judge something when you have moral judgment you are putting yourself automatically in a position of power and authority whether you you have any in the legal or technical sense is absolutely unimportant in your mind.
The slave is terrified to judge morally, which means as long as you avoid judgment, moral judgment, you are putting yourself in the position of enslavement.
Story of your enslavement, right? It's one of my biggest videos, judge morally.

[29:30] Now, you don't judge morality, in other words, you don't create your own morality, but you use universal morals to judge.
And what we do is we expose the virtue of those who had power over us, particularly when we were younger, by asking them to live by the values they inflicted on us, right?
So you've heard me say this a million times in call-in shows, that...

[29:57] Would punish the child sometimes violently and the child was not allowed to say well i'm doing the best i can with the knowledge i had but when the child grows up becomes an adult and says to the parents you did wrong they say oh we did the best we could but the knowledge we had you can't judge us we're doing the best we could i had a bad childhood myself blah blah blah so they create excuses that they never would have allowed for their child well that's just a mark of moral hypocrisy and to be able to judge that is to empower yourself i can't give you energy i can It can only give you the power of moral judgment.
Now, you don't want that power to be abusive, which is why your moral judgment has to be objective and philosophical, not, yeah, well, F you, you know, that kind of stuff, right?
Like, you judge me with moral hypocrisy, I judge you with moral hypocrisy.
That is just getting enmeshed in a bottomless fight, or a fight to the bottom that has no bottom, rather than being free.

Parenting for Happiness: The Importance of Moral Consistency

[30:52] So Jeremy Bentham and people like that they come along and they say well yeah okay so I mean unconsciously I assume I can't prove obviously it's my sort of theory but come along and they say well you have an unconscious wound and the people weren't dedicated to your happiness, of course I want my daughter to be happy but you know that doesn't mean obviously just you know giving her candy and letting her laze around and watch you know silly videos all day I want her to to be happy, and being happy involves, you know, fighting for the good, the right, the moral, the, you know, peacefully, reasonably, blah, blah, blah.

[31:24] So, the modeling integrity and not being hypocritical and not implying a rule to her that I wouldn't accept myself and so on, right?
It's just a matter of integrity, and she is a very, she's a very happy person.

[31:38] So, if you didn't have people dedicated to your long-term happiness as a child, you have a moral wound in that people People exploited you, maybe they abused you, maybe they neglected you, but they sure as heck weren't dedicated to your long-term happiness.
And Lord above knows, teachers in general are not concerned with the children's long-term happiness because there's no studies, right? There's no studies, right?
There are no, I mean, are there long-term studies comparing various different kinds of education to children's long-term happiness?
Nope. No, they just, they want a paycheck. They want to get out of work by 3.30. They want summers off.
Then a lot of them want power over children. A lot of them are ideologues who have bad arguments and therefore are drawn to children because children are defenseless.

[32:24] You could win $10 million by becoming the world boxing champion, and you could either fight, you know, Mike Tyson in his prime or a whole bunch of little kids.
Well, you'd fight the whole bunch of little kids if you were amoral.
And if you have bad arguments and want control over the population, then you have to target the children because you're a bad fighter, but they're defenseless.
Not only are they defenseless, their parents support. Listen to a teacher, right? They're marinated and thrown into the lion's den, so to speak.

[32:54] So you grow up with a wound. People weren't focused on my happiness.
And then a philosopher comes along, quote philosopher, a sophist comes along and says, well, your happiness is the job of others.
See, it's the job of an abstract thing called ethics. It's the job of legislation.
It's the job of the state to make you happy, rather than saying, well, no, as a child, those who weren't dedicated to your long-term happiness were not great parents.
They were maybe bad parents, bad teachers, bad whoever, right?
But they weren't dedicated to your long-term happiness, and that's a shame.
And now they weren't dedicated to your long-term happiness because they didn't love you, right?
You can't say, I abuse my child and I love my child, right? right?
I mean, you could say it, but no sane person would believe it, right?
That would be like saying, I really enjoy my child's company, but I spend as little time with my child as humanly possible.
I neglect my child, I abandon my child, all these kinds of things, right?

[33:56] So you've got a wound, a moral wound that can only be healed by moral judgment.

The Illusion of Happiness: Society's Role vs. Moral Judgment

[34:02] But what Bentham and the utilitarians do is they say, well, it's the job of society to make you happy, not moral judgment of those who abused neglected or indoctrinated you moral anger against those moral judgment against those people that's the path to happiness no no do they say no no it's it's a social thing it's a quote moral thing like some abstract thing that the purpose of morality is the greatest happiness of the greatest number and so they say don't worry society government laws legislation legislation and this abstract thing called, quote, morality, which is not something you need to act on, well, that's going to cure your psychic wound. And this leaves you passive.
And, you know, the great fear of unjust power is that people have objective moral reasoning and can expose the hypocrisies and brutalities of unjust power.
And, of course, if, let's say, there's legislation to to make people happy while legislation is enforced through coercion.

[35:11] Not only people like Jeremy Bentham and the utilitarians offering to take away your wound, by taking away your capacity to judge those who wounded you morally, but they're also saying that violence, coercion, produces happiness.
And that's right back to how most people are treated as children, where aggression is supposed to produce virtue.
Violence is supposed to produce virtues virtue you hit a child to make the child good right you see all these kids running around running amok and people are like they need a good weapon well the problem is of course a lot of these kids come from a single mother households they come from broken homes they come from places where they've already been subject to a lot of coercion right the money that the mothers get is is debt or or money printing counterfeiting or debt or you know direct coercive transfers for us they grow up in government-run housing and government-run neighborhoods with government-run streets and government-run schools and right so the idea that well more coercion that's going to be the answer it's like nope that's that's not you know they're already the products of coercion for the most part and can treat it badly often at home so yeah so yeah the wrestling with the dead to me the jeremy bentham stuff is uh is pure poison the purpose of politicians that make you happy. My God.

[36:33] Well, it's just a way of saying you don't have to deal with the people who weren't concerned with your own happiness as a child. You don't have to judge them morally.
You don't have to approach them, reason with them. You don't have to confront them.
You don't have to be honest about how you were mistreated and how it made you feel and how it still makes you feel. No, no, no, no.
Don't do any of that. Don't have any moral judgment. Don't be the engine of your own moral integrity and virtue.
No, no, no, no. See, all you need to do is just let the government handle it.
Yeah, that's the ticket. Let the government and the laws and the policemen and the politicians. Yeah.
Yeah. You got a psychic wound called nobody cared about your happiness.
Well, surrender more of your rights to politicians. Surrender more of your money to politicians.
They'll totally work to just make everyone as happy as humanly possible.
Oh my God. It's Like, it's utterly repulsive and ridiculously commonplace. All right.
I hope that this helps. Thank you so much for listening. As always, lots of love from up here.
Freedomain.com slash donate. If you could help out, I would really, really, really appreciate it. Freedomain.com slash donate.
Lots of love from up here. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

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May 2024

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