Wresting With the Dead: The Unexamined Life - Transcript

Video: https://dai.ly/x8vwkwi


0:00 The Inspiration Behind Wrestling with the Dead Series
0:35 The Rule and Its Consequences
0:57 The Judge on the Pillar
1:13 Observing the World's Descent into Chaos
1:54 Evil's Persistence Despite Philosophical Guidance
2:45 The Truth Behind "Crazy" Concepts
2:58 Embracing the Seemingly Crazy Truths
3:15 Philosophy's Failure in Protecting from Evil
3:58 Reevaluation of Rules Based on Consequences
4:41 The Questioning of Philosophy's Purpose
4:53 Revisiting Socrates' "Unexamined Life" Statement
5:04 Challenging the Value of Self-Examination
5:48 Examining the Lives of Powerful Figures
6:25 Questioning the Value of Self-Reflection
6:55 Examining Lives of Those in Authority
7:18 The Empirical Evidence of Self-Examination
8:20 Reconsidering the Value of Self-Examination
9:15 The Failure of Philosophers to Combat Evil
10:06 Philosophy's Role in Preventing Evil
10:55 Philosophy's Value in Moral Guidance
11:17 Philosophy's Alleged Role in Power Dynamics
12:07 The State's Influence on Philosophy
12:27 Wrestling with the Failure of Philosophy
13:34 Disempowerment through Doubt and Skepticism
14:20 The Paralyzing Effect of Doubt in Society
14:56 The Illusion of Secret Misery in the Powerful
15:22 The Love for Power and its Realities
15:47 Understanding Human Attraction to Power
16:34 Challenging Notions of Misery in Power
16:53 The Subjectivity of Self-Examination
17:43 The Legal System's Treatment of Socrates
18:05 The Lack of Answers in Moral Discourse
18:36 The Illusion of Misery in the Powerful
19:08 Examining Hitler's Unexamined Life
19:57 The Lack of Progress in Self-Examination
20:27 The Impact of Philosophical Pursuits on Society
21:01 Philosophy's Influence on Societal Development
22:02 Uncovering the Scam of Philosophy
22:34 Moral Certainty and Relativism
23:11 The Paralyzing Effect of Epistemological Doubt
24:04 The Impact of Doubt on Society's Defense Systems
24:41 Doubt's Influence on Public Discourse
25:31 The Delegation of Societal Control to the Decisive
26:15 Challenging Notions of Self-Examination

Long Summary

The speaker delves into the significance of their series, "Wrestling with the Dead," presenting a deep intensity and energy behind their work. Drawing inspiration from the movie "No Country for Old Men," a quote regarding the futility of rules that lead to undesirable
outcomes is explored. The focus shifts to the role of philosophers over 5,000 years in combating evil and protecting humanity, highlighting the failures in preventing atrocities like democide and the rising tide of corruption. The speaker questions the effectiveness of philosophical teachings in addressing societal evils and laments the lack of progress in promoting virtue and battling malevolence. The theme of examining life's purpose and the efficacy of philosophical doctrines is scrutinized, challenging the notion that the unexamined life is not worth living.


Wrestling with the Dead, No Country for Old Men, Failures of Philosophers, Combating Evil, Philosophical Teachings, Promoting Virtue, Malevolence, Disconnect Between Ideals and Outcomes, Fostering Accountability, Critical Thinking, Resisting Oppressive Systems, Moral Enlightenment, Ethical Discourse, Corruption, Moral Decay


[0:00] So I will tell you the reasons fundamentally behind my Wrestling with the Dead series, why it's happening, why it's so important to me, why there's so much, I don't know if you can feel it, this peculiar but deep intensity and energy behind what it is that I'm doing.
So there's a movie that makes no sense but has some great scenes in it, No Country for Old Men by the Coen Brothers, and in it, Xavier Barden plays a hitman whose only real crime is his haircut, and he has essay, a statement, which is very sort of deep and powerful when he's going to kill people.

[0:36] And he says, if the rule you were following brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
If the rule you were following brought you to this, of what use was the rule?

[0:50] So I stand, and I feel this height, and rightly or wrongly, I just tell you my experience.
You can judge it for yourself, of course. But I feel this height.
I'm on this very tall pillar.
And I'm a judge. And the judgment is reason. The judgment is not me.
And I look at the assembled throngs of prior philosophers.

[1:14] And I look at the world that is, descending into chaos and evil.
And the job of the philosopher is to protect human beings from evil, to identify evil, to give people the tools to understand it, to oppose it, to diminish its power and effect, right?
The purpose of a doctor is to keep you healthy, to protect you from disease and decay as best he can.
The job of the philosopher is to protect you from evil, to keep you from corruption and falsehood as best best he can.
For 5,000 years, philosophers have had one job, which is to protect humanity from evil.

[1:55] And we have listened to them, and we have followed their rules, and we have tried to combat evil, yet evil remains ascendant in the world.
Democide in the 20th century, which was the murder of people by their own governments, not even including war, as you well know, was a quarter of a billion people the death count of communism well over 100 million fascism tens of millions, so it's in terms of the death count it's getting worse far worse so for me what i do, and i'm i recognize and it doesn't matter to me right the vainglorious aspect of it the megalomaniacal aspect i'm going to judge all the philosophers i get it's crazy but it doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter that you think it's crazy. I mean, relativism, the theory of relativity seems

[2:42] crazy, right? Time slows down as you get faster. That seems, who cares?
Seems crazy. It doesn't matter if it's true.
I mean, the fact that the cure for bad speech or hate speech or whatever is more free speech, right?
The cure for bad speech is more speech. That seems non-intuitive, right?

[2:59] But it's still true. The fact that the world is round when it looks flat seems crazy. It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter that it seems crazy what I'm doing. The question is, is it true?

[3:10] So we have listened to philosophers for 5,000 years, and here's where we are as a species.
Child abuse in many ways is getting worse because of the destruction of the nuclear family massive debt is enslaving the next generation childhood quote education is almost pure, brain shredding indoctrination counterfeiting is the coin of the realm in every country in the world so this is five thousand years of listening to philosophers who have one job which is to to protect us from evil, and where's evil?
So, this is why wrestling with the dead is so important to me.

[3:48] Philosophers have given us all these rules, these arguments, these ideas, these perspectives, these syllogisms.

[3:55] They've given us all these rules, and we try to follow them.
But as the hitman says in No Country for Old Men, if the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?
Isn't that the empirical evidence of 5,000 years of philosophy is this, where virtue has been allowed to flourish and productivity has been allowed to flourish only to serve evil.
Capitalism was allowed to flourish in order to provide resources that could be stolen by evildoers and in order to provide collateral through which the general population could gorge themselves on the flesh of future generations with massive, hysterical, hyper-moralizing consumption in the here and now.

[4:38] We have followed philosophy, and philosophy has brought us to this.
If we followed philosophy, and philosophy has brought us to this, of what use was philosophy?

[4:46] To wit, point in case, today's wrestling with the dead is Socrates' famous statement,

[4:51] the unexamined life is not worth living.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
Well, isn't that just obviously, completely, totally, and plainly false?

[5:05] I mean, do you think Genghis Khan examined his life and delved into his history and tried to understand his own motivations and dealt with his trauma and his abuse? And Napoleon, did he? No.

[5:18] Yet, it seems like they very much enjoyed what they did because they kept doing it even when they weren't paid.
I mean, if you look at the sort of Adels, Cryptkeeper gerontocracy that runs most Western countries, these people could have retired decades ago.
I mean, they could have retired 30, 40, 50 years ago, at least for politics, and would have had more than enough money for the rest of their lives,

[5:43] given the skeevy trades that they often do, I assume, with some level of insider information.
So they could have not, they don't have to get up and do this.
Do we think that senior powerful politicians have examined their own lives and understand themselves and have applied Socratic skepticism to their own moral certainties? Of course not.
We're ruled entirely by people who don't examine their own lives, who are swept up in the mammalian Nietzschean will to power and domination and theft that has characterized most of human history.
In almost every place people have ever lived.

[6:25] The unexamined life is not worth living? Tell that to the various soft and hard dictators around the world. The unexamined life is not worth living?
Tell that to the people making a massive amount of fortunes off pillaging childhood innocence and happiness for the sake of environmental hysteria.
What about the people who peddle endless lies in the media?
What about the people who, rich and poor, who feed off the body politic of the military-industrial complex, the welfare-warfare state.

[6:55] The people who run various shadowy security organizations or alphabet soup organizations throughout the West, the unexamined life.
Literally, people stopped the peace process in Ukraine, resulting in the slaughter of what, half a million people?

[7:14] Is there life? The unexamined life is not worth living. No, no, quite the contrary.

[7:18] I mean, if you just look at the empirical evidence, and of course, Socrates had no shortage of empirical evidence in his day about the unexamined life and whether it was worth living.
The unexamined life is not worth living. My gosh, the unexamined life is the best short-term strategy to acquire resources for your offspring because you're not bound down by ethical hiccups and concerns and you're not overburdened with empathy and you can pillage and exploit and destroy and consume at will without interruption, without hesitation, without end.
Well, I mean the end being the mathematics of pillaging, which is always a general collapse.
But the predators that live among us, do they say, oh, well, you know, I guess my life isn't worth living because it's unexamined.
The unexamined life is not worth living.

[8:20] Yet he who increaseth in knowledge also increaseth in sorrow.
The unexamined life is not worth living. I mean, it does seem to me quite the opposite that that the powerful who have not examined their own lives rule over us with an iron fist.

[8:37] And obviously consider their life well worth living because they continue to do it even when they don't have to, right?
Whatever a man does after he wins the lottery is what he most wants to do, and the people who are into political power will generally hang on to that political power as long as possible and give it up only when dead or some term a little bit kicks in or something like that, right? right?
So they love doing it even when they've made more than enough money to retire, right?
I remember John McCain with this big giant tumor coming in and voting in some thing. It's like, man, just spend some time with your grandkids.
Like, what are you doing?
You're dying and you're voting. You're being Mr. Politics.

[9:16] And yet people repeat this as if it's some deep profundity despite all of the empirical evidence of the brutal oligarchical hierarchies of power that that grind human being into regular atomic bloody dust every day, almost everywhere that human beings exist.
Have you known people who do great evil, who repent and reform themselves?
No, they continue, they double down, and so on. And there's a reason why, in Christianity, the treasure of the persecuted is in heaven, because it ain't going to end in the here and now.
Now, philosophers have either been unwilling, end the scourge of evil or to give humanity the tools to oppose the scourge

[10:04] of evil, they've either been unwilling or unable.
Now, if philosophy is unable to prevent evil, then it's like a doctor who says, or medicine as a whole will be unable to prevent disease.
So it's a scam, right? It's a scam.
If you claim that wisdom and knowledge, knowledge reason equals virtue equals happiness but you can't deliver it then it's a scam right it's like somebody who sells you dousing rods and then says oh this is how you'll find water.

[10:38] Or you know there's six million different scams around the world where people make claims completely unverified you know i read this morning on x that oh japan the japanese government has banned mrna shots there's no source for it there's no reality it doesn't appear to be true,

[10:53] Maybe just say stuff, it's a lie and it's a scam.
So if philosophy is a lie and a scam, then people should stop pretending there's such a thing as morality.
People should stop pretending that there's such a thing as virtue or it can be achieved or whatever, right?
Because then what philosophy is really for, if it's not true, right?
If it can't protect human beings from evil or even define it or give them the

[11:14] tools to oppose it or prevent it, hopefully, then it's a total scam.
And if it's a total scam, then what it is invented for is to keep the conscientious and the morally sensitive from competing with the brutal and the dominant, to keep the empaths from competing with the sociopaths, to keep the, quote, moral people or the nice people from competing with the immoral people.
So philosophy is then intended to serve the cold-hearted, red-fisted grabbers and holders of power.
It's there to prevent opposition to those in power, right?

[11:52] There as a tool to subjugate. I mean, you can sort of see this with Hobbes' famous statement that in a state of nature, man's life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, right?
So, without government, we're all dead. It's just there to serve the state, right?

[12:07] It's just there to serve the state. Now, Hegel's right.
I mean, the state is there. The world spirit moves through particular governments who have dominance over the rest of society when the world spirit chooses to give them dominance over the rest of the world and so on.
Not a great idea to give Germans as a a whole, given how efficient and occasionally cold-hearted they can be as a culture.

[12:27] So yeah, the idea that philosophy cannot protect you, or the understanding that philosophy historically has not been able to protect people from evil, either in their political life or in their personal life, this is a very important understanding to have. It's failed.
It's failed. The wrestling with the dead is, why did you deliver us unto evil?
Why did you deliver us us unto evil either you didn't know what you were doing or you colluded with evil and that's why you're promoted of course i mean maybe they were really great maybe they were really great philosophers in the past who didn't collude with evil but we don't know of them because they would have vanished and been suppressed and right all of that but why why did you deliver us why is there being a big giant conveyor belt that moralists have set up constructed and hit the accelerate button on that is delivering human beings into the furnace of raw power and disassembling us to our component atoms as time goes on. Why?
Our philosophers delivered us unto evil.
If we followed their rules, and their rules have led us to this world, of what use were their rules? Of what use were their rules?

[13:34] The unexamined life is not worth living? What he's doing then is he's saying, well, you should examine your life. You should think about thinking.
You should Be skeptical. You should be doubtful. You should be this.
And that just disempowers people in the face of the brutality of the decisive souls unburdened by empathy or sensitivity or doubt. doubt, right?
If you want to beat a really good chess opponent and you can somehow convince that chess opponent that there's no such thing as chess or his hand or gravity or the pieces can arbitrarily change their definition, there's no such thing as victory, and he should doubt everything that he sees and does, you've paralyzed him and you've eliminated him from the chess competition.

[14:21] Sowing the seeds of doubt is a way of keeping the morally sensitive from competing Feeding with decisive brutes that compose the majority of those who manage and murder mankind.
The unexamined life is not worth living?
There are serial killers who live to a ripe old age who really, really, really don't want to get caught and enjoy killing.
Is it fair to say that a serial killer mass murderous life is unexamined?
Yes. Is it not worth living?
Well, no, but secretly he's miserable.

[14:56] There's no evidence, but secretly, right? Some politician who rules and trades and becomes fantastically wealthy and lies and is corrupt. No, no, no. But secretly, they're super unhappy.
And deep down, it's like, Based on what?
The fantasy that there's a secret misery in the furnace hearts of the amoral power seekers is what? Where's the evidence?

[15:19] Where's the evidence? They keep doing what they're doing.
They love what they're doing. They don't quit. If you've got politicians in their 80s still continuing, they love doing what they're doing.
They enjoy it. They get happy about it.
They get fantastically wealthy. They're famous. They have a lot of power and people love power. Everybody everybody loves power.
I mean, moral people love power over themselves through discipline and certainty and virtue, and immoral people love power over others through lies and brutality.

[15:46] But yeah, people love power.
We didn't get to be the apex predator of the species by not loving power, but people love power.
And they, oh no, but secretly they're addicted and secretly they're miserable.
Okay, I understand that.
Now, once or twice in my life, I've managed to confront evil evil people and see the hellscape that goes on inside, but there's no particular evidence that the people who gain and achieve power are secretly miserable.
If we judge them by the empiricism of their actions, they like doing what they're doing, they enjoy it, they return to it, they won't quit But even when they're old and could and have more than enough money for 10 generations,

[16:31] they keep doing it. No, no, but secretly they're miserable.
Well, that's just the curse of a slave, right?
The slave's curse is to believe that the slave is superior and happy and the master is secretly miserable.

[16:44] But if the master is secretly miserable, why does everybody want to be the master and not the slave?

[16:51] The unexamined life is not worth living. What does this mean?
Now, Socrates could say the unexamined life is not worth living for me.

[16:59] Examined life is not okay i prefer the examined life okay then it's such a subjective preference but to make it some kind of objective statement is crazy and and absolutely anti-empirical i mean socrates of course lived during the time of mass enslavement mass wars and and debt and the corruption of the body politic and the subjugation of other cultures and nations and his own culture and nation he lived with meletus oh meletus you have brought these charges against me for not not believing in the gods of the city and corrupting the youth.
But your life is not worth living, Miletus. My life is worth living.
Well, who lives and who dies?

[17:37] Miletus lives and Socrates is killed. Ah, but he lives on forever in our hearts and minds. He dies.

[17:43] Socrates examined his own life and the legal system was used to destroy him by a man.
I mean, this is the sort of famous exchange, right? At the beginning of the trial and death of Socrates.

[17:55] Miletus, you say that that I harm the youth of Athens, then you must know very much what improves the youth of Athens, because I'm not doing that.

[18:02] So what is it that improves the youth of Athens, right?
Well, and Miletus has no answer.
He has no answer. And of course, you can see this, global warming people who are put in front of competent scientists have no particular answer.
Well, you see, but their life is unexamined, and therefore it must not be worth living.
Yet still, Still, they continue. They do not stop.
They do not question. They advance and expand and control and grip and crush and subjugate and steal.
No, but it's not worth living.

[18:36] It's literally like the zebra running from the lion saying, you'll be sorry if you eat me. No, he won't. He'll be damn well satisfied.
I remember one of the secretaries in Hitler's sort of final bunker in 1945 in Berlin, in.
One of his secretaries was, you know, when they realized everything was over and I think he announced he was going to kill himself so he wouldn't be taken captive.
And she thought that there would be some important revelation or some, no, he just repeated all the same stuff he'd been saying, all the same paranoid

[19:06] garbage that he'd been saying for decades.
There was no change, no, right? He just was the same at the end of his wretched life as he was throughout his wretched life, and one of the greatest enemies to civilization who's ever, ever existed.

[19:21] So, nothing changed. His life was completely unexamined.
I mean, Hitler was beaten into a coma by his father, and blamed everyone and everything else, and of course, in particular, the Jews. Who harmed him the most?
His father. And everyone rushes to external explanations for for highly personal abuse.
If he had processed and dealt with child abuse, he would never have wanted to rule, and he would have done great good to the world rather than the endless evils and the destruction of civilization that his actions engendered.

[19:58] No, Revelations, there's no examination, there's no progress.
I mean, I myself have had some deeply evil people in my life.
They don't examine themselves, they don't learn anything, they don't understand anything, and yet they continue. Oh, but it's not worth living.
For you, for you.

[20:21] But if we say, well, Socrates really liked to examine his life, that was his hobby, that was his preference.

[20:28] Did it provide us any bulwarks or shields against evil?
Aristotle's Eudaimania, the pursuit of excellence in the field of virtue is the highest good and happiness.
Okay, has that stopped child abuse? Has that stopped predation?
Has that stopped soft war and debt and enslavement and the theft of counterfeiting through statism? Nope.
In fact, it's much larger and worse now.

[20:56] Much larger. and worse now, in many ways, than in his day.
I mean, the weapons are bigger, the debt is larger, the monitoring of the citizenship is wider, the indoctrination is greater, in many ways. Are we better?
If philosophers say, and have for 5,000 years, listen to us, we'll cure you of an illness, and the illness gets bigger and worse over 5,000 years, and I'm aware of course you know there's more wider property rights than there were back then but they're going in the wrong direction there is a wider human rights as a whole there's more free speech in many ways although it's going but it's going in the wrong direction right so this is a brief you know 100 150 year 200 change for America it was a detour which did not take.

[21:50] Any illnesses, there is a rallying and a recovery before a continuation of the decay.
And it's not so much that philosophers haven't given what they promised, it's that they don't seem to notice.

[22:02] That's to me where the scam is.
The philosophers don't seem to notice that they haven't provided what they promised, the identification of protection from and reduction of evil.
I mean, how many philosophers Philosophers are saying the 5,000-year journey of philosophy has not produced its stated goal.
Humanity is not wiser. Humanity is not more virtuous. Humanity is not more rational.
And in many ways, it's less so.

[22:34] Relativism is a decay for moral certainty. Even if the moral certainty is based upon.

[22:42] Unprovable or unproven suppositions, moral relativism is a decay for moral certainty.
Which is why those who want to oppose a society ask questions of the moralists without providing answers to the doubt. That's just a way of paralyzing.
It's fine to say, how do you know what you know, as long as you provide a methodology for that, which I did, you know, 17 years ago in my Introduction to Philosophy series, which you should definitely check out if you haven't.
Introduction to Philosophy series.

[23:12] It's fine to say to people, how do you know what you know, as long as you can provide them an answer.
But if you simply say to people, how do you know what what you know, how do you know what is true, how do you know what is good, and all of that, what is free will, without providing an answer, you're just paralyzing them.
And paralyzing moral certainty and epistemological certainty is how you take down the defenses of a society so that you can take it over, which is why people instinctively understood, why did they vote to put Socrates to death.
They instinctively understood that the pathological doubt that Socrates was infecting their society with would cause the decay and destruction of their society in relatively short order.
He was a virus that did not attack the cells, did not attack the body,

[24:02] it attacked the immune system, I guess the T-cells.
So pathological relativism, subjectivism, and epistemological doubt out.
It attacks the defense system called certainty, particularly moral certainty of the society.
Now, a virus that attacks your defense system doesn't… Now, a virus that attacks your immune system doesn't kill you, but it lowers the gates for every other virus and bacteria to kill you.

[24:33] The targeting of an air defense system doesn't destroy the country, but it allows, if it's successful, for the planes to come in and destroy the country.

[24:42] The pathological doubt removes the most skeptical and the most intelligent and the most curious from public discourse, leaving it open to the virus of pathological certainty.
Doubt infects the most conscientious. Well, I wouldn't want to say I'm certain about something when I'm not certain about something, and I guess it's really important to be honest, and I don't want to say things that aren't true, and I don't want to claim a knowledge I don't have, and blah-de-blah-de-blah-de-blah-de-blah.
All of those people you kind of want in the public discourse, but people like Descartes, people like Nietzsche, people like Hume and Kant and so on, all the people I've talked about in the history of philosophy, Bishop Berkeley, what do they do?

[25:24] They infect people with doubt, which does not solve the problem of certainty.
It simply delegates the running of society to those who have no doubt and don't care.
They don't care. They want power. They want control. It's not a matter of intelligence.
But if you are decisive, you're playing chess with me, you are decisive, and I'm not even sure if the chessboard exists, who's going to win the match? catch.

[25:57] UPV fixes all of that. My focus on childhood abuse fixes all of that, which is why I'm placed outside of society, thumping on the dark glass as the horrors unfold within, for as long as I can watch, then I'll stop even doing that.
The unexamined life is not worth living?

[26:16] Tell that to Caesar. Tell that to Alexander the Great.
Tell that to the rulers of various dictatorships around the world tell that to people running central banks oh no but the unexamined life is not worth living they just stare at you like yeah okay go go tell the conscientious that and keep them out of our way if people repeat this stuff and i don't know so this is why the wrestling with the dead stuff is really really important to me yeah we've listened to a bunch of philosophers we've listened to hundreds if not thousands of philosophers over the course of of human history, and we followed their rules, and all their rules got us to where we are now.
And since all their rules, and questions, and skepticism, and doubt, and syllogisms, and reasoning, and arguing, and debate, and right, since all of their rules got us to where we are, of what use are their rules?
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It's so essential to the world, I think.
Freedomain.com slash donate. Thanks, everyone. Bye.

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