WRESTLING WITH THE DEAD - Utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill - Transcript


0:00 - The Foundations of Moral Philosophy
3:25 - The Question of Efficacy
9:18 - Democracy and Deception
12:49 - The Consequences of Cheating
18:54 - The Promotion of Corruption
23:49 - Morality in Literature
24:57 - The Impact of Coercive Powers
28:10 - A Race to the Bottom
28:32 - The Art of Misrepresentation
38:13 - The Evolution of Selflessness
45:25 - Virtue vs. Blind Love
50:21 - The Contradiction of Loving Virtue
52:24 - The Reality of Society's Expectations

Long Summary

In this passionate and detailed discussion, we delve into the teachings of John Stuart Mill and his vision of utilitarian morality, focusing on its purported ideal perfection. We unpack foundational moral principles such as 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' and 'love your neighbor,' questioning their efficacy over centuries. Despite their long-standing presence in moral philosophy, these principles seem to have fallen short in fostering significant moral progress in society as issues like child abuse and societal decay persist.

We explore how these moral pillars have not been sufficient in creating a truly virtuous world, citing historical and contemporary examples that challenge the belief in their effectiveness. By scrutinizing why these age-old principles have not delivered the expected outcomes, we unearth the limitations of idealistic moral frameworks and the complexities of moral development.

Through thought-provoking analogies, we shed light on how universal application of moral absolutes can potentially be exploited by those resorting to deceit and dishonorable tactics to gain advantage in societal contexts. The discussion reveals the dangers of misinterpreting or misusing these principles, leading to a 'race to the bottom' where the unscrupulous thrive at the expense of the honorable.

Exploring the implications of these moral maxims in modern scenarios like politics and cancel culture uncovers inherent challenges and contradictions. From manipulative strategies in political discourse to the impacts of reputational defamation in societal conflicts, we confront the difficulties of applying these principles in a morally ambiguous world. Ultimately, this introspective dialogue prompts a reassessment of traditional moral values and advocates for more nuanced approaches to fostering genuine virtue and ethical behavior in society.

The conversation then delves into the intricacies of the Golden Rule, illustrating how it can inadvertently favor individuals lacking moral integrity. Examples showcase how some exploit others' adherence to this rule, targeting the honorable while engaging in deceit and manipulation themselves. Drawing parallels to chess, we discuss how those with broader actions, akin to the queen in chess, often hold an advantage in such scenarios.

We further explore how societal norms influence behavior, from business practices to personal decisions like cosmetic surgery, revealing the potential disadvantages faced by individuals strictly adhering to moral principles. This leads to contemplation of the ethical dilemmas posed by the Golden Rule when universally applied, offering insights into the complexities of human interactions and moral choices.

The discussion extends to the concept of loving one's neighbor as oneself, unraveling the complexities of moral excellence and the evolution from selfishness to reciprocal acts of kindness. Personal anecdotes and societal observations elucidate the nuances of selflessness and practicality in relationships, emphasizing the balance between individual needs and communal responsibilities.

As the conversation progresses, we examine the journey of moral growth and excellence, challenging conventional notions of loving others as oneself. The speaker questions the idea of unconditional love and rewards for individuals who have not earned them, likening it to granting medical degrees to unqualified individuals or passing students regardless of effort or ability.

In critiquing the notion of loving others indiscriminately, the speaker highlights the potential pitfalls of equating love and respect with unearned praise and rewards, emphasizing the importance of rewarding the virtuous and penalizing the corrupt in fostering genuine moral growth. The discussion provokes deep reflection on philosophical inquiries and concludes with an invitation for further engagement and support for the show, expressing gratitude for listeners and anticipation of future dialogues.


[0:00] The Foundations of Moral Philosophy

[0:00] All right, all right, all right. Let's let a full rant flow forward in the deep glory of philosophy. This is taking straight aim at one J.S.M., John Stuart Mill, who wrote, To do as one would be done by and to love one's neighbor as oneself constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality.

[0:22] To do as one would be done by and to love one's neighbor as oneself constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. Now, why this provokes such a rant in me, and hopefully this will all make sense to you, is because of the following. These two pillars of morality, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or as it's sometimes put, do not do unto others as you would have them not do unto you, has been foundational to moral philosophy since its very inception, number one. Number two, love your neighbor has also been foundational to philosophy as a whole, of course, particularly Christianity onwards. Now, no disrespect to my Christian friends, but I'm going to be foundational about this from a rational, empirical moral philosophy standpoint. Standpoint, because these are the same ingredients used in almost all variations, versions, and flavors of philosophy, moral philosophy, since its inception thousands and thousands of years ago. Thousands and thousands of years ago, people have been trying to assemble a moral sandwich using these two ingredients, and yet the world remains extremely evil.

[1:35] These two ingredients, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and love your neighbor, have been the essential core ingredients of all moral systems, at least that claim some aspect of universalism. And yet, the world remains malevolent. After 5,000 years of moral philosophy, massive debts still enslave the young, war still exists, unjust persecution, hierarchies, statism, all still exist.

[2:06] Child abuse still exists. Child beatings still exist. Child genital mutilation still exists and is widespread in the world. Moralists have been working on morality, and everybody claims to love virtue. And this has, my friends, been going on, lo, these thousands upon thousands of years. And the world we see around us lies inflicted upon children, the vast majority of children being beaten, a third of parents in America reporting striking their babies before one year of age. Family structures disintegrating Ethics, virtue, discipline, and self-restraint Being washed away under a tsunami of debt Children being born into millions of dollars of debt And unfunded liabilities.

[3:03] This is where we are In the world, after thousands of years And still, after thousands of years of moralists What do we still continuously hear? Oh, but you see, it's due unto others as you would have them do unto you. And, and, oh, if we could throw in a little bit of love your neighbor. Oh, that's glorious. Well, why hasn't it worked then?

[3:25] The Question of Efficacy

[3:26] Why hasn't it worked? That seems like a rather essential question. Wouldn't you think? Why hasn't it worked? Why do we have the largest and most powerful tyrannical states in the world still flourishing and conquering about a third of humanity? Why has it not worked? Why not? It seems to me that if expert cooks were to say, I don't know, let's just create a bit of an analogy here. If expert cooks were to say for thousands of years.

[3:59] Well, whatever you make for people to eat, first you must gather, scoop up, mash and squeeze and then throw into your food a massive pile of horse dung. When I was a kid, what was the joke? Would you rather run a mile jumper style or eat a country pancake? Turns out a country pancake was cow dung. Bait and switch. Definition switcheroo. Now, of course, if you did have the horse dung as the essence of all cooking school of making food, wouldn't it kind of be the case that no matter what you made, Indeed, no matter what you made, it would all taste like shit. Why? Because it seems that at the center of every recipe is a fistful of cow dung, or horse dung, or dung as a whole. I'm not sure it matters what kind of dung it is more than the fact that it is, in fact, a dung. So when you have john stewart mill utilitarianism 19th century when you have him jamming together these two things that have failed to work for thousands of years and he is a well-educated man knew all about the history of philosophy for thousands and thousands of years these two ingredients have failed to produce a moral world.

[5:27] Have failed to produce a moral world. And he says, well, these two things, love your neighbor, do unto others, well, you put these two things together, man, that's the perfect essence of utilitarian morality. These two fistfuls of horse dung, you combine them together, that's perfect food, man. And the funny thing is, And by funny, I mean effed up beyond the capacity of language to encapsulate, is John Stuart Mill is a proponent of, what is he a proponent of? We all know this, don't we? I mean, I mentioned it right at the beginning, right? John Stuart Mill is a proponent of utilitarianism.

[6:21] Utilitarianism. Now, utilitarianism is the philosophy that you experiment with things to see what works, and then you hold on to what works, and you discard what does not work. You see, he's pragmatic, he's practical, he's empirical. It's all about what works. Now, this man who devoted his entire muscular mental energies to supporting and promoting a philosophy that is specifically dedicated to being relentlessly focused on what works and rejecting what does not work has taken these two central moral principles that have failed to work and said, that's the essence of my morality.

[7:03] Utilitarianism, or practical positive outcomes, is based on two principles which have failed to work and have done the opposite of working throughout all of human history. All of it. All of it. All of it. He has founded his philosophy of practicality on what has been stupendously antipractical throughout human history. Ah yes but you see you see mr molyneux there has been some moral progress there has been some moral progress yes have you never heard of a dead cat bounce the moral progress of the 19th century was hijacked by states to create the endless wars of the 20th century the end of direct slavery was found to be impractical for states wanting to gather resources and soldiers in order to fight endless imperialistic wars, so direct slavery was transferred to tax serfdom. They found that they could steal more from you if you got to choose your own job than if they chose your job for you. Did it work? Are we getting more free or are we getting less free? Capitalism that produced the technology is now producing the surveillance mechanisms.

[8:17] So you'll forgive me if I have some concerns about these twin gods of traditional morality do unto others as you would have them do unto you and love your neighbor as being foundational to the forward moral progress of the species, because we ain't getting there. It ain't imminent, in fact, a moral vision of true virtue is receding and disappearing fast over the rear view as we race towards an entirely different future than was anticipated. Why can these not be questioned? Why can that which has failed to work for 5,000 years never be subjected to critical scrutiny? Why on earth can't we? Ask basic questions about the efficacy of these two moral absolutes.

[9:18] Democracy and Deception

[9:19] Ah, I've been doing it for years. I'll encapsulate it here with a couple of new arguments. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yeah, yeah. You understand that democracy runs in that everyone who is a sophist can run for office. Everyone pretty much can try to run for office. And so the sophists and the liars and the panderers and the flatterers and the manipulations are saying, hey, in lying, pandering, flattery, and manipulation, let's all give it a shot. Let's see who's the best at lying to the general population. Bet you I'm really good at it. So yeah, it's an open field. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Absolutely. Everyone can try to lie. And since I'm the best liar, say the politicians or the wannabes, I will win. The strongest man in the village says, let strength be the test. Where the resources go. Yeah, he's happy to have that be a universal principle. He's the strongest man in the village, so he's going to win. The best liar, the tallest guy. Hey, let's let height be. It's a universal man. Let's let height be the... I mean, it kind of is in politics. Ever since the advent of television, the taller man wins, not the taller person.

[10:34] So, yeah, do unto others. Yeah, let's universalize it. I'm the strongest guy in the village. Let's do arm wrestling to figure out who gets the prettiest girl. Yeah, I'm totally, the do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Whether I challenge you to arm wrestling or you challenge me to arm wrestling is totally fine. I'm still going to win either way. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a way of promoting those with the sleaziest skills to the very top of society.

[11:00] I mean, we can see this playing out. Ah, some groups are willing to use the power of the state to cripple political opponents. Some people are above that. So it's a race to the bottom. And those at the bottom are very happy to universalize the race to the bottom them because they already win being down there from birth, it seems almost. That's their world, and they are experts in that world, and they're perfectly happy to universalize those principles of lying, bribing, flattery, and manipulation. Yes, those who are best at those unholy skills should run things, and they do, and that's do unto others as you would have them do do unto you. In a test of lying, bribery, flattery, and manipulation, you do it to me, I do it to you, we both do it to the general population, and we'll see who wins. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is you're fighting an honorable man, right? You're going to go into the boxing ring and you're going to fight an honorable man. Now, you say, say, you know, if I cheat, put some formaldehyde in my gloves or whatever, I cheat, then I can win. I'll win.

[12:12] And you say to yourself, well, I'm going to give myself permission to cheat. Now, if he gives himself permission to cheat, it's going to be more of an even fight, which is to say not much of a fight at all. If we both put formaldehyde on our gloves, we both pass out on the first punch, but I'm going to give myself permission to cheat. Now, I'm going to make it universal that, you know, I'm not going to obviously proclaim this, there's no point proclaiming cheating, but I'm going to approach this fight with the certain knowledge that cheating is the way to go. Now, you know that he's an honorable fighter who would never dream of cheating.

[12:49] The Consequences of Cheating

[12:49] So giving yourself permission to cheat benefits you, but not him. Do unto others as you you would have them do unto you. You pick the most honorable man, you engage in combat with him, you know he's not going to cheat, but you cheat, so you win. Now, of course, you don't want him to cheat against you, I understand all of that, Giving yourself permission to cheat is universal. In other words, if there were a secret law saying you could cheat, the honorable man won't cheat because he's honorable, but you will. This is what I mean by a race to the bottom. You know, it's like the cuttlefish. Some of them display strength and masculinity in order to get the female cuttlefish to mate with them. The other ones pretend to be female cuttlefish in order to get close to the female cuttlefish in order to mate with them.

[13:42] So the little cuttlefish who can shrink his limbs and pretend to be a female and swim among the females, unmolested by the males, unattacked or driven out by the males, he says, well, anyone who can pretend to be the female cuttlefish can go and mate with the female cuttlefish, knowing that he's the only male small enough to be able to do that. But it's a universal, hey, let's open it up. Let's open it up. Now, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I understand people will say, yes, but you don't want to be cheated against. Right. I get that. You want to cheat others, but you don't want them to cheat you. I get that. So you know what you do? You know how you deal with that problem? You say to yourself, cheating is permitted, and then you wage war against people you know are too honorable to cheat. They have too much self-respect to cheat. They have too much virtue to cheat. So cheat they will not. In other words, you're the small cuttlefish and you say, hey man, anyone who can make themselves look like a female cuttlefish, yeah, you're good to go, man. Go in knowing that the other male cuttlefish are too big to do that so they can't compete with him. but it's universal. It's universal.

[15:03] It's asymmetrical because one person has standards and the other person doesn't in the fight, right? The one person says, well, I would never cheat. That would be ignoble and disgraceful and dishonorable. I would never stoop myself to that level to cheat. My God, that would be monstrous and terrible, right? Right? Right? Right. Now, the guy who will cheat though, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yep. Yep, everyone can cheat, but I know you won't, because you're honorable. Now, I'll mouth words of honor, of course. I'll mouth words of, oh, yes, no, it's very, very important that we act honorably and don't cheat. You'll make all of these sounds. That's part of the camouflage. And the same way the male cuttlefish will squeeze himself small to get past the males and go mingle with the females and inseminate them that way.

[15:49] Unto others as you would have them do unto you. It tilts the playing field and the resources, to those with the lowest standards, because if you won't cheat, but other people will, you'll generally lose. If you have too much pride, too much self-respect, or you're too stupid to cheat, and that is sometimes the case, you won't cheat. I mean, this is cancel culture 101, 101, right? In cancel culture, people say, well, I won't address someone's arguments. I'll just smash their reputation until people recoil from them and call them evil, right? I'll lie about people. I'll misrepresent them. I'll cherry pick stuff. I'll take stuff out of context. I'll twist their language to make them look as monstrous as possible. They cheat. They cheat Cheating debate, right? It's a cheat. It's cheating. So they say, well, the way that conflicts are going to be resolved in society is reputational destruction. We are going to lie about people and get them banned from the public sphere.

[17:03] Knowing that people who value the truth would find that repugnant to their natures. See how this works? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So I won't answer your arguments. I will simply pursue reputational destruction and get you banned, say people, right?

[17:26] Knowing that the true philosophers would find the falsehood of lying about people in order to promote reputational destruction would be abhorrent to their natures. Do unto others as you would. hey, let's all use reputational destruction. Say these weasel bags, knowing that the honorable people would never stoop to reputational destruction. See how this works? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It means the guy willing to put formaldehyde or chloroform on his boxing gloves, I think it should be chloroform, whatever knocks people out, chloroform. So the guy willing to put chloroform on his boxing gloves is the guy who wins. The guy who would never dream of putting chloroform on his boxing gloves is the guy who loses. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's promoted. Why? Why was it promoted? Because it gives the most strength and power. Moral people. A politician who lies gets elected. A politician who tells the truth does not get elected. Somebody who brings facts, reason, and evidence to complex social problems is deplatformed. Somebody who does not, who lies, and speaks to the prejudices inculcated by propaganda and indoctrination to the minds of the many is promoted and praised.

[18:54] The Promotion of Corruption

[18:54] Ah, that's all. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Tilts the playing field, it seems irreversibly, to the least moral among us.

[19:08] Don't cheat. Well, you wouldn't want to be cheated on. Right, exactly, exactly. The cheater does not want to be cheated on. Of course. So he targets somebody who has too much honor and integrity to cheat. I mean, honestly, it's like somebody saying to a guy in a wheelchair, well, we're going to resolve our conflicts by how quickly we can climb stairs. Hey, it's universal, man. Now, he's probably not going to go to Usain Bolt with that proposition. So when it comes to conflict, he is going to choose someone who simply would be unwilling to do what he is willing to do. To win the boxing match, he picks a guy who's got honor and nobility and would not cheat, and then he cheats. Puts the chloroform on his boxing gloves, or I don't know, whatever else you do, right? And then he wins. Do unto others is targeting the moral and rewarding the corrupt and amoral. You follow? This is why it doesn't work. This is why the more people apply do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the worse society gets. The enemies of Jesus were willing to have him crucified. Jesus himself would not do that. I'm sure I don't need to repeat this, but yes, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

[20:38] Promotes those with the lowest standards because they have the widest scope of action, right? I don't know if you play chess, right? Or checkers, same way. So with chess, the bishop can only move diagonally. The rook or castle can only move vertically and horizontally, straight up or left or right or backwards. But the queen can do both, right? It can go north, north, east, north, north, east, east, and so on. It can go straight up, straight back, straight side, or diagonal.

[21:16] So the queen is just about the most valuable player because it has the widest scope of action. It can go in any straight line as far as possible to take whatever it wants. So the queen has the widest scope of action. And the pawn, what can the pawn do? It can go two spaces at the beginning. meaning it can go forward if it's unopposed it can take diagonally and if it gets to the end it gets another piece right can one of the taken pieces can be resurrected but the pawn is very limited which is why you sacrifice your pawn to save your queen you don't sacrifice your queen to save your pawn or if you're not familiar with chess but you play checkers you know that when you get one of your checker pieces to the other end it becomes a king checker you get a a second one stacked on, and now it can go all over the place, right? So in chess, in checkers, the pieces with the greatest choice of movements are the most valuable. The pieces with the greatest choice of movements are the most valuable. I guess with the knight being the most valuable because it can jump.

[22:22] So, those unconstrained by virtue have the greatest scope of choice in what they're going to do. I, or other sort of moral decent people, would not stoop to lying about people to destroy their reputations rather than answer their arguments. So, we are constrained in what we will do by a wide variety of mechanisms. People know that about virtuous people. There's an instinct for this among the corrupt. People know that. They know what the virtuous person will or will not do. And this is the typical hero versus rake in 18th and 19th century novels. On the one hand, you have the guy who's charming, but he lies. On the other hand, you have the guy who's stiff, but tells the truth. And it's always the battle between the guy who's charming and lies. You can think of Pride and Prejudice as the classic example of this, right? So you've got the one young man who's like charming and a great conversationist, but he's a liar and a cheat. And then you've got Darcy who's stiff and awkward, but tells the truth.

[23:39] So Darcy won't lie. The other guy will. So the other guy has more options in terms of how he interacts with Elizabeth Bennet.

[23:49] Morality in Literature

[23:50] You can see this all over the place in literature. All over the place in literature. I mean, this is the Terminator 2, right? You have the old-style Schwarzenegger Terminator and then the new liquid disco guy who can become anything he wants. So the new Terminator can morph into anything he wants. Whereas the old Terminator just looks like himself. The new Terminator has far more options. So do unto others as you would have them do unto you is like the queen in chess saying to the pawn, well, we should be able to move wherever we want within the rules of chess. And the pawn says, well, I'm extremely constrained, but you can go anywhere. And this is do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a race to the bottom that is achieved with extraordinary rapidity. Especially when coercive redistributive powers and statism and money printing and so on is all involved because it decays standards and punishes punishes those who have moral constraints.

[24:57] The Impact of Coercive Powers

[24:57] Think of two businessmen. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And one of them is moral, understands Austrian economics, and doesn't want newly minted currency because it's immoral, it's unfair, you're getting the money when it's fresh and new and full value and so on. Right or some libertarian businessman who won't take a government contract for you know libertarian reasons and then you have another businessman who will absolutely i mean if if if the fed gives him a million dollars worth of fresh notes he's all over that like white on rice and you have the non-libertarian businessman who will take any and all government contracts right so you have the libertarian guy won't take government contracts won't take fed money and then you have the The non-libertarian guy will take Fed money, will take both public and private contracts. Who is going to win in the race for business success? Obviously, the person who has more choices. The person who won't take government contracts, won't take government money, will lose to the guy who will take government money and will take government contracts. And this is not a theoretical thing. I've had lots of questions over the years from people who are into libertarianism, Libertarianism who have these very constraints.

[26:23] Somebody who won't take government money will generally have fewer children if they're poor than people who will just be happy to get on welfare and food stamps and...

[26:36] Security and subsidized housing, right? They can just have more kids. So do unto others as you would have them do unto you is creating a scenario where those without honor win against those who have honor. Because those without honor are willing to lie. And this is one of the big complaints, of course, in the manosphere that women are susceptible susceptible to male falsehoods, and therefore the man who won't lie is at a significant disadvantage relative to the man who will lie. This is also the case with women. Women will look in great frustration at other women who dress scantily and have lots of makeup on, because they wouldn't be willing to do that. They have too much self-respect. They don't want to sexualize and objectify themselves so they'll dress modestly and they'll use little if any makeup and then they look at the women who use massive amounts of makeup and have their breast meat half hanging out like, schooner sails flapping in an infinite hormonal breeze and they feel frustration and despair because the men are going to gravitate to the women with lower standards.

[27:51] How can I compete with the people with lower standards than I have? have. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yes, says the man with strong legs to the man in the wheelchair. The stair climbing is how we will decide this difference.

[28:10] A Race to the Bottom

[28:10] If you can get a law passed, to take the analogy one step further, if you can get a law passed that says stair climbing is how you deal with it, then the people with strong legs or who can climb at all will always beat the people in the wheelchairs. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you gives infinitely more moves to the person with far lower standards.

[28:32] The Art of Misrepresentation

[28:33] Think about resumes and getting jobs. I remember many years ago when I worked for a major Canadian corporation, having lunch and joking around with the head of manufacturing. And we were joking about resumes where he'd be like, somebody asks you, it's like, yeah, I've been around that. Yeah, I've had some, I'm familiar with that or I have some familiarity with that. And then he's just like, yeah, and I just read up on it for the week before, right? You just lie or misrepresent or whatever. Now, somebody who's perfectly honest and says, I don't have any experience with that, will they do better or worse relative to someone who's willing to fudge or misrepresent or say that they have experience with something they don't have experience with? Well, you'll lose. You tell the truth, you lose. You tell the truth, you lose. You don't cheat, you lose with people who will cheat. Now, dealing with this issue has been a foundational question, if not the foundational question, of society since its very inception. What do we do, A, with the drunken sailor, and B, what do we do with people who cheat? What do we do with people who cheat?

[29:43] Does, I mean, let's say, prior to DNA testing, if a woman got pregnant, she had sex with a rich guy and a poor guy, and she got pregnant, and let's say they're both the same race or whatever, so, woman has sex with rich guy and poor guy, she gets pregnant, who is she going to say is the father? Well, the rich guy. And she's going to say that she's certain. Right? Was like no sex before marriage because then you know right you're supposed to know who the father is right to avoid this kind of thing the man who cheats on an exam is probably going to do better than somebody who studies honorably or they're probably going to do equally as well and since there are significant financial rewards for getting good results on tests good marks on tests Well, the person who cheats is counterfeiting their skill set, right? A woman who gets a nose job is falsifying her genetics. There's a story probably apocryphal of the man in China who sued his bride because he thought she was very pretty.

[30:53] But what happened? Well, what happened was he had kids with her and the kids were butt ugly. and then it turned out he found out that she had been, what? She'd had plastic surgery. So he lied. One of the reasons we find attractive women attractive is that they will produce for us attractive children who are likely to do better in life. Having an ugly child is tough because they don't get asked to the dance, they don't get as many friendships, you know, whatever. Fair or not, it's just the way it is, right? Fair is a word for children and Halloween candy, not adults with resources. horses. No fair. Who cares? So, yeah, the woman who has a nose job is lying about her genetics.

[31:37] It's a form of fraud. Now, of course, the woman who does not get a nose job, how does she do relative to the woman who gets a nose job, right? So, let's say a woman has too much pride to get a nose job. Like, no, I'm not going to attack myself in that way. I'm not going to put myself self down in that way. I'm not going to say that in order to get a man, I have to have a nose job. That would be humiliating. And that would be beneath my dignity as one of God's green creatures, right? Okay. Maybe if she's green, she might want to get that looked at, but you know what I mean? So she says, now the woman who knows that her competitor won't get a nose job, well, she'll get a nose job. And now she'll say, well, yeah, everyone who wants to get a nose job should should get a nose job knowing that the other woman won't get a nose job. So she wins often or enough for it to make a difference. Now, I get it. There are some men who are like, ew, nose job. No, forget that. I don't want it. Whatever, right? But there's enough women who win with a nose job to make a nose job super valuable, right? Valuable enough to go through. And my mother went through one and they're pretty horrible. They're pretty bruising and so on, You've been beaten up by the great golden gloved God of vanity to the point where you look like a wreck of a ship.

[32:56] Or Annie Lennox singing under pressure. So, you understand, do unto others as you would have them do unto you gives clear advantage to those with lower standards because their scope of action is much wider. Okay, I think we've got that one now. The other one, love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor as yourself. Right, so we understand the golden rule makes society worse over time. Unless there are massive punishments in place, right, to harm those who try to game the system or cheat the system or whatever. If there are those massive punishments, then maybe, just maybe. But, I mean, those things certainly don't really exist anymore. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

[33:41] So, enough with do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That's a slippery slope. That's almost vertical. What about love your neighbor as yourself? Or love thy neighbor, how did he put it? To do as one would be done by, and to love one's neighbor as oneself constitutes the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. To love one's neighbor as oneself. Well, that is lowest common denominator again. Again now moral excellence is the highest of all virtues i mean that i know that's almost tautological so obviously i'll go a little more than just say that but moral excellence is not automatic moral excellence has to arrive out of the necessary and good bottomless selfishness of early childhood right early childhood you don't love others as much as yourself you're not really really capable of the concept of love, you're not really capable of virtues and so on, but you are selfish, right? We're born selfish, and we should be, right? Because the baby does not care if the mother needs sleep, right? You know, like if you're married, right, and you've got to get up early, and your wife is sleeping, you get up quietly, right?

[35:06] You get up quietly, you get up nicely and you try not to wake your partner, you know, it's just basic sensitivity 101 of living with another human being. Because.

[35:17] Kind. You don't want to wake up your partner. You want them to be able to get their sleep. My wife is very kind this way. She will actually put her morning stuff in another room if she has to get up early so that she doesn't wake me because she knows what a tyrant I am when I'm not sleep deprived. She's just very nice that way. And I, of course, reciprocate as much as possible. If I happen to get up early, then I sometimes could take five minutes to try and get out of the room because she's a light sleeper in the morning. So I'm like, yeah, I'm slowly solely extracting myself it's like a cat burglar but just trying to get out out of the room without making noise right so but babies are not like that babies just cry when they're hungry and and all of that and they right that's very selfish and i mean it's the wrong word to use but they're self-oriented and they don't love their mothers as they love themselves or whatever they only have their own needs and yes i guess evolutionarily of course they are serving their mother's needs by.

[36:09] Crying because the mothers want to be able to make sure that they provide their baby's needs I get all of that, but we start off selfish. That's just a basic fact, right? Now, then we have to be wooed into a kind of reciprocity, because reciprocity is a form of self-service that is extended through time, right? So reciprocity is a form of self-service that is extended through time. So, I mean, it's partly out of love that we treat our spouses well, but there's also a practicality to it as well. So you get married to someone who understands that sacrifice in the moment for the sake of a future good is a positive.

[36:55] So if I go to exercise, often I don't particularly want to exercise in the moment, but I will do it so that my future self is happier. and, that's important right you you want to serve your future self right so it's around extending your more immediate selfishness to a good in the future i care about my future self so i will eat well and i will exercise and maintain my health and go to the dentist right so So future me doesn't get fat, sick, toothache, whatever, right?

[37:34] So we start with a selfishness, and then we begin to extend our, quote, selfishness to the pleasure of others. We begin to take pleasure in other people's happiness, and this happens very early on in life. I mean, my daughter was feeding me back, ooh, I like this food, you should try it, right? She was doing that. I don't know, eight months of age or something like that. She understood that she enjoys eating. I enjoy eating. I should try what she's eating because it makes her happy. So she'll want to make me happy. So we just extend our sense of happiness from our own needs to include the needs of others.

[38:13] The Evolution of Selflessness

[38:14] Now, babies don't do that and they never should, and they never will because they won't survive. Because if they don't eat for a certain amount of time, they could just die, right? Or dehydrate or get really sick or whatever. So they cry when they're hungry and they don't care about anyone else's feelings, and that's just right. And then we begin to expand our sense.

[38:32] Our sense of happiness to include other people's happiness, right? I am happy when my family is happy and it's pretty tough to be happy if your family's unhappy because it means usually there's something you need to do to fix the problem or the issue. So we grow from selfishness to not exactly selflessness, but we grow from selfishness to include the happiness of others. Now, not all of us do that, of course. Some of us stay in a very infantile state for a variety of reasons of trauma and, I assume, choice, and maybe there's some predilection there somewhere deep down in the bowels of being. I don't know, but we certainly don't all grow into loving and gentle and reciprocal and wise and affectionate people. People now the pursuit of moral growth of moral excellence is a tricky dangerous and uncertain journey fraught with often great blowback and betrayal because you are nice to other people and sometimes they will just strip your resources resources bare right you you're generous towards other people and they're just not generous back right i had a friend i helped him move three times, I helped him move three times, and then I needed his help when I needed to move, and he just was busy.

[39:58] You know, just couldn't quite see his way clear. He had some, I don't know, he had a party to go to or something like, okay, so, I mean, this is not some massive pillaging. It's not like Vikings and Irish peasant women, but it definitely is not reciprocal. So you're generous and then you see if it comes back and, you know, sometimes it does and those relationships tend to grow and sometimes it doesn't and those relationships tend to diminish, right?

[40:21] Moral excellence the the pursuit of virtue is not about generosity it's about reciprocity because we can only spread virtue by rewarding the virtuous and punishing the corrupt right you, don't you don't spread virtue by punishing the virtuous and rewarding the corrupt right so you have to reward the virtuous and punish the corrupt otherwise it's just a kind of masochism and you're furthering the corruption in the world as a whole.

[40:56] So if I've had people in my life I've been very financially generous with and then they have not reciprocated in any way, in fact, you know, the only answer is more, more, more, right? They just keep wanting to take. You've trained them into being takers rather than encourage them into reciprocity. So you stop doing that, right? Of course you do. And you stop doing that for a wide variety of reasons. One is that it's not reciprocal, and that's not just, it's not fair, it's not right. And you're putting yourself in a subservient position, which is bad for the self-esteem and bad for the self-respect. Also, of course, if you care about people, you don't subsidize their bad habits. So if they're takers, then you don't keep giving to them because that's just subsidizing their bad habits. It's not at all an act of affection. action. Like if you've got somebody who's got a gambling habit, let's say they just need money because they're just down on their luck, some friend, and then you give them some money and they just keep asking for more and more and you start to become hesitant and then somebody else tells you, oh no, they have a terrible gambling addiction. They're just blowing all your money on the slot machines. Well, you would be upset about that and you would not give them more money because giving them more money would be feeding their addiction, which would be bad for them, right? Even if you're angry and so on, right? I mean, if you really hated the guy, you'd give give him a lot of money, and then, I don't know, he'd get beaten up at the back of a casino for a failure to pay or something like that, right?

[42:20] I mean, if my friend who didn't help me move, if I just kept doing things for him and being nice to him and so on, and he just kept taking, then every time I did something for him and he was not reciprocal at any time, I would be taking away resources from other friends I have who were reciprocal and thus I would be punishing them by not giving them Resources but rather rewarding somebody who was selfish by giving them resources him him resources. So it's just it's terrible all around right so to care, people means encouraging and modeling good habits and discouraging bad habits, right? We all understand that, right? If we have a friend who smokes, we would want to discourage him out of care for his health. We would want to discourage him from smoking, right? So moral excellence is a challenging journey. It's really essential, and there's a lot of blowback, and it requires a lot of pretty careful judgment and thinking through things quite a bit. And we do that out of our love of virtue, right? We do that out of our love of virtue.

[43:34] How dare a moralist say, how dare a moralist say that what we should love is blank people, not stalwart virtue. How dare a moralist say that we should love people, not virtue. you. How dare a moralist say that we should not love truth, we should only love people, we should not love honor or courage or dignity or poise, but only bipeds, only flesh, only breathing apparatuses with potentially corrupt headnoggins. How dare a moralist say that we we should not love virtue, but only flesh.

[44:22] Can you imagine? Like, if someone tells you, you have to love a vicious woman just because she's pretty, wouldn't you consider that rather crazy? I mean, you might lust after her or whatever. You might even lie to her, I guess. I would not recommend it, but you might. But if somebody were to say, you should love the flesh, not the morals you should love the body not the mind the morals or the soul you would consider that horrendous right that would be to objectify the person right i mean let's say you're a leg man and there's some woman who's just horrible she's a horrible woman but she's got nice legs and you just lie to her and sleep with her because you just want to rub her legs or something like that, right? Well, that's pretty corrupt, because you're just loving the flesh and gaining access to the flesh despite the horrendous nature of the person. So that would be to have a fetish for flesh, not a love of virtue. And this is what it is.

[45:25] Virtue vs. Blind Love

[45:25] Love thy neighbors yourself is to have a fetish for flesh, not virtue.

[45:31] Living next to you. He's breathing. I must love him. No. No, because if you believe that, then you're in pursuit of moral excellence. Moral excellence is to love virtue, not just bipeds, not just the flesh casing of a skeleton that walks around and continues to breathe. No. You are to love virtue. And they say, well, you, John Stuart Mill, always say, oh, you must love moral virtues, you see. You, moral excellence. You should pursue moral excellence. Do unto others and love your neighbor as yourself. Moral excellence. Fine. Then you're telling me to love morality. But if you're telling me to love morality, how dare you tell me also, or in a greater sense, to love those around me? It's madness. It's beyond madness. It's corruption of the highest order. No. If you want to love virtue, you have to love random people. What? No. If I want moral excellence, I get there by loving virtue. And then to say that the pinnacle of moral excellence, the love of virtue, is to love random people around you, regardless of their virtues, that is madness beyond the capacity of language to encapsulate. And I'm struggling even to squeeze into my brain how insane this is. Love virtue.

[46:55] Okay, if I love virtue, then I can only love the virtue in people. No. No. Loving virtue means loving people regardless of their virtue.

[47:12] Understand loving virtue means loving people irrespective of their virtues that's a rank contradiction isn't i mean come on it's blindingly obvious right you must love moral excellence and random people around you who probably don't possess any moral excellence whatsoever so i must love moral excellence and flesh as well it's exactly the same as saying be with a woman, love a woman, because of her qualities as a moral soul, as a mother, as a companion, as a wife, love her for her moral excellence, and love her and all women for their flesh. No, no, no, no. This is not a school of philosophy. This is an invitation to an asylum. To an asylum?

[48:08] You must pursue moral excellence, and the very height of moral excellence is loving people for breathing. Wait, wait, wait. So I should pursue moral excellence, and that's good, but then I should also love other people who not only do not pursue moral excellence, but are actually evil and corrupt? Yes! Well, wait a minute. So I should pursue moral excellence because it's good, but I should also love people who are corrupt because that's good. So it's good for me to pursue moral excellence, and it's good for them to be corrupt. And these two things are equal. I should say, love your neighbor as yourself. Okay, so let's say that I have self-respect because I pursued moral excellence, but then I should also respect my neighbor who's completely corrupt. What? I mean, I don't even know what to say. It's like saying you should spend 20 years becoming the best chef in the known galaxy. And the purpose of spending 20 years studying night and day to become the best chef in the galaxy, the purpose of all of that, you see, is what? Well, the purpose of all of that, you see, is to just grab random things from random boxes, throw them all together, mix them all up, and serve them as goop. You should love excellence and randomized shit at the same time.

[49:32] You should pursue moral excellence and you should love yourself because of your pursuit of moral excellence, but you should love your neighbors regardless of whether they're good or bad. What does that mean? Love your neighbor as yourself. Okay. But loving myself has something to do with the pursuit of moral excellence, does it not? Should I love myself if I'm evil? I would assume no sane person would say that. Okay, so I love myself because of my pursuit of moral excellence, but I should also love other flesh bags around me because they happen to be breathing and walking around, regardless of whether they're good, bad, indifference, corrupt, evil, nice, nasty, vicious, kind, whatever. So I should have high standards for my own morality and no standards for everyone else, and I should love these things equally. I must love the thing called moral excellence and other people because they're alive.

[50:21] The Contradiction of Loving Virtue

[50:22] I love the highest standards in myself and have no standards for my love for others but if I should love other people as myself, and I should love them just for existing then I should love myself just for existing and should not put one ounce of effort into moral improvement because it's difficult and hard and challenging and ugly and there's blowback and it's uncomfortable, if I should love other people just for existing then I should love myself just for existing.

[50:51] No no this is a blank check written for other people to cash in at your expense forever and ever amen it is the spread of corruption you do not give people rewards for that which they have not earned isn't that foundational all these people who say well love others as you love yourself are you right okay so you're saying i should give an a plus the a plus plus plus plus of my love to people who've done nothing to earn it. Okay. So that's a principle, right? You give the highest awards to people just for existing. Okay. So anybody who wants a medical degree, we should just give them a medical degree. Everybody who wants to become a lawyer, just give them, because we give the highest awards. Everybody gets a Nobel Prize. Everybody Everybody gets a Pulitzer, everybody gets every prize. Because we give the very highest prizes to people, whether they've earned it or not.

[51:49] If you say this to a woman, you know, a woman's sexuality is one of her highest prizes, right, and her love. So the woman then must give her sexuality and her love to every single man, no matter whether he's foul and corrupt and riddled with STDs or whatever it is, right? No, you've got to give the highest value to everyone no matter what. What? That's not how we—every kid should pass, no matter, get A+++, no matter whether they show up to school, no matter whether they set fire to the school, no matter whether they're a bully, no matter. It doesn't matter. You give them the A++, but that's not how we operate as a society at all.

[52:24] The Reality of Society's Expectations

[52:25] Not even close, not even a time. We do the exact opposite all the time. It's such bullshit. We do the exact opposite all the time. We fail kids. We give them Fs. We cut them from the team if they're not practicing. We cut them from the orchestra if they don't practice, if they don't know how to play their instruments. I don't know, maybe that's happening less now As egalitarian hyper-feminism takes over The status indoctrination camps But in general, in life as a whole, We get rid of people who aren't up to scratch It's not how we run society at all, You don't pass your driver's test You can't legally drive You don't buy insurance You can't legally drive We don't give the highest outcomes To everyone, no matter what at all.

[53:18] I didn't meet or match society's expectations and I was yeeted out like the worst lying blue spaceship Gumby in Among Us. Gone, baby, gone. Bye-bye. Right? That's the way it worked with me. Right? So what are they talking about? Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Strive for moral excellence by giving the highest moral approbations to those who have no interest in moral excellence.

[53:54] Strive, become the greatest surgeon in the world so you can hire people who printed off their own medical degrees in their basement and don't know which end of the scalpel to hold. And of course you understand this is all just a corrupt demand for the provision of the unearned. Love me though I'm terrible. Love me though I'm a total dirtbag. Love me although I'm corrupt. Love me although I steal deal from you. Well, that is just saying, provide to me the unearned. Give to me what I have not earned, just as if I've earned it. I don't want the bother of becoming good, but I want you to treat me as most moral, no matter what.

[54:40] And John Stuart Mill and countless other moralists have I've just mouthed these gross, olive oil on the gum line, ridiculous, slithery sentences, without, it seems to me, a single shred of thought or reasoning, and saying to those people, you should pursue moral excellence because it's good, and you should love everyone who hasn't pursued moral excellence because that's good, so it's completely mental, it's completely destructive, it's completely deranged. And of course a lot of these moralists taught at universities with very strict entrance requirements and then they're saying well no no no we should have no standards for everyone and anyone it's stomach turning i'm certainly happy to hear rebuttals to all of this it's a big conversation i'm opening up and there's ways of interpreting these statements that can salvage them which is i think why they've lasted so long but we get to that another time so thanks everyone so much for listening, freedemand.com slash donate to help out the show. I really, really would appreciate it. Lots of love from up here. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

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