Podcast Summary

    • The dangers of extreme ideologies and the need for critical thinking in academiaExtreme ideologies, such as the social justice warrior culture influenced by postmodernist ideologies, can lead to mob-like behavior and a disregard for individual rights and reasoned debate. It is crucial to recognize these dangers and promote open-mindedness and intellectual integrity.

      The controversy at Evergreen State College highlights the dangerous consequences of extreme ideologies and the lack of critical thinking. Brett Weinstein's experience and the campus events demonstrate how social justice warrior culture, stemming from postmodernist ideologies, can fuel mob-like behavior and a disregard for individual rights and respect. The focus on power dynamics and the dismissal of objective truth allows for a justification of any means necessary to dismantle the so-called "establishment." This mindset not only leads to division and conflict but also undermines the importance of reasoned debate and understanding. Ultimately, it is vital to recognize the dangers of radical ideologies and strive for open-mindedness and intellectual integrity.

    • Emotional Responses to Nazi and Communist SymbolsHistorical ignorance and a lack of understanding contribute to the differing emotional condemnation of Nazi and Communist symbols, highlighting the importance of recognizing and addressing the potential reemergence of these ideologies.

      The symbols and ideologies associated with Nazis and Communists evoke different emotional responses, which can affect how they are perceived and condemned by society. The swastika, representing the Nazis, carries a strong emotional impact due to its historical association with genocide and violence. On the other hand, the hammer and sickle, representing Communism, often doesn't receive the same level of emotional condemnation, despite its association with oppressive regimes and countless deaths. This discrepancy may be due to historical ignorance and a lack of understanding about the true nature of these ideologies. The danger lies in underestimating the potential reemergence of these ideologies, as seen in events like Charlottesville. Understanding the evolutionary patterns underlying such movements is crucial for effectively addressing and combating them.

    • Tribalism and Polarization: A Dangerous Trend in SocietyRecognizing and addressing the rising trend of tribalism and polarization is crucial to prevent harm and division within society. We must choose which values to promote while acknowledging the amoral nature of evolution.

      There is a dangerous trend of tribalism and polarization occurring in society. It is not just limited to the far right or the Nazis, but also present on the radical left. The far right represents a stable force due to a population that remains cohesive, while the coalition of various tribal identities on the left is an unstable entity. This polarization is fueled by factors such as the reversion to racial identity, disgust sensitivity, and the association between orderliness and authoritarian political attitudes. It is crucial to recognize and address this trend, as it has the potential to cause harm and division within society. We must actively choose which features to honor and promote while being aware of the amoral nature of the evolutionary process.

    • Recognizing our capacity for violence and the importance of open discussionsUnderstanding the factors that can lead to extreme behavior is crucial in preventing history from repeating itself. Recognize our potential for both good and darkness, and actively work towards a future of unity.

      Human beings have the potential for both incredible good and extreme darkness within them. We must recognize that the capacity for violence and dehumanization exists within all of us, given the right circumstances. It is easy to distance ourselves from historical atrocities and believe that we are fundamentally different from those who committed them. However, this is a dangerous mindset, as it prevents us from truly understanding the factors that can lead to such behavior. Engaging in open, uncensored discussions about taboo topics is crucial in order to analyze and dissect these patterns and prevent history from repeating itself. By acknowledging the radical instability of our sociological and psychological landscape and actively working towards better understanding, we can strive for a future that is less prone to division and violence.

    • The Dangers of Polarization and Censorship in Universities and Online PlatformsOpen communication and debate, rather than censorship, are essential for diffusing dangerous ideas and fostering progress.

      There is a growing concern about the polarization and ideological control within universities and online platforms. Jordan Peterson highlights the danger of universities being taken over by radical Marxists, leading to further polarization and potential conflicts between the radical left and right. The conversation emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility rather than ideological identification, and the need for open communication and debate. However, the fear arises when internet giants like Google and YouTube begin to censor content based on algorithms and automated bots, stifling free expression and preventing crucial discussions. The key message is that suppressing communication and ideas is more dangerous than allowing reprehensible views to be discussed, as open dialogue helps to diffuse dangerous ideas and find opportunities for progress.

    • The Role of Biology in Shaping Behavior and Addressing Racism and SexismUnderstanding our biological tendencies allows us to choose and act differently, moving past racism and sexism. However, we must balance biology's influence and not let it dictate our actions to avoid dangerous ideologies like eugenics.

      Biology plays a significant role in shaping our behavior and has the potential for racism and sexism due to our genetic makeup. While sexism can be socially influenced, racism is ingrained in our genes and has led to many dark chapters in human history. Understanding our biological tendencies allows us to recognize that our genes do not have rational objectives or values that we must honor. By acknowledging this, we gain the freedom to choose and act differently, moving past these issues as we evolve. However, it is important to strike a balance between recognizing biology's influence and not letting it dictate our actions, as biological essentialism can lead to dangerous ideologies like eugenics. We need to use our rational minds to mitigate the challenges posed by our biological urges and shape a more inclusive future.

    • Acknowledging Biological Differences for a Better WorkplaceRecognizing and addressing biological differences between men and women can help create policies that maximize economic contribution across genders, but respectful and evidence-based dialogue is needed to address these complex issues.

      There are significant biological differences between men and women at the level of temperament and interest. This is not to say that these differences are right or wrong, but rather that they exist and should be acknowledged scientifically. James Demore's now infamous memo touched on this topic, stating that understanding these differences can help create a workplace that benefits both men and women. For example, women are often more agreeable, which can be a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating higher salaries. Recognizing and addressing these differences can lead to policies that maximize economic contribution across genders. However, the ability to have a reasonable discussion about these topics is hindered by the claim that men and women are exactly the same. This inhibits progress and prevents solutions from being explored. The controversy surrounding Demore's memo highlights the need for respectful and evidence-based dialogue to address these complex issues.

    • The dangers of polarization and the importance of personal responsibility in a divided society.Personal responsibility and individual development are crucial in bridging the gap between extreme ideologies, promoting understanding, and preventing societal disintegration.

      We are living in a time of extreme polarization and ideological rigidity. Jordan Peterson acknowledges his role in contributing to this state of chaos by compromising truth for the sake of convenience. Similarly, Joe Rogan highlights the quickness with which people label others as racist without proper justification. The conversation then delves into the rise of the alt-right, which often attracts individuals who feel alienated by the radical left. However, the key question emerges - does opposition have to be the only alternative? Couldn't we strive for something different rather than opposing one extreme with another? This leads to the importance of personal responsibility and individual development as a counterforce to societal and biological influences. Without embracing this path, we risk tearing ourselves apart through divisive ideologies.

    • Personal Struggle, Innovation, and Individualism: Shaping Society for the Better.Embracing personal struggles and thinking independently are essential in advancing society. The contribution of individuals, through their unique insights and experiences, can transform society and lead to progress and discovery.

      Personal struggle and individual innovation play crucial roles in shaping and advancing society. Jordan Peterson emphasizes the importance of willingly and courageously embracing struggles, both physical and spiritual, as a means of understanding the true potential of our minds and bodies. He argues that shrinking from such struggles only intensifies suffering and leads to resentment and malevolence. Additionally, Bret Weinstein highlights how societal progress and discovery rely on individuals who think independently and challenge existing norms and beliefs. The freedom to express unique ideas and perspectives through mechanisms like free speech allows for the exploration of new possibilities and the pooling of diverse knowledge and perspectives. Ultimately, the heroic individual who embraces personal growth and contributes their unique insights and experiences to the collective landscape has the power to shape and transform society for the better.

    • Exploring the metaphorical truths of the Bible and its relevance in navigating life's complexities.The Bible's stories offer metaphorical truths that can guide individuals through life's challenges, even if they are not literally true.

      The Bible, despite being read as making claims about the objective nature of the world, is actually a collection of stories that emerge from the idea of the divine individual. These stories, like those in Genesis, can be understood as metaphorically true, even if they are not literally true. Jordan Peterson argues that the Bible explores the relationship between chaos and order, with consciousness acting as the mediator between the two. The stories of Abraham, for example, highlight the call to adventure and the trials one may face in life. Bret Weinstein adds that metaphorical truth, although not morally right, can still be effective and advantageous. Therefore, religious truths may not be inherently up to date, but they still hold metaphorical truths that can guide individuals in navigating the complexities of life.

    • Ancient Wisdom for Modern LifeThe wisdom found in ancient stories and religious texts can still guide us today, offering valuable insights and principles that help us navigate the complexities of our present world.

      The ancient stories and religious texts contain valuable wisdom that can still be applied to our lives today, despite the changing circumstances. While the details may not be accurate or up to date, the underlying patterns and principles hold true. We can learn from the archetype of the wise king, represented by Geppetto in the story of Pinocchio, who wishes for his son to become a real individual. Similarly, it is our moral duty to embody the archetypal images of perfection, like the Christ figure, within the context of our own lives. By updating and maintaining the ancient wisdom, we can navigate the challenges of our present world, straddling the border between chaos and order to achieve stability and growth. Religious texts are not mind viruses but adaptations to past environments, providing valuable insights that can help us navigate the current challenges we face.

    • Balancing Tradition and Progress in a Complex World.Recognize the limitations of traditional wisdom and seek a balance between maintaining tradition and embracing modern knowledge in order to navigate the complexities of the world.

      Traditions and religious texts carry ancestral wisdom forward, but this wisdom may not address modern questions. It is necessary to recognize this and move forward with something more up-to-date and potent. However, rewriting or updating traditions is not easy, as they may have deep roots and complexities. Moreover, there is a distinction between metaphorical truth and objective truth, which can sometimes dissociate. Using the word "truth" can be problematic, as it can have multiple definitions. It is crucial to differentiate between traditions and wisdom and the objective truths of the world. Ultimately, it is important to navigate these complexities and seek a balance between tradition and progress.

    • Understanding the Different Kinds of Truths and the Importance of Wisdom in Decision Making.Knowledge of facts is important, but wisdom is essential for making decisions that consider both personal and collective well-being.

      There are different kinds of truths: tool truths and objective fact truths. Tool truths are the ones we use to function properly in the world, while objective fact truths are the top level truths that reveal themselves through careful experiments and testing. While ideally these truths should align with each other, in reality, they often don't due to our limited knowledge and understanding. This leads to a distinction between facts and wisdom, where wisdom may be derived from facts but cannot always be firmly grounded in them. Therefore, it is not enough to simply know the facts; wisdom is also necessary to navigate the complexities of life and make decisions that consider both personal and collective well-being.

    • Balancing wisdom with objective reality and social contractsThe constraint of objective reality and social contracts leads to a vast array of interpretations, but without a clear purpose, postmodernism becomes a dead end, driving some towards alternative ideologies like Marxism.

      Wisdom is not only constrained by objective reality, but also by the necessity of a functional social contract. It must work in the world and maintain relationships with others without undermining the structure in which we live. This constraint of objective reality and social contract leads to a landscape of applicable interpretation, which is almost infinite, but highly constrained. The postmodernists make a valid point about the infinite number of interpretations, but their ideology becomes a dead end without a clear purpose. This is why many turn to Marxism as an alternative. However, it is important to understand that postmodernism grew out of Marxism historically, and the motive power behind Marxism is its romanticized egalitarian approach.

    • The Inequality of Capitalism and the Flaw in Marx's AnalysisWhile capitalism inherently leads to unequal distribution of resources, Marx's solution of communism is not effective and can lead to violence. Understanding economic complexities is vital to avoid dangerous beliefs.

      Capitalism and the distribution of resources is inherently unequal and tends to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few. This phenomenon, known as the Pareto distribution, is not unique to capitalism but exists in all systems of production. However, Marx's critique of capitalism as the cause of this inequality is flawed. It fails to recognize that this concentration of resources is a natural feature of any production system. While Marx's analysis of capitalism may have some valid points, his prescription for addressing inequality through communism or Marxism is toxic and historically proven to lead to violence. It is important to understand the complexities of economic systems and the motivations behind various ideologies to avoid dangerous and intellectually pathological beliefs.

    • The Challenges and Opportunities of Success in a Concentrated SystemSuccess is not solely determined by individual effort, but also by systemic issues. While being at a disadvantage can lead to innovation, it's crucial to acknowledge the uneven opportunities for success and address societal barriers.

      Success in any creative endeavor is not solely determined by power or authority, but by offering a quality product that people choose to gravitate towards. However, the issue arises when all the wealth or success ends up concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, leaving others at a disadvantage. While it is true that specifying a target and working hard towards it can increase the chances of success, there are still systemic problems that need to be addressed, such as the difficulty of moving from 0 to having even a little bit of money. This is where the revolutionary mindset comes into play, as those at 0 may see burning the entire system down as their only chance to escape their immobile position. On the other hand, being at 0 can also lead to incredible creativity and innovation, driven by the necessity to succeed. However, it is important to recognize that there are levels of absolute privation that go beyond mere motivation, and not everyone has the same opportunities for success.

    • Breaking the Cycle of Consumption and DissatisfactionIn order to achieve true happiness and create a more stable society, we must address our constant need for more, redistribute resources, and provide opportunities for everyone to innovate and improve their lives.

      Our pursuit of new opportunities and innovations often leads to a cycle of constant consumption and dissatisfaction. When we discover something that improves our lives, instead of stabilizing the benefits and finding satisfaction, we turn it into more of the same. This constant need for more not only prevents us from achieving a stable sense of happiness but also perpetuates inequality and destabilizes society. To address this problem, we need to engineer around our evolutionary wiring and find a way to turn the gains of innovation into what we truly value. This requires an intelligent conversation between the left and the right, acknowledging the need for innovation and the consequences of inequality, while also finding ways to redistribute resources and provide opportunities for everyone to innovate and improve their lives.

    • Addressing the Root Problems of Society: Money, Responsibility, and Inequality.Society needs to foster a sense of purpose, encourage social responsibility, and reduce inequality to prevent unrest and promote fairness. Money alone is not the solution.

      The fundamental problem in society is not solely about the lack of money, but rather the lack of social and individual responsibility. Jordan Peterson argues that human beings need a sense of purpose and a place where they can accept social responsibility in an honorable manner. Simply providing a basic income does not address this deeper issue. Furthermore, Bret Weinstein points out that people are more motivated by the perception of inequality than by their absolute level of well-being. The modern environment, with its constant exposure to artificial portrayals of wealth, exacerbates this problem. To mitigate societal unrest and avoid a tribal population against population conflict, it is crucial to reduce the perception of inequality by providing enough well-being and equality of opportunity. Additionally, the game of life must be played fairly, without the rich rigging the system for personal gain.

    • The Oversimplified Debate on Inequality and the Role of MarketsStriking a balance between market efficiency and ethical limitations is crucial in addressing inequality and corruption for sustainable economic growth and innovation.

      The current debate on inequality and the role of markets is oversimplified and driven by extreme ideologies. On one hand, there are those who argue that all inequality is the result of oppression and power, while on the other hand, there are those who believe that markets are flawless and produce great results without corruption. Both of these views are flawed. The truth lies somewhere in between. Markets are indeed efficient at generating economic growth and innovation, but they are not capable of determining what is morally right or what people should desire. The problem arises when a large portion of the economy becomes focused on rent-seeking and unproductive activities. This is not a conspiracy, but rather a consequence of finite opportunities and the ever-present allure of transferring wealth without contributing value. It is important to strike a balance between the benefits of markets and the need for ethical limitations to prevent excessive inequality and corruption. The polarization of these viewpoints in universities and society at large is concerning, as it stifles meaningful dialogue and hampers the search for viable solutions.

    • The Influence and Dangers of Unethical Market PracticesThe unchecked power of markets can lead well-intentioned companies to resort to immoral practices and hinder the fair competition of ethically restrained individuals. Open discussions and finding the right balance between regulation and freedom are crucial.

      Markets have the potential to train individuals to do unethical things that are not being monitored. This gives a disadvantage to ethically restrained individuals who strive to compete on a level playing field. Tech giants like Google, for example, start with good intentions but are forced to evolve into immoral practices as they face competition and pressure to beat their rivals. Moreover, the influence of markets extends beyond business, affecting institutions like universities and journalism, which may not thrive under market forces. Finding the right balance between state regulation and unregulated markets is crucial, as both extremes have their own dangers. These complex issues highlight the importance of open discussions and free speech. Additionally, the issue of censorship arises when platforms like Google and YouTube dictate what ideas can be freely discussed and monetized.

    • The role of freedom and individual efforts in success and inequalityHard work, intelligence, and conscientiousness are key factors in determining success, but environmental factors and cognitive limitations can influence opportunities for equal success.

      Freedom and individual efforts play a significant role in determining success and inequality. Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson highlight the relationship between freedom, effort, and achievement. They emphasize that in a free world, some individuals will naturally outperform others due to their dedication, focus, and conscientiousness. Peterson adds that intelligence and conscientiousness are the two best predictors of long-term success, with effort being a crucial factor. He even suggests that measuring those traits accurately can predict someone's success with 85% accuracy. However, they also acknowledge that factors like environmental influences on IQ and the limits of cognitive training programs can affect equal opportunities. Overall, their discussion underscores the meritocracy aspect of our society, where hardworking and intelligent individuals tend to excel.

    • Genetics and Intelligence: The Impact of Environment and Other FactorsGenetics play a significant role in intelligence, but other factors such as prenatal influences and equal opportunities also shape our intellectual capabilities. Universal basic income and healthcare systems are discussed as potential solutions, while controversial topics require caution and understanding in discussions.

      The IQs of identical twins raised apart tend to converge rather than diverge, suggesting that genetics play a significant role in determining intelligence. However, this finding is based on a small sample size, and it is important to consider other factors such as prenatal influences on IQ. Both Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein agree on the importance of equality of opportunity, where everyone has a fair chance to succeed. They also discuss the potential benefits of a system like universal basic income, which can provide a safety net and allow individuals to pursue valuable ideas without the fear of failing. Additionally, they touch upon the differences between the Canadian and American healthcare systems, highlighting the complexities and costs associated with each. Lastly, they cautiously approach the topic of Hitler, acknowledging the difficulty of discussing such a charged subject and the potential for misunderstanding.

    • The Lurking Impulses of GenocideWe should recognize the potential for genocidal tendencies in our world and understand that they can still exist within us, despite choosing not to act upon them.

      The danger of genocidal impulses still exists in our world, even if we assume they have disappeared. The discussion between Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein highlights the rationality behind Hitler's actions, albeit morally reprehensible. Hitler's program aimed to increase resources dedicated to his population by enslaving those who were deemed fit for work. This evolutionary perspective suggests that there is an inherent tendency to homogenize environments to decrease the probability of being harmed by a distinct population. While evolutionists traditionally focus on kin relationships, there is no logical reason to assume that this ends at the edge of immediate kin. We must remain vigilant and acknowledge that these lurking impulses are present in our genomes, even if we, as adults, choose not to act upon them.

    • The Impact of Political Rhetoric on Extremist MovementsPolitical figures must be careful with their words to avoid inadvertently validating extremist movements, while journalists and individuals need to actively question these groups to reveal their harmful agendas.

      The response and language used by political figures, such as Trump, can have a significant impact on extremist movements like white nationalism. Trump's failure to specifically denounce white supremacists during the Charlottesville incident provided an opportunity for these groups to feel validated and supported. It is crucial to recognize the importance of truth, as it can be misused and manipulated to promote harmful agendas. Moreover, journalists and individuals engaging with extremist groups should be critical and ask tough questions to prevent them from masquerading as innocent or friendly. Open dialogue and understanding can help reveal the true intentions and beliefs of these groups, exposing their harmful agendas.

    • Unveiling Controversial Groups: The Power of Cordial ConversationsBuilding bridges and promoting understanding between opposing sides is best achieved through non-confrontational discussions that encourage individuals to express their true thoughts and beliefs.

      Engaging in cordial and non-confrontational discussions can sometimes be more effective in exposing the true nature of controversial groups. By allowing individuals to feel comfortable and be themselves, their true thoughts and beliefs are more likely to surface. This approach can be seen in the example of Kamau Bell's interactions with the KKK, where he was able to reveal their ugliness without resorting to arguments or confrontation. However, it is important to raise the threshold of offense and not simply ask questions, but to embed oneself in the conversation to truly understand the perspectives of these groups. This approach can help in bridging the gap between opposing sides and encourage more rational discussions about important issues.

    • The nuances of labeling memes and symbols as racist or hateful are explored by Joe Rogan and the panel, emphasizing the importance of understanding humor and context.Differentiating between creators of hateful content and those who use symbols in a lighthearted way is crucial, as overgeneralization and confusion lead to unfair labeling and further polarization. Open discussions are needed to address these nuances.

      The labeling of memes and symbols as racist or hateful can be a slippery slope. Joe Rogan and the panel discuss how humor and context play a significant role in understanding these memes. While there may be some abhorrent and racist memes out there, the majority of them are meant to be humorous. They argue that it is crucial to differentiate between those who create hateful content and those who use these symbols in a lighthearted way. By conflating the two, people are being unfairly labeled as Nazis and racists. This kind of overgeneralization and confusion only further polarizes and divides us. It is important to have open discussions that explore these nuances rather than categorizing everything as hate speech.

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    "Opening and closing quotes: Recording of Anton LaVey from “The Occult Explosion” LP (United Artists Records, 1973)

    Opening music: Anton LaVey playing the calliope, from Nick Bougas’ documentary “Speak of the Devil” (Wavelength Video, 1993, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Nlu7LMWUI).

    Closing music: Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” played backwards.

    Church of Satan official website: www.churchofsatan.com/

    Anton LaVey’s “The Satanic Bible” on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Satanic-Bible-Anton-Szandor-Lavey/dp/0380015390

    Church of Satan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChurchofSatan

    Bill M., “The Darth Vader Shirt,” http://www.churchofsatan.com/the-darth-vader-shirt.php

    Bill M., “Satanism is not a Congregational Religion,” http://www.churchofsatan.com/satanism-is-not-a-congregational-religion.php

    Bill M., “Hail Science! Earth Day 2017,” http://www.churchofsatan.com/hail-science-earth-day-2017.php

    Bill M.’s podcast “The Devil’s Mischief”: http://www.radiofreesatan.com/category/devilsmischief/ "

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