« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#56 — Abusing Dolores

2016-12-12 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Paul Bloom about empathy, meditation studies, morality, AI, Westworld, Donald Trump, free will, rationality, conspiracy thinking, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I have Paul bloom underline Paul thanks for coming back in the past, I'm thanks for having back. You are now officially my boy. I have, I think, only to return guests, but you have just edged out David Deutsche who has two appearances. So you are you're the only third appearance on this podcast so that it says something. That's not exactly like a twentieth appearance on the tonight show, but it is a measure of how good again your I'm touched. Maybe you know maybe a decade from now. Who knows we could be doing the Twentyth anniversary year will, after we did? Our second show people, just email me saying just have Paul on the pie cast all the time you don't need any other. So you're a popular guessed? What we had a great discussion, I think, a little bit about what makes further discussion it is you and I agree on a lot? We have a lot of common ground, but there's enough tension and enough things,
Against that we get some some good discussion going. We will see if we can steer thousand in the direction of controversy. Perhaps, but you have just released a book which we talked about to a significant degree. I think in your first appearance here and we would be remiss not to talk about it, some so we'll start with that. But people she just know that if they find what we are about to say about empathy intriguing, our first podcast has a full. All our more on it and it is an incredibly interested and consequential issue which we will be giving short shrift here, because we ve we ve already done it, but the proper and try to this topic is it. You have just released a book entitled against empathy, which is a I think I told you it at the time as a factor
title, you seem to steer yourself out of a full collision with the outrage of your colleagues in your subtitle, you have as a subtitle the case for rational compassion, so you're, not against compassion. Obviously tell us about your position on empathy and how different from compassion. So the distinction is super important, because if you just against empathy. It be fair, and after soon I'm some sort of monster, some sort of person arguing for pure selfish, No sir, you know entire lack of warmth are caring for others, and that's not what I mean by Amnesty International. What psychologists Rogers Mean by empathy either I am against is putting yourself another people, shoes feeling their pain, feeling there frank and it may even against us in general. I think empathy is a wonderful source of pleasure. It's a central to sex is central to sport,
its central than a pleasure. We get from literature and and movies and all sorts of fictional entertainments, but what I argue is in the more all round when it comes to being good people. It stairs is dangerously astray. The moral train wreck and the reason why is it assumes a sin on individuals like a spotlight and in fact the fans of empathy describe it as a spotlight, but because of that, very biased, I'll, be more impact or somebody who is my skin color and another different skin color. Somebody I know versus the a stranger it's difficult impact, they got all to somebody you who, everywhere disgusting or unattractive or dangerous or opposed to you and I M and attract a lot of neuroscience studies we get into that. I get at this, not only through self report. Which is kind of unreliable, but actually looking at a quarrel. Of empathy in the brain you know finding that some studies find that when my favorite studies tested male Sakharov hands in Europe
and I m they watch somebody who's been described as a fan of their same team, receive electric shocks turns out. I feel empathy and at the same parts of the brain it would be active if they themselves being shocked, light up when they see other person being shocked, Z, s great, but then another condition they observe somebody who is described as not being of the supporting the same team and their empathy shuts. Now in fact, when you get a kind of a blast of of pleasure circuitry when they watch the person being shot, and so empathy is I asked a narrow and parochial and- and I think leads strain a million ways, much of which we discussed the last time. We talked about this compassion is a bit different, so My argument is what we should replace empathy with for decision making is cold blooded reasoning, You know of a more or less utilitarians, or you judge, costs and benefits. You ask yourself: what can I do
make the world a better place. What could I do to increase happiness to redo suffering we can view as in in a utilitarian way to do it in terms of quantity and moral principles way, but whoever you do it it's it's an act of reason, what's missing in an part of my subtitle what's missing, and that is everybody from David, human down has pointed out any some sort of motivation, some sort of kick in advance and that's where I think compassion comes in. So many people, Buller empathy and compassion together. I don't actually care happy, we used terminology, but what's import MR really different. So you can feel empathy. I see you suffer and I feel your opinion and I assume that, but you could also feel passion, which is you care for somebody. You love them. You want them to why you want them to be happy, but you don't feel their pain and some really cool expire. My son, his verses, were done by an innocent gonna connected to one of your deep interest that, adaptation we're done by time
sing or whose german Euro scientist Mattie Ricard, whose a buddhist monk and so called biggest man alive they did you study what a train people to feel empathy up their experiences. Suffering of others and then they train another group to feel compassion and the way they do this through a loving kindness meditation. Will you care about there's, but you don't feel pain. Now it turns out active entirely. Different parts of the brain is always some overlap. It distinct parts or brain but more to the point, different effects. So the end They training makes people suffer. It makes people selfish elites to burn out while the compassion training is pleasurable, people enjoy it. They enjoy feeling, kindness towards other people and makes them nicer and reason, studies are very reason. Studies by the psychologist, David in north western back this up by finding Meditation training actually increases people's kindness and the export
is that a given is an open question. Why does so definitely give? Is it ignites compassion, but shuts down empathy circuitry that it you you deal with suffering to deal with, that because you don't feel it. So this is one way make the distinction. Remember the compassion yeah. I think we probably raised this last time, but it is difficult to exaggerate how how fully, moral intuitions can misfire, when guided by empathy is opposed to some kind of rational understanding of what will positively affect the world. The research done by Paul Slow back on moral illusions is fascinating here when you, when you show someone a picture, a single little girl who's in need, they are met, similarly motivated to help, but if you show them the picture of a little girls
same little girl and her brother. There altruistic motive to help is reduced reliably. If you show them ten. Kids is reduced further and then, if you give them statistics about hundreds of thousands of kids in need of the same aid, it drops off a cliff, and that is clearly a bug, not a feature, and that that I think relates to this. This issue of empathy, as opposed to what is a higher cognitive act of just assessing. We know where the needs the greatest in the world. One could argue that we are not evolution. Airily well, designed to do that. We are condemning error. You cited a slovak findings. I think it was in the moral landscape where you you say something, there's never been a psychological financed, so blatantly shows a moral air. Were whatever your moral philosophy, is you shouldn't think that one It is worth more than eight, let alone worth more, especially when the,
eight contain the one life your concern exactly exactly as it is a moral disaster, an enemy in a cool is that, upon reflection, we could realise this. So I'm not one these psychologist to go on about how stupid we are, because I think every demonstration of here when irrationality has contained, with a demonstration of our intelligence, because we know, with irrational, we could pointed owns a gun that silly I mean we have to allow them my book sites, a lot of research showed demonstrating disorder phenomena you're talking about, but as an all Reservation Adam Smith, like three hundred years offers yet, but by three hundred years ago, said gave the example of an educated man of Europe. Hearing the country of China was destroyed at time when now d never known some, even China and dismissed as basic your average european member state will ass a shame and he go behind his day, But if he was to learn that tomorrow we will lose its low finger, he freak out here
he wouldn't sleep at all. At night I am I lose. My fingers will be painful Willoughby. What our little back in my life in the EU This example to shudder feelings are skewed, desire ways but then he goes on to point out that we can step back and recognised at the death of thousands is far greater tragedy. Then the loss of our finger It is this dualism that this duality it fascinates me between what I got tells us and what would our minds tell us? I believe we also goes on say that any man who would weigh the loss of his finger over the lives of Thousands or millions in some distant country will
consider a moral monster. Yes, he says he's, isn't human nature shudders at the thought of it when the great passages in all of literature really, I think I quote that the whole thing and in the moral landscape, so just a few points to pick up on what you just said about the Neuro Imaging Research done on on empathy. Verse, compassion is something that people don't tend to know about the meditative side of this but compassion as a response to suffering from a meditative first person and certainly
from the view of of Buddha. Psychology is a highly positive emotion is not a negative emotion, you're, not diminished by the feeling of compassion. The feeling of compassion is really exquisitely pleasurable, and it is what love feels like in the presence of suffering. The buddhas have various modes of what is called, loving, kindness and and loving kindness is this given the generic feeling of wishing others happiness, and you can actually form this wish with an intensity that is, that is really psychologically overwhelming, which is a just drowns out. Every other attitude you would have toward fur ends or strangers or even enemies right, you can just get this. The humming even directed at a person who has done you harm or or who is just a cut of adjectives, Lee evil. You wish this person was was no longer, so
afraid in all the ways that they are and we'll to be the kind of evil person they are, and you wish you wish you could have been proved them. It's a buddhist meditators acquire these states of mind and it's. Citizens of being of merely being made to suffer by witnessing the suffering of others, as is the antithesis of of being made depressed, when you are in the presence of aid, depressed person, say and and and so it really is it that the fact that empathy and compassion are used for the most part it s. Synonyms in in our culture is deeply confusing about what normative when psychology promises and win win, just what is on the menu as far as conscious attitudes, one can take toward toward the suffering of the people living there right? I think that that I am I was of the it in a debate in the general trends and cognitive sciences with
an excellent or scientist who disagrees of man is all sorts of interesting ways to go back and forth, but a one way, complains about the terminology, says, compare She isn't opposed. Empathy is a type of empathy to which my responses, who cares we can I don't care how one calls it different comfortable the column, different types of empathy, in which case I'm against one type of empathy for another, but the distinction itself is actually critical so often miss not only in the scientific feel, but so in everyday life I published an article on on embassy. In the Boston Review and got a wonderful letter, which I quote in my book, I, with permission of the of the writer, by this woman who were desert as first responder after nine eleven and after due in about a week. She couldn't take it anymore. She was to oppress by what she felt while her husband what happily and cheerfully can you in his work and it didn't seem to harm them at using. What is going on is something wrong with it.
Is something wrong with me and I think we make sensible This by saying that there is I propose at least two processes that led the kindness behaviour that can and one of them empathy. Essence, serious problems and if we could nurture compassion, we know make the world a better place, but we can we can enjoy it those while, while doing it to be clear what you also differentiate, two versions of empathy, because there is the cognitive apathy of simply understanding, another person's experience and then there's the emotional contagion version which we're talking about which you you are. Permeable to their suffering in a way that makes you suffer? Also that's right under the cap and of empathy is, is kind of a different bands very interesting and we might turned his late if we talk about Trump, but it's it's an understanding what goes on in the minds of other people and sometimes we call us mine, reading or theory of mind or social intelligence and is neither good nor bad. It's a tool. If you sound
want to make the world a better place and help people happier Can we help others can't do it unless you understand people want what affects people? Would it people? interest are what they believe, any good in any good policy maker needs, have high collar embassy another hand suppose you want the bully and humiliate people to seduce them against it Well, the condom to torture them here, too high empathy will help. If you want. Make me miserable it really up to now how I work and now my mind, works so. Content of empathy is a form of intelligence, like any sort of intelligence can be used, Different ways is morally neutral. So to say that someone is, is high The empathic in that way is to simply say that they can take another person's point of view, but that can be used for for good or ill that's right at the worst people in world have high cognitive. Empathy is. How do able to do so much damage wrote. One is but that's what you said about about meditated practice and Buddhism, because there are two things:
you send? One is easy really to get behind, which is the pleasure that comes through this sort of practice. Doing good in loving the ball in caring about people, but one they struggle with, and I don't know whether whether we have different news on this is over there. The blurring of distinction that comes through Buddhism, this meditative practice so on, there's a joke. I like is my only Buddhism joke have you heard about the Buddhas vacuum cleaner? It comes of no attachments, and so one of the criticisms of buddhist monks, there an end some extent to criticise a Christian my position is that there are some do something. She already we do want to have I'm not only do I love my my children more than one morning. I love you, but I think I'm right tell of my children more. Do I love you? Ok, we're gonna podcast right now!
one of the requirements of my part gas guess they love me as much as their own children. I love you second is make my few children, then you then my life as it is the appropriate rank is echoed especially for a third time. Yes, yes, I'm agnostic as to whether one or the other answers is normative here or whether there are, but there are equivalent norms which urges mutually incompatible, but you could create worlds there equally good by each rest, they, but I share your scepticism, or they at least, is not anti intuitively obvious to me that if you could love everyone equally That would be better than having some gradations of of moral concern the when we extend the circle in the way that Peter singer talks about of our moral concern. The world does get better and better, and what we want to overcome our selfishness are egocentricity are clan.
As our tribalism are nationalism all of all of those things of those boundaries we erect where we care more about. What's inside and outside the boundary, those all seem they at least they tend to be pathological, they tend to be source of conflict and they tend to explain de the inequities in our world that are just on their face, unfair and in many cases just unconscionable, but whether you want to just a level all of those distinct and love all homo sapiens equivalent that I dont know and I'm not actually sceptic
all that it is a state of mind. That's achievable. I've met enough long term editors and I've had enough experience in meditation and with psychedelic, send age, just changing the dials on conscious states to believe that it's possible to actually obviate all of them. Distinctions and just feel that love is nothing more than a state of virtually limitless aspiration for the happiness of other conscious creatures and that it need not be any more preferential. Were directed then that we are talking about a monk who has come out of a cave, doing nothing about compassion meditation for a decade. You're talking about somebody who, in most cases has no kids does have to function world the way we have to function, certainly civilised
she doesn't depend on people like that, forming institutions running our world so I dont know what to make of the fact that was just grant that is possible to change your attitude in such a way that you really just feel equivalent love for everybody and there's no obvious cost to you for doing that. I don't know what I do know what the costs would be to the species or to society. If, if every one was like that an end intuitively, I feel like it makes sense for me to be more concerned and therefore much more responsible foreign and to my kids, then for yours, but at a greater level of abstraction? When I talk about how I want society be run, I don't want to a legislate. My selfishness I together have to understand,
at the level of laws and institutions. Fairness is a value that, more often than not conserves everyone's interests better than successfully game. Corrupt system? Yet so I'm not an enemy. Women are the last thing you said because was astonishing to me, but for most, we're saying I'm I'm I'm nodding in agreement. Certainly the world much better. If our moral circle was expand, and certainly will be much better. If we cared a little bit more for people outside of our group and correspondingly resident lesson, people inside of our group. It's not it's not that care of her own enough. It's a problem, care for others enough. And I love your distinction as well, which is away. I kind of think about it now is I love my children more. I love your children, but I understand stepping back that a just society should treat them the same.
So I'm so. If I have a summer job opening I understand my university regulations. I say I can't higher my my sons and you know it a good rule? I love my sons like the higher, namely job for them and everything? But I could step back and say yeah we shouldn't be allowed. To let our own personal, reference is our own emotional. Family ties distort systems. That should be just an unfair. That the part of what you said, which I just gotta zoom in on, is: do you really think it's possible. Put aside somebody who has no prior attachments at all some some living in a cave, have you met or do you think you ll ever will meet people who had children and raise them who were treated after their child no differently than death of a strange child, I do actually,
I'm not sure what I think of it. I can tell you. These are extraordinarily happy. People said what you get from them is not a perceived deficit of compassion, worm, love or engagement with the welfare of other people, but you get a kind of obliteration of preference. The problem in their case, is it a surfeit of compassion and love and engagement so that they don't honor, the kinds of normal, your family ties or area or preferences that we consider now given that we would be personally scanned alive, to not honour ourselves the noise arms of preference which seem good to us, and we would feel that we all feel the way
a duty to enforce in our own lives, and we would be racked by guilt if we noticed a lapse in honouring those duties. These are people who have just below and passed all of that because they have used their attention in such a way unconvinced no and in some ways impersonal way, but it's an impersonal way that becomes highly personal or at least highly intimate in their role nations with other people to France's out. I studied with one one teacher in India: men impunity actually what he wasn't buddhist. He was. He was hindu, but he was not tee in anything, especially Hindu. Anything Lucy was talking very much in the tradition of if people are aware of these terms and I'll get them from my book. Waking up the tradition of right evident non. Do the non dual teachings of Vedantic, which are our nominally hindu there really just Indian there's nothing about gods and goddesses or any the garish religiosity you you see, and Hinduism
He was a really. I mean a lot that he taught that I did read within the end, or at least some crucial bits that he taught I disagreed with an end again. You can. You can find that in waking up if your interested, but he was a- I really shocking Lee charismatic and wise person to be in the past. And so he was really somebody who could just ball you over with his compassion and his the force of his attention. If I were knives a scrupulous as I am about attributing you know, causality here. Ninety percent of the people who spent any living in time around this guy thought he had a magic powers in this area
a highly unusual experience of being in a person's presence. Part of what made him so powerful was that actually, ironically, he extraordinarily high empathy of the unproductive kind, but it was can anchored to to nothing in his mind visit. So, for instance, if someone would have a powerful experience in his presence and Stena start to cry your tears, would just pour out of his eyes. You know he would just immediately start crying with the person and when somebody would laugh he would laugh. You know twice as hard. There was like he was. A amplifier of the states of consciousness of the people around him in a way that was really thrilling and when any again it there's no feedback mechanism here working people will just have a bigger experience, because the
in which he was mirroring their experience, and there was no sense at all that this was an act me. He would have to have been the greatest actor on earth for this to be brought off, but yeah he's. I think I forget, the data so the story, but the story about what how he behaved when his own son died. Who is would shock you with its apparent aloofness, write to me this is a person for whom a central part of his teaching was that death is not problem and he's not a hanging onto his own life or the lives of those he loves with any attachment at all, and he was advertising the benefits of this attitude all the time because He was the happiest man you ever met, but I think when push comes to shove and he had to react to the death of his son, he wouldn't react. The way you are, I would or the way you are. I would want to react given how we view the world s ordinary story. I mean I, I you have a lot of stuff.
Like that and waking up of people like that- and I haven't encountered many such people- I met Matthew regard ones and it was a Finally, moving experience for me and I'm not I'm not easily impress, I'm sorry I tend to be cynical about people identity really Nikobob people who claim to have certain abilities and alike, but as someone had a short meeting going out for tea and we just talked and there's something people, who have attained a certain mental capacity or set of capacities that you can tell by being was that they have at their bodies afforded they just a dream give it off from a mile away. It's like I'm, it's. It's is analogous to charisma, weed people have apparently I'm Bill Clinton. For us to be able to walk into like a large room in people, gather around him. Their eyes will be drawn towards him and whatever it is that someone like Matthew Regard has is extraordinary in a different way, which is he
some literal sense, exudes peace and compassion. Having said that, I am so with it. Freaks me out. Zelman morally troubles me I mean we talked about the bonds of family, but I can't imagine any such people having bonds of friendship you I would imagine your lot of emails and imagining allowing our asking you for favours so when I e mail USA, hit you now have a book coming out in a mood for upon cast, you? U am because we're friends you responded me different than if I urge, where total stranger Suppose you didn't. Support you treated everything on its merits, our now. Oh bonds, no, no connecting us every heart he was a good person, but you don't see Matthew that way. Now, if you knew more about the details of his life. You might find that it's not aligned with the way you parcel your concern. Prince's example, you just gave he might be less preference,
sure toward friends or not. I actually no matter. I dont often see him, but I've spent a fair amount of time with him he's what I would call a Mench he's just like the most deep and guy you're gonna meet all year. He does a wonderful person, but he's a I studied with his teacher Kenzie Refugee, who was very famous Lama and who many tibetan lamas thought was one of the greatest meditation masters of his generation. He die unfortunately, about twenty years ago, but it is more than that. I now notice, as I get older whenever I estimate how much time is passing off by fifty percent at least yeah, so much a study that problem self deception, I think, has something to do with it, so anyway, cancer, but she was just
this eight hundred pound guerrilla of meditation he spent more than twenty years practising in solitude and Matthew, was his closest attendant for years and years. I think just just to give you kind of to rank order was possible. Matthew, certainly wouldn't put himself anywhere near any of his teachers on the hierarchy of what's possible in terms of new transforming. You are your moment to moment, conscious experience and therefore the likelihood of how you you show up for others, Matthews Great, because, as you know, he's got he's. It was a scientist before it became a moment. He was at biology, Leclere and the work he is he's dying in collaboration with neuroscientist, who do Neuro Imaging work on meditation has been, has been great and he's he's. It he's a real meditate or so he can honestly talk about what he's doing inside the Scanner
that's that's fantastic, but again even his in his case, he's he's made a very strange life decision, certainly from your point of view, and he decided to be a monk and do not have kids to not have a career in science to not this in some ways an accident that he that you even know about him because he could just be, and for the longest time he was just sitting in a tiny little monk cell in Katmandu, serving his girl, a train. When I met him, he was spending six months of each year. In total solitude, which again bog my mind because I spent half hour by myself. I start to want to check my email and get anxious so so is it is. It is impressive, and I accept your point, which is I know, to sort of work to become more open minded about what the world would be like if certain things which I hold dear were taken away. Theirs, there's a story. I like of why,
Economics got called dismal science and its because it did terms given by Carlisle and Carlo was enraged at the economists who were dismissing an institution that car the very seriously and economists has said, This is a moral institution. Carlyle says you have no sense of feeling you're notions of tradition, it talking with slavery, So you know he was blast and economists ring so cold blooded. They couldn't appreciate the value and importance of slavery, and sometimes when I feel my own emotional poles towards certain things and I feel like I feel confident that whatever pulls I have along, say. Racial lines are immoral, but I'm less certain family lines or friendship lines I think I need to be reminded. We all need to be reminded. Well, we need to step back and look what what what future generations say, what We say when rider arab ourselves, it more than that for me to give up the idea that I should love children more than I love your children, but but it is worth thinking about and it's interesting to conceal
her moral emergencies and and how people respond in them and how we would judge their response suggested. Just imagine if you know you. A burning building and our children were in there and I could run in to save them, say I'm I'm on site and I can run in and save whoever I can save. Because I know my child in their. My priority is to get my child and who could blame me for that right I run in there and I see your child who can quickly save, but I need to look for my child, so I just on past your child and go looking for mine and at the end of the day I save no one say or I only say of mine. It really really was a zero sum contest between yours and mine. You know if you can wash that, lay out if you get a video of what I did in that house right and you saw me, run Ass, your child and your skull
in for mine? I think this is hard to know where fine the norm there. A certain degree of searching and a certain degree of disinterest with respect to the fate of your child begins to look totally pathological. It looks just morbidly selfish, but some bias seems only natural, and we might view me strangely, if I showed no bias at all there again. I know what the right answer is. There were living as though almost a total detachment from other people's fades, apart from the fates of our own family, he is normal and healthy, and when push comes to shove, that that is clearly revealed to not be healthy, write it The extremes are untenable. Imagine you are looking for your child, but your child's favorite Teddy Bear right. Why? then and now you're kind of monster. You know searching for that. While my child burned to death, I mean to make
matters. Worse mean Peter singers Amos landing American recently pointed out that example you're, giving as a sort of weird science fiction example, and you might reassure, we might reassures as well I'll, never happen, but singer points out we're stuck into dilemma every day of our lives here as we devote resources unites, I like lot apparent, spent a lot of money and my kids, including things that they don't you know things that make your life better, but our necessary and things are just fun toy expenses. Poison, vacations and so on, while other children die an insane it points out that, I really am in that burning building Europe a burning building buying my son, an xbox while kids, romantic, the die in a corner and editor is difficult, front. Decimating people get very upset when piercing rings of that rings it up, but it is. A moral dilemma that we are continually living with and continually. Struggling with.
And I dont know what the right answer is. But I do have a sense tat. We were doing it every day, is the wrong way, we're not devoting enough attention those in need. We do it too much attention to those we love here, Singer on the occupy, castles had Wilma casket, whose Bernanke argues in the same line, and you know I don't have a good answer. I think one thing I did as a result of my conversation with, will was I realized tat I needed to automate this insight, So will it is very involved any the effect of altruism community and then he arguably ethics started the movement and their way Besides, I give well dot org that rate a strange charities and they ve quantify the two to say they. Individual human life costs. Now there
five hundred dollars, and it has as the amount of money you have to allocate where you can say as a matter of likely math you have saved one human life and the calculation. Theirs is with reference to the work of the against Malaria Foundation. They put a piece. Insecticide treated had nets and malaria death has come down by fifty percent is still close to a million. Dying every year, but it was very recently. Two million people die each year from mosquito born, not not now all mosquito born illness just malaria. Actually. So, in response to my conversations with, will I just cite a well I'm still Can I by the xbox I know. I know that I can't for my life, in my view, the fun I have with my kids so fully to this the logic of this tree eyes right so that I use strip all the fun out of life and just everything to the against Malaria Foundation, but I decided that the first
thirty thousand five hundred dollars that comes into the podcast every month, we'll just by definition go to the against Malaria Foundation. I don't think about it. Just happened every month. I would have to decide to stop it from him. I think doing more things like that, I'm, so what will does? Is this actually giving pledge where people decide to give ten percent of their? Nothing is at least ten percent of their income to charity and to these most effective charities each year, any kind of change you want to see in the world that you want to be effective, automating it and taking it out of the cognitive overhead of having to be re inspired to do it each day or each year, each period that as an important thing to do. That's why I think the greatest chain, changes in human well being and inhuman morality will come not from each of us individually, refining our s oh code, to the point where we are by
every moral illusion right so that every time Paul Slovak shows as a picture of a little girl. We have the exact right level of concern and when we see eight kids, we have you know we have eightfold fold more, it would be, but to change our laws and institutions and tax codes and everything else that more It is getting John without us having to be saints. In the meantime, I guess that's right, I think that, on this comes up along discussions about but they. So I you know I talk about the failing. Of empathy and our personal lives, but lately say giving to charity deciding how to treat other people and a perfectly good response. I sometimes get as well gamma high empathy person. What am I gonna do about it and You know, one answer concerns activities like meditate oppressed, this, but you know you could be scared, to call over how well that works for many people, and I think your answer is best, which is in a good society. Now she is good. Individuals were smart, after develop procedures, mechanisms that
make things out of our hands, and this applies at every level. Critical theorists, Yon Elster points out. That's what a constitution is prostitution. Is a bunch of people saying? Look, we are irrational people and sometime in the future, we're gonna be tempted to makes dumb irrational choices. So, let's set up something to stop us endless at us they set up, something that too override our basins, things. We can change this, this stopping mechanism, but let's make it difficult, to change or takes years and years. So no matter how much Americans might if they want to re, elect a popular present for third term. They can't If all white Americans decide they want to reinstate institution of slavery, they can't, and laws work their way. Constitutions work their way. I think I think good diet work that way and charitable. Giving could work that way in that you have automatic
withdrawal or whatever. So you in an enlightened moment, you say this is the kind of person I wanna be, and you don't wait for your gut feelings all the time. I think come overriding. Other disruptive sentiments works the same way like suppose attitudes I'm going to be a graduate student or or something like that, and I know full well that there are all sorts of by. Is this: haven't you a physical attractiveness with race with gender, suppose I believe upon contemplation that it shouldn't matter. Chimera looking in person that shouldn't matter whether they were from the same country, is me? Will one day Nega try to do as they go out trotted really be very hard to monitor. Very hard not to be biased were horrible. At that near we Were we under Grech we justify. So what will you What we do and were at our best is develop some systems like, for instance, you I'm in the pictures. Some sort of blind blind reviewing, so you
and come into play here now is to see how this is done when it comes to. Water policy decisions, but people are working on it. Slovak actually, who we reference a few times talks about there's a lot so right now, for instance, governments decisions. Over, where to send aid or where to a war are made Basically, I got feelings and are basically based on said, stories and photographs of children washed ashore and someone, and if this makes the world worse and the people like slavic wonder, can we set up some fairly neutral triggering proceed yours that say in America when a situation gets this bad. According to some numbers in some objective judgments is a national emergency. We send in money, overseas, if this many people die intersections. Those circumstances we initiate some sort of investigative procedure, it sounds cool, old and bureaucratic, but I didn't call him bureaucratic is much better than hot blooded, an arbitrary,
there's something you said it went one reference in the soccer studied in group empathy and our group schadenfreude. Ah I guess yes- and this was it is reminded me of a question we got on Twitter. Someone was asking about the relationship between empathy and identity politics. I got a guess based on the research you just cited. There's a pretty straightforward action there. You only thought on it. There is a profound connection, we're we're very empathic creatures, but it always works out that their empathy transfer to focus. And others from within our group and knocked out group. I gonna do good caution when Sir Simon Baron calling the psychologist was very pro empathy and he said, if only I M talking about the time of the of the war in Gaza and I'm busy. You have only to Palestinians and Israelis had more empathy. This wouldn't happen. Does this would realise that decision, bring the Palestinians and vice versa, nor be peace and
I'm feeling here is that does exactly is exactly the opposite- that that conflict in particular suffered from an abundance of empathy. Israeli at a time, felt huge empathy for the suffering of teenagers who were kidnapped of their families. The Palestinians felt tremendous empathy for their countrymen who were imprisoned and tortured toward abundant empathy. And there's always abundant empathy at the core of any conflict into reason. Why dries conflict is. I feel tremendous empathy further American, who is tortured and captured and as a rule is very hard for me to feel empathy for the syrian for the iraqi and so on and, and you know we could, we can now pull it downloads. In the aftermath of Jews and sixteen election. I pick up I think Clinton. Voters are exquisitely good at empathy towards other Clinton voters and from voters for transporters having em they re a political and enemies is is difficult.
And I think actually and for the most part so hard, it's not worth attaining, which tried for other things. I think we certainly want the other form of empathy and we won't be able to I understand why people decided what they decided and we want to be just motives that don't exist or or waiting them in ways that are totally unrealistic. We inevitably will say something about politics. People would expect that of us by by law. There could be no discussion of over thirty minutes. It does not mention Trump, I'm gonna stereo toward trumpet before we go there, as you may or may not know, I've been fairly obsessed with artificial intelligence over the last eighteen months or so, and we solicit some questions from twitter and many people. Asked about this: have you gone down this rabbit hole at all? They have you thought about a I much and it is with. It was one question I saw here, which was given your research on empathy.
How should we programme- and I with respect to it as you hadn't, taken seriously the air. I worries and honestly I'll be honest. I dismiss them is somewhat crackpot and until I was you talk about it. I think was a TED talk and so thank you They got me worried about yet something else, and I found it fairly persuasive, There is an issue where we should be devoting a lot more thought to the question of putting empathy into machines, which is is, I think, in some way, morally frog, because if I'm right, that empathy leads the caprice, just an arbitrary decisions. Then, if we put empathy into computers are robots we animal capricious and arbitrary computers and robots. I think one p think about putting empathy into machines. They often thing about it from a marketing point of view, that I miss you know told robot or even an interface on a MAC.
Computer. That is somewhat empathic. Well will be pleasurable to interact with more humanoid more human like and will get more pleasure dealing, with it might be the case, and I heard a contrary from my friend David Pizarro, who points out that Wendy dealing with a lot of interactions. We you don't want empathy. We want of cold blooded interaction? We don't have become mostly invested in. We want professionalism, I think, at the edge of our seas, for intelligent, a I. I think we want proof. Nationalism more than we want emotional contagion. You don't If you were anxious and consulting your robot doctor, you don't worry that anxiety. Mirrored back to you right, you want you want, as stately physician as you ever met in in the living world, now added in this machine. Yes, I'm under it happy, viable home blood pressure of which just
he's been the numbers and doesn't say on how I feel terrible reason. Invariably oh yeah, he had to do All that occurred as it it's a machine start similar graphical here, trickled down the interface, I'm sure people, involved in marketing these devices think that you're? I think that It is right and when I discovered at for a lot of interfaces, we just want and an affect free emotion free interaction and and I think we find, as I find, for instance, with with interfaces where you have to call the airport or something when it reassures. Me that that is worried about me and so on. I find it clawing an annoying intrusive. I just want. I just want to data now I want to save my empathy for real people here, but I think the question goes to what, we'll be normative on the side of the eyes. So do we were
I I I guess I believe consciousness aside for the moment. Right. But do we want an eye that actually has me more than just fast sure knowledge of our preferences, insofar as it could emulate are emotional experience. Could that give it capacities? I say yet, that we wanted to have so as to better can serve our interests, So here is what I would fears might take on it, think we want a I with compassion. I think clearly one day have compassion towards us, a mature with it it came from you or somebody else, but somebody gave the following scenario for how the war will end the world's gonna and when someone programmes a powerful computer, that interface of other things to I'm to get rid of spam on email. And then the computer will probably destroy the world. Has a pseudo way to do this. We want machines to be.
We have a guard against doing that where they say what human life is valuable. Human flourishing animal feed flourishing is valuable, so if I'm one if I want a ride, it is involved in making significant decisions. I want to have compassion. I don't, however, wanna have empathy I think empathy makes us iranian makes us, among other things, racist delay, thing in the world we need as racist stay. I there's been some concern that we already have races to yes, I heard that, yes, I have got to go ahead. Remind me if I recall correctly there, there, algorithms, decided on. Parole and of prisoners and Oriana. Whether people get mortgages and there is some evidence I could be making them a bit of a hash of this, but there is some evidence it in in one or both. These categories that the I was taking racial characteristics into its calculate and then that wasn't that hadn't been programmed in that was just an emerging property of it. Finding of all the day.
Available, this data was was relevant in the case of prisoners that the recidivism right. You know it's just a fact that black pearl please receipt of eight more re offend more. I dont know in fact that it is say that say that and in a way I notice that will then of course, the eye, if you, if you gonna, be predicting whether a person is likely to violate their parole. You are going to take race into account of its actually descriptive, really true of the data that it's a variable, and so I think there that there was at least one story. I saw where you had people scandalised bye, bye racist day, I when I was was young and very nerdy more. Nor did I am now. I like gobble up also, inspection and Isaac. Asthma had a tremendous influence on me and he had all of his work on robots and he had you three laws, robotics and if you think about it, as in a more sophisticated view: Palazzo robotics weren't, particularly moral.
Coherent like one of them is you should never harm human are through When action allow human to come to harm but is mean to robots gonna run around trying to save people's lives all the time, because we're footwear continually not allowing people to come to her button, but the Spirit of Endeavour is right, which is, I would wire up, I think, in investing in some way as as robots nag a more powerful you can. Matthew becoming compulsory to wire up these machines with some morality does comes about right. In cars so that a new automatic right, a dead, the computer driven cars. Where are you going to do a and principles and there's a lot of good debates on that, but they have to be something that have some. Consistent moral principles that take into account human Life and human flourishing, and the last thing we want to stick in nearest is something that says well if some is adorable care for them. More always count
the single life has more than a hundred lives. There is no justification for putting their source penalties of empathy that were often stuck with did putting them into them? seems that we create that's one thing I love about this moment of having to think about supervision and I eyes its impact, is only clarifying of moral priorities all these people who, until yesterday, said, while you know who's to say, what's true in the moral sphere, once you for them to way and on how should we programming or them for self driving cars. They immediately see that you have to say these problems one way or another. These cars will be driving. Do you want them to be racist, Mars and want them to preferentially drive over old people as opposed to children? What makes sense and to say that there is no norm there to be followed is to just you're going to be. Designing one by accident than right. If you make a car, that is totally
unbiased with respect to the lives it saves. Well, then, you ve made this because this buddhist car right, you ve, made this eve maiden. The Matter Ricard car say that may be the right answer, but you have taken a position just by default and and the moment you to design away from that kind of pure equality. You are forced to make moral decisions and I think it is pretty clear that we have trolley problems that we have to solve and we have it a minimum. We have to admit that killing one purse it- is better than killing five and we have to design or cars too, to have that preference when put morality in the hands of the engineers. You see that you can't take refuge in. Any kind of moral relativism. You actually have to answer these questions for yourself. I. Envisioned as future, where you know you walk into a car dealership any order, one of these cars in your city back paying for it, and then your ass, what
setting do you want. You want racist Buddhist, radical feminist, religious fundamentalists. Have you heard this research, but when they ask people what the cars should do on on the question of how biased should it be to save the driver over the pedestrian say? So it is a choice between avoiding a pedestrian and killing the driver or killing the pedestrian. How should the car decide most people say in the abstract? It should just be unbiased. You should be indifferent between those two, but when you ask people would you buy a car that was indifferent between EU drivers, life any and pedestrians? they know they want they want a cars can predict their lives. So it's hard to adhere to the thing you think is the right answer. It seems
and there I actually dont, know how you saw their problem. I think probably the best solution is to not advertise how you ve solved yeah, I think, if you make it totally transparent, it will be, barrier to the adoption of technology that will be on balance immensely life's. Aiming for everyone know: you're drunk drivers and pedestrians included. We now have tens of thousands people every year reliably being killed by cars. We could bring it down by a factor of ten or a hundred and then The deaths that would remain would still be these tragic is that we would have to think long and hard about whether the algorithm perform the way we wanted to, but still that we have to adopt this technology as quickly as as is feasible. So I think transparency here could be a bad idea I think it's true. I find it. I know people, I insisted people would never going to a self driving a self driving car, and I find this bizarre because the alternative is far more dangerous
but but you're right, I think, is also the sphere of new technology. Where where it will be a reluctance to use them. The parameters is a reluctance to use elevators it didn't have an elevator operator for a long time. So, as has some schnook stand, there you can also be, would feel calm enough to go inside that have under but but but but I agree with the general point, which is is more general one, which is there's no. Opting out of moral choices. Failing to make a moral choice oversight. To charity or what, A car should do is itself a moral choice near and and an end driven by moral philosophy as it is, can resist adding. I think this is from the very bad wizards group, but you can imagine a car that had a certain morality and then you got into it at all. Nightly drove you too, like Oxfam and refused in Berlin till you gave him a lot of money here, so he really you don't want to a car, you wanna car sort of just moral enough to do your bidding but not now, much more, have you been watching any of these
Those are films that deal with a eyelike ex mark an hour West Worlder humans. I've been, I've been watching all of these Attila with ay I and and and they all day, all deal with my ex My and westward ordeal of that is that the struggle We have when something looks human enough acts, human enough. It is irresistible not treated as a person, an end. Their philosophers and psychologists and lady will might split. They may say: look if it looks like a person, and and and tossing a percentage than it has a consciousness like a person dandan. It would would most likely say that an his injury, different movies, indifferent tv shows. I actually think movies in cavies are often instruments is a very good philosophy. They go different ways on us, so so Ex Maxima? I hate the spoil it but by them. So a bureau should turn to sound for next six seconds. I don't want to hear it but
there's a robot, that's entirely two minutes and fifty four in caring for her the main character, trust her and then she cold, bloodedly betrays them, lock them in a room to stop that's why she goes on her way and it began. Entirely clear that all of this was simply a mechanism that she used to the to win over his love while for Wes whirl, it's more the opposite. Where that the host, I guess Dolores and others are seen as the really people, as as users, will see them as people and though the guests who forget about this, who brutalize them there the monsters here it is very interesting. I think all of these films and shows are worth watching them, they're they're all a little uneven. From my point of view, there are moments where you think this is the greatest film. The greatest television sugar regime
they all have their moments where they, as he said, they're there really doing some very powerful philosophy by by forcing you to have this vicarious experience of being in the presence of something that is passing the or test in a totally compelling way, and and and not the way, the Turin riches it up and me we we're talking about robots that are no longer in the uncanny valley and looking weird today they are looking like humans. There's humanist. Women and they are inserted these cases much smarter than people, and this reveals a few things to me that that are probably not surprising. But again it's to experience had vicariously just be out by our watching these things is different than just knowing it in the abstract. That's right. They did to do the best movies and films and movies and tv shows and books often take a philosophical thought. Experiment
they make it in such a way. You could really appreciate it and I think that that sentence ray Plastic human idea is a perfect example of the issues, confronting us with this is possibility How will we react? I think it tells us how we will react once something looks like a human and talks like a human and demonstrates intelligence. That is at least at human level. I think for reasons I gave somewhere on this I and elsewhere when have talked about a I think and acumen level ay. I hear a mirage. I think that the moment we have anything like human level ay I we will have super human eye. We're not gonna make are a I that passes the turing test, less good at math than your phone.
He'll be a superhuman growl collateral, be superhuman in every way that it does anything that narrow ai I'd as now? So once this August, knit together in a humanoid form that passes the turing test and shows general intelligence and looks, looks as good as as we look, which is to say that looks as much like a locus of consciousness as we do, then I think a few things will and very quickly. One is that we will lose sight of the fact of whether or not its philosophically are scientifically interesting, wonder whether this thing is conscious. I think some people, like me, who are convinced that the hard problem of consciousness is real, might hold on for a while, but every intuition we have of something being conscious. Every intuition we have that other people are conscious will be driven hard in the presence of these artifacts and
It will be true to say that we won't know whether their conscious it unless we understand how consciousness emerges from the physical world, but we follow Dan Dan it in feeling that no longer interesting question, because we find we actually can't stay interested in it in the presence of machines that are functioning at least does well, if not better than we are and will almost certainly be designed to talk about. Their experience in ways that suggest that they're having an experience and so that that that's one part that we will feel we will grant them consciousness by default, even though we may have no deep reason to believe that their conscious and the other thing that is is brought up by West world to a unique degree. I guess he, men's also, is that many the ways in which people imagine using robots of this sort we would use them
ways we at least we imagine that we wouldn't use other human beings on the assumption that they're not conscious right that they just computers that it really can't suffer. But I think this is the other side of this coin. Once we help us Aaliyah tribute states of consciousness. To these me, and it will be damaging to our own sense of ourselves to treat them badly. We're gonna be in the presence of digital slaves, and just how well you need. Treat your slaves and what does it mean to have a super humanly intelligent slave? Had that just becomes a safety problem? How to maintain a master? Sir in relationship to something that smarter than you are and getting smarter all the time but part of what West world brings up is that you are destroying human consciousness by letting yourself act out all of your baser impulses on robots, on the assumption that they can suffer, because the acting out is part of the problem.
It actually diminishes your on moral worth. Whether or not these robots are conscious, racy eddies tooth, intention. One is that when it starts to look like a person and talk, it'll be irresistible to see it as conscious you know you could walk around even talk to me in doubt that I'm conscious- and we could doubt at about other people, but it's an intellectual exercise irresistible to treat other people. As having feelings, emotions consciousness. And I'll be irresistible to treaties, machines as well and then we want to use them, and in West world is absolutely dramatic example of this, where I cared are meant to be raped and an end. The salted and shot and is supposed to be fun and games but The reality of it is these. Two things are our intention. Anybody who were with salt, character, Dolores The young woman who's, a robot, would be seen.
As morally indistinguishable from someone who would have thought any person, and so so we we are at risk for the first. Time in human civilization of sums. Building machines that we are in morally is morally repugnant to use in the sense that they are constructed for year. It would be like genetically engineering array of people but wiring up their brain, that your utterly subservient and enjoy forming at our will. Well, that's gonna growth and and I think we would were very- weekly than a reach. A point where will see this same thing with our machines and and then what I would imagine isn't it goes back to building machines without empathy are perhaps avaux compassionate. There may be a business in building machines to do things that aren't that smart, rather have my floor vacuum by a Roma, then by someone it was night you of hundred forty but his wired up to be a slave. I think Lee the human eye
component here is the main variable looks like a rumour. You know: doesn't it actually does how smart it is. You won't feel that your enslaving, a conscious creature, what it, what is the good talk? It comes down to the interface in so far as you humanize the interview You drive the intuitions that now you're in relationship to a person, but if you make it look, the roomba and sound like a run, but it doesn't really matter what is capacities are as long as it's still seems mechanical of the interesting wrinkle there, of course, is that, ethically speaking, what really should matter is what's true on the side of the Roomba right, so it's so if the room booked and suffer if you've built a mechanical slave that you can't empathize with because it look, it doesn't have any of the user interface components that would allow you to do it, but is actually having an experience of the world that is vastly deeper and rich
and more poignant than your own right. Well, then, you have just the term jargon now in the item- unity community. I think this is probably due to Nick Boss book, but maybe he got this from somewhere that the term his mind I'm your creating minds. They can suffer whether in Syria, asian or an individual in a robots. This would be a and unimaginably. Add thing to do and you aren't. You would be on a par with your way, no creating a hell and populated it. There's more evil to be found in the universe than that. I don't know where to look for it, but that's something were in danger of doing in so far as were role the dice with some form of information setting being the basis of consciousness if consciousness is just some version of information processing. Well, then,
If we begin to do that, well enough, it won't matter whether we can tell from the outside we may just created inside something. We can't feel compassion for a stranger to point, one point is you're moral one, which is whether as we know it, we may be doing terrible, moral, actually, maybe constructing conscious creatures and then tormenting them or I'll turn. Fifthly, we may be creating creatures that machines, do our bidding and have no consciousness at all, it's it's no worse to assault the robot in West World, and it is to adapt hang on a hammer against your toaster, but so that's the moral question, but a silk diminish you as a person to treat her like a deserter. Yes, given what she looks like and that its also raping Dolores on some level, turns you into a rapist whether or not she is more like a woman, are more like a toaster, yes, so so this is
into the stream. The robot is again too. I forget the philosopher it it may I forget who to Father was a but the cat was that animals have no moral status at all. However, you shouldn't torment animals cause will make you a bad person with regard to other people and people count and and its true, it's it's. I mean you one wonders one. After all, we do all sorts of the and harming of virtual characters on video games and that doesn't seem to transfer. It hasn't made us worse. People If there is an effect on increasing our art, are violence towards real humans. It hasn't shown up in any of the homicide. Statistics are Studies are a mess, but I would agree with you. That is the world of difference between sitting on my xbox and shooting you know aliens as opposed to the real physical feelings of strangling someone, who's indistinguishable from the person and and as a second point, which is
even if they aren't conscious As a matter of fact, from from a gods, I view there just things it will seem to us as if their conscious and then the act of torment unconscious people will either be put into us or if it isn't it will lead us to be to be more small beings. So those are the gonna run into problems within our lifetimes, can answer this question, but I dont know probably a month, This question, but I dont know which is closer realistically machine intelligence that passes the turing test or robot interfacing. A robot face
is that are no longer uncanny to us and which will be built first. But it is interesting to consider that the dissociation here is a strange one. We could build machines that can suffer toward which we have a potentially infinite moral obligation and yet no capacity to feel anything for, and yet we can build very seductive toasters, who will the mistreatment of which will genuinely harm our minds and social relationships going forward whose very strange another come of age I, which is problematic and is already upon us. He is the way in which ought haitian and job replacement, is I'm a fine and just increasing wealth inequality, certainly most wealth and
only now has been generated, not by trade or or by shipping jobs overseas to people, but by increasing automation. Wealth inequality, in my view, is an increasing problem. Do any thought about it, so is something which is interested me, I'm, along with two people working killed me at Yale, Christina Starman, sent and March asking we're running a paper for nature. Human behaviour, king. Add that the psychological ramifications, inequality and argument we make and we're not the first to make this this argument, that inequality is a terrible thing and there's all of this evidence showing its corrosive effects but in reality, people actually are not upset by by wealth and equality. Whether upset is by fairness by us whereby unfairness and there are often correlated so you and I do the same amount of work and you make a lot more money. That's both unequal,
an unfair but if you did much more work and more money than people don't tend to think that's wrong and and there's always studies showing that people are Finally, content with unequal situations so long as they believed that there has been a procedural fairness, I may be equality of opportunity you might want to call it. Isn't there always some shocking level of unfairness in the distribution of opportunities and talents, and this gonna goes to the issue of free will, but yet no one can take real response. Billy for any of the variables that allow them to take responsibility for anything else. You know you didn't create your genes, you can create your parents you're, not you not responsible for your intelligence unit responsible for the fact that you living in Syria right now having every breath you'd take imperilled by the conflict around
and you, this can be said, of even the most seemingly self made person in a condition of real abundance. You have a rags to riches story, take place in America in the late twentieth century. Well, whoever that self made person is, he didn't create the conditions. Of his opportunity. He was intelligent ass. He was, and he need only look to his left or right to find some poor schmuck who wasn't gifted with the same level of intelligence, and he can't account for the fact that he appeared at a moment history, where his intelligence could be used for for something more than cannon fodder, and so, at certain points those different is granted many people, don't their conception of fairness, doesn't reach that deep, but and what you see I think we're seeing that now or information technology is magnifying the difference between good and bad luck or the difference between great and you know, just go
luck across all these lines and you're, seeing concentrations of wealth that a certain point have to be perceived as unacceptable to people who don't have everything want? How are we gonna feel when we have our first trillion air rightly given that the amount of need elsewhere in the world, so that there are two separate issues here, you're both interesting one? Is that I think, when it comes to, what bothers us is not necessarily disparity is actually issues. More like poverty. So the philosopher Henry Frankfurt that I wrote that wonderful book, bullshit bullshit ambush S, It is a great example of that. What he says, the disparity between a millionaire and a billionaire is enormous. You nobody's bothered by it while it is already between somebody making good income in America versus someone on food stamps is a lot smaller but it could drive, is nuts and easy,
that was going on. Is we're not reacting to the proportion rashly just reacting? the fact that in a whirlwind, it's not right. Ever where some people have abundance and others suffer, doesn't the research go? the other way where people's perception of their own abundance, he is always right. I don't want it once you get out of real poverty, forget where the line is drawn their, but once you're you're no longer live in hand to mouth and money, is safeguard no longer to be the rule, he's in why you're unhappy? Then people begin to measure How well off they are purely in relative terms. Are you have millionaires who feel poor in the presence of millionaires who have, ten times the amount of money and those people feel poor in the presence of billionaires and these reference points begin to move and people feel real, management in their sense of well being when they compare themselves to how well the people above them are doing. I
that's exactly right on HIV, Mencken says due to the fact of happy man is a man who makes a hundred dollars more than his sisters. Husbands, best friend, her you nowhere where it, where comparative creatures and a question of happiness, you're right, We tend to look at other people and where, and and compare ourselves relative to them once we're out of poverty. We can Paris, relative to them and an that's a separate question, a question of our intuition about what's right and what's wrong so You may be unhappy your state in the world, but still assume that is fair and just. Are, you know. Can, conversely, I you'd hate you. You may have other views about the morality that that one side in different ways with your happiness, but his shoe. We, Do we do endlessly can pair I think one of the good things that takes a different. I wanted to do things of a kind society like ours is after a multiple modes of comparison. I will work
since made this point which, as you know, maybe make more money than me, but you know but I'm better at croquet. You have more is the grand followers. I reiterate that rights so Patrick, so you have a lot more twitter followers better, but Michael, do better at school. You know you're you're, in better shape. But I published a nature whatever you know so so you go back and am many people that are some people who are just at the bottom of everything very unfortunate, but I know a lot of people who have alarm her money than me, but have other things which I'm proud of, and Anna goods I just think if this doesn't review every reduce everything to politics in good society. You good, I think, eke out happiness and satisfaction, but finding a niece. You could not make much money in homage have some have much social status but be part of a soccer team Europe proud of in your friends. Think, while of universal, doing pretty well and stuff like that and make a life
I point I wanted to get before this before forgetting his those are doing a normative and a descriptive senor exactly right that in some way the person who spent enormous amounts of every working day and night using his natural gifts to great do Some great accomplishment now makes a lot of money in some way. That's just luck is locked. The door. Smart is locked the door. Went into this world a day like it's locked it they had the whatever tenacity too. Were heard. I mean the bill. De it there's no in principle, difference between being a sort of person who worked very hard and being a sort of personal tall wreck it. This is the way things the way things go. That's this a philosophical argument had beers in determinism on questions of free will and so on. But people don't think that way. So so everybody,
you're, not just your average persuading. Despite all of us when we think about it, we can to view issues like effort as somehow stepping aside of determining the ground or common sense dollars? In that case right and that's right, that's that's a phrase if you have used elsewhere, I wouldn't you know. I wouldn't congratulate you for four out how you are. You know the color of your hair, but I would praise you and feel you deserve reward for hard work. Just like you deserve to be up to be dismissed? If you slack offer you don't care and same of moral choice. Right has not necessarily crazy, though, because the difference in the kind of effort people make miserably when you look at what it means to or how one raises children is, amenable to influence through praise and blame and and cajole lane and all the rest. You can't praise someone's, that they grow an inch in height, but you can praise them in a way that manages to make them
expand more effort than they were otherwise, but still the limited, Actions on their effort is just as much a fact determined fact of them, as their height is just that it can change from day to day, and it can be influenced to whatever too. Ray by interactions with with other people and with the world. It's easy to see how we put things like effort and and moral compunction in a different category, but it's anchored at every moment to this mysterious fact that the person is simply the way here. She is. And no other way. You know you're exactly five nine and you have exactly the amount of debt plan you have in this moment you're exactly as persuade well, as you are by argument in this moment, and not a a micron, more right and left, and right so
our goal as to whether to go as far as you on this, but you could say that is on a coincidence that we hold people responsible for trades and actions that are precisely the traits and actions that praise and blame. We can modify your aunt em and and so in some way we a lot of our our assumptions about choice and about was out of cause will control was in a person's hands, is shaped by the sort of social utility. Of imagining that it so we parted, you're saying a little of it brings us back to the question of empathy and even on. Standing, even cognitive, empathy for em for others, but did the others who do things you think are terrible like a lot of people, think it was terrible for people to vote for Trump or just about everybody. France's think there was terrible for that the nine eleven terrorists to kill thousands of people, and so there's a
patient to say what we should figure what's going on these people. Nobody's one understand what's going on, I will help you deal with them. Help you cope with them, help you plan for them in the future, but there's an objection which never struck me as entirely crazy. An objection is If you really understand them very well, you realize that if you were in their situation if you are raising their society with their beliefs with their practices? You would do the same thing: how could it be otherwise and if you understand that is harder to hate them, and sometimes people were to be able to hate other people, and I think you may say, Wanna claims regard to determine, isn't determinism blocks hatred and I, cognitive. Empathy
DR assorted deterministic intuition that has the same consequences near there s really interesting. That is one of the consequences of taking determinism seriously for me, but it is important to be clear that it blocks hatred or it erodes the any kind of rational basis for hatred. But it doesnt block other motivating negative emotions doesn't block fear and I can be terrified of a tornado, without hating it. The way I would hate an evil person who, I was convinced, was the true author of his evil right. So what through the illusion of freewill does, is it turns the the evil person into a tornado, but I can still be asked is motivated to avoid or otherwise pre empt the actions of a destructive force of nature without attributed. Free well to it. If I remember right, you also say it en bloc, love ran and- and I want to pay
tobacco is a year. Here's the lamb thinking, which is that I don't know of my friend murdered my children. I I hate him, but if I was true, Leader grasped determinism. I realized it s just the way things went, and I wouldn't eight, but then again, if my friend at something. Wonderful. For me. Surprise me, if a party or are stood by my side at a difficult time, right now. I feel gratitude, maybe love, but if I've to determine the terminus. Wouldn't that go to so love in my You doesn't it. S actually brings us back to his ideal states of of consciousness as advertised by Buddhist meditated. So love in the form of loving kindness in need not be. Taken in, in my view, by the illusion of free, will cut us not predicated on assigning ultimate agency to thee.
The one you love in a way that hatred is, is predicated on assigning blame to the to the one you hate with loving kindness. You you really just you want that person to be happy. You want them to be relieved of suffering. You want their hopes and dreams, and aspirations lies users you what you want to see that smile on their face, because you know, if correlates with a state of consciousness, that you want for them? Ok, yeah! Ok, it doesn't matter. If you understand that all of us Herman Determinism doesn't erase the difference between, history end and bliss right and you and what you want for you both yourself and for others, is me or of the bless unless the misery. So I seed industry, sure, but then you would agree with me that determinism would block gratitude. For instance, it wouldn't block the gratitude. I feel for the good thing being done
if I'm in a car accident in the car is catching fire and people pull over. And pull me out of the car given that I really don't want to be burned alive in my own car, and I want to live a long happy life by there after I have a huge preference for these people successfully getting me out of the car and I'm hugely grateful for the fact that they see It is right, but if you then tell me well all that was determined by their genes and their environment, their upbringing and these people really. Do otherwise, it wasn't a matter of conscious thought. Even then, if it, when you talk then they ll, say yeah on a wire did that I just use found myself pulling over, pulling your door open. I've never done anything like that. My life's I've really can take credit for it, even if it respects Lee. They were disavowing any agency. My gratitude for the outcome is still huge. In that sense, I still think gratitude shows up and I think expressing gratitude would be just as now.
Natural, even if you are fully disillusion to free will as his really it almost related to the the raping Dolores, on, even if you know that there is, there is no there- there, you aren't your intuitions or so successfully played upon by the circumstance we read agency in two other people, so effortlessly that it's always a kind of a second moment philosophizing to take it out again, but I think you can be good aid for for the result, without imagining that the person has any real, deep responsibility for being the way they were. It's obviously pay attention to two how you are in any moment and map that onto somebody else. How can you take
spots, ability that you are not radically different. Then you are, it is a given fact. You are no more responsible for any of these. These things kind of the micro moment level. Then you are for the fact that you were born in the first place. I'm convinced by this is some asked The gratitude is saved, but some isn't. So if you give me a wonderful birthday gift, I could feel grateful because I am happy to be in possession of that give time. I feel good at this event, has ensued, but but attitude and deeper senses I'm gratitude towards you but see the object, the focus of your gratitude is not so much that I could have done otherwise right. I could have not given you a gift and yet decided to give you a gift. You are the connection between
ass is not merely that choice, point which you know what we say that was determined since the time of the big bang. The fact that I spent the time to give you this gift means that I actually I'm thinking about you and I, like you, and I took Madam I data shop for it, that was one of my priorities for whatever reason you and I are connected in that way. It correlates with aim a conscious state. On my old, I got you that you find that you understand to be valuable in when you map it back onto you to you. When you, when you think of what would I have to feel for a person to have done, likewise while well, I would have to feel like that person was a real priority for me. The connection is built up across that, you know mirroring, which is, it seems to me, does actually free of any notion of what is the ultimate cause of any of that no I like that. I I've road
landed article a while ago about the notion of choice and, and and how could we, ah coherently about choices, we have to talk coherently by choices, a world of difference between you giving me a gift because You thought well of me versus somebody The gun to your head and law in philosophy and common sense has to observe that difference. But you are right in saying that different, surely can't be cash, in one case you could have done otherwise. Another case you couldn't have, rather the way to think about it as those different psychological processes involved and and at night? It makes sense that, regardless of whether not ones are determinist, you can be grateful to it. Listen for giving you a gift. If what led to the giving of the gives us the right set of psychological processes, warm feeling some interest and so on and so forth oh yeah, I'm I'm persuade
In that way, gratitude can be consistent. Determinism yeah. Why and you are persuaded her no freewill of your own, I might add a free, well, humor, never gets stale, but yes of a bad joke on one level, but the truth is, if you actually interests backed in this moment, your ex periods of being persuaded to whatever degree that you are, is totally compatible with the absence of free will and do feel like you are the author of Europe Persuasion and pursue Stability in this moment is completely mechanical fact of What I said was as persuasive as it was. For whatever reason to you, I'm another psychologists too. I believe that as a purely mechanistic process, among what else could it be? My finance knowledge is uncertain as to as to whether, as the extent to which I have the experience of choice ass an end. I don't I'm I'm not as confident as you do that phenomena, module experience distributed,
absent, but you you're mileage may vary on us their ways to be confused about this. Sir Francis you could, you could know of and exercise say that would make you more persuadable right. They could be you know, thought or some some way of prepping yourself, a a conversation like this, which would us a double the effect of whatever. I say that you might find persuasive right and you could have thought of that thirty seconds ago and seemingly through the exercise of your own agencies. Had what I'm gonna do this thing, which is going to give me a d Billy open mind right now now now it's Amis ally in actually that's starting to make more sense than it did. Last time round, but again what they all that's true, let's say you know of such
trick and you can open your mind more than is usually opened and you decide to do it now, and I convince you of my thesis to a double degree, and you say: that's that's in some sense, you are doing right. Well again, the mystery just received a little bit more, so it's like You can't explain the fact that it occurred to you to do that right. It might not have occurred to you to do that. You might have forgotten that you knew this trick and had the conversation along normal lines, and you can explain the fact that that trick works to that, three, that it does and no further you know and not a bit less, not a bit more. All these are just like your height again for me when I pay attention that's actually phenomenal logically vivid autonomy, is- not the human moment where, when it comes time for lunch fly,
because at the window and I'm I you know, eat like any ordinary ape. When I pay attention, I actually can make sense of the claim for free will like I can't they, the idea that I could have done otherwise, Reiser again yeah down to like trying to complete this sentence right. The idea that I could have not pause. They're right or paused. What were found myself, pausing twice as long. That's just ass night that doesn't map onto the experience. The experience is what it is and get us like the expense I've just more and more high rise, just yet I've. Ninety five, ninety five, nine again and here I got to the end of the sentence in Ireland That was there's a wonderful passage at the beginning of each Mcewen spoke Atonement, which I cite in my my first book, Descartes's baby, my first trade book and
and- and I remembered off by heart, but it's about her is main characterizing pre Yoni, trying to figure out experience, holding at our hand in deciding red weather. Squeeze it and find the experienced a moment of decision to squeeze it and finding inseparable from the squeezing itself an end, and it's true it's an interesting exercise, maybe also meditative exercise that that, as usual, the drill deep into it you can now We find this point or you step outside this sort of causing nature of things is also intrinsically mysterious. When you look at just weeks, raise your opening and closing your hand, and you ask: how do you do that right? There is no there's! No, how of doing that you can initiate at you
your brain produces a model of the likely effects of its ensuing motor output. So there is clearly an expectation form. That your hand is gonna move in a certain way and if it, if it moves differently, you would be surprised. There's an error detection mechanism coming on, so there's some fit the some expectation of what the output will be, but we just try to get a handle on what you as the conscious witness of your experience, are doing when you move your hand, what are you doing this? Just that is as mysterious a thing as can be found anywhere. You do not have any insight into what you were doing, no less totally right. I see this as a broader level. Where is it how much example of ending a sentence which, as I often I almost always don't know what I'm gonna say until I start to speak and then I just speakers
speak, and then I discover what I'm about this. And what my views are. And then there's no prior mechanism where at which I said and emotion, it just did The phenomenology is very interesting here on a slippery. My my own interests has been to one part to make the point that what was saying this is the worldview is entirely compatible with them the of reason and rationality and deliberation once you. Recognised that these are just yet other determinist processes and then Any psychologists get mixed up by more than a few people say. Well, you are in favour reasoning and rationality, but it's just determine universe and is a non sequitur that is the most frustrating retort I ever get in. This just drive me crazy. I think I talked about this somewhere it's on either on my
previous part. Cancer may maybe on the meditation apt that I am not keep threatening to release some day will be out there, but I talk about freewill on it and but this retort debt, without free will there's no such thing as reason. Even NOME Chomsky is taken in by this find a Youtube video of at the end of one of his lectures. Someone asked him about free will. He said, of course, we have free well, it makes no sense to think otherwise, because if there is now free will is all just physically determined and then there's no reason to reason about anything. There's no such thing as reasoning is all just you know, atoms and avoid. If anything reason is a perfect example of the absence of free will mean reason makes slaves. Of us all. If I show you the rational steps to reach a conclusion, you will helplessly reach that conclusion. You will be for you, you will be forced by The constraints of the reason you and I hold in common to reach the same,
in conclusion, whether you like it or not, and that's what it is to be to be reasoning yeah I'm in one way, which I put it. I think in my book, as you can imagine the two computers one chugs through logical formula and and and goes through various steps. Otherwise does emotional understands it's random, its biased and so on, and because we simply they did their computers. You have no problem, seeing them as deterministic machines. The question for you, and just which computer are, we I mean and answered, obviously, is both. But, to what extent are we to one or the other but to free. Well, I have colleagues who make the inference from no free will to no reason he was making an inference of an end is just its Aidan prince from no free will to no reason he was making added. From an end it just it's just this bizarre if it's it's quit of Syria
this confusion. I think because it keeps Roupell from from thinking it leaves police my field to do quagmire, like oh, we must only be slaves, the emotion and we can never be rational liberators. Its wearer kind of the worst excesses of psychology meet with the worst excesses of a bad philosophy. Distant spell, this out, I think, is an important point, and people may not have gotten it at the first pass. If you understand the two plus two equals for that's, not it, choice where you got no choice the moment you understand that you understand it and you can't see it. Otherwise, if you don't understand it s, also not a choice. If you mistakenly believe the two plus two equals five and you are attempting to quote Ray in that way, will then that's not freedom either down neither path. Do you exercise any kind of freedom you're just correctly, adding or incorrectly adding right.
Thus, in the flip side, opposite mistake, which is in the sky, since the day I and robotics, I often hear people say well, they can you know do things in a rational way, but they can never have emotions and the intuition here is a different sort of integration, which is to have an emotion to make us spontaneous choice. Is something sort of magical, Anne and separate from the sort of things that machines can do And so much of my work as a psychologists have been dino. Reinforced developing the idea that that mechanistic causal systems, like our brain, can do all sorts of things that can have quality experiences again. Do emotions can do reason and, as you point out in other steps, reason are it you know and bull causal, determined steps, just like everything else, especially reason from a subject the point of view, the fact that your conforming to some principle,
does that you didn't just make up is what it feels like to be moving step wise toward a conclusion that is valid. Right. Their experiences you have where you do sort of feel like there are no constraints, rightly say you're. Here, an abstract pay during your? Not even you not even trying to represent, what's in front of you you're, just you just moving pay on the canvas. Well, then, I can see how people feel like well, you know this is me, I'm doing everything there's no. This is just pure creativity, but to have your mind changed by a process of reasoning to have an insight forced upon you steps were you didn't you didn't know where you going to wind up. That is, as coercive as thinking ever gets and the idea that that somehow that's the little this test for freedom of will the ability to do that is cover rather thrilling instance of not found
plot diagram in another way. To put it is, I turn my head and I see my coffee cup and I did well there's my coffee cup, and that seems like the most determined thing in the world off and reasoning is just like that yeah? You know you you'd, you tell me, I had one than I had another night they wanted to and if it does not feel spontaneous or creative phenomenon, Julie feels there is a feeling I just all of us, and so there is no argument there. So there's another area. I want to get too with you now, where that we ve been talking for nearly two hours so to the limits of your patience. Like you to explore with me a bunch of related issues. Here we can talk about it through the lens of politics and the recent election, but there is much more here. There's just there see. The problem of persuading other people the obvious limits to persuading people politically morally in really,
way that matters, and then we have all of these things. Years of our lives. Now that make her suasion both so important, end and so fraught. So we have that social me The witch on any given day. I think it's destroy the world or is essential to it some level or fake news, which is obviously related to the rise of social media there's some some stories in the news of late that I wanted to get your reaction to sew, and this does actually relate to empathy purty directly. Here's will one moment the ties all this together, so I don't. If you ve been watching this would same morbid. Curiosity, I have it but Romney's return to the fold and his seeming efforts to ingratiate himself enough so as to possibly be trumps Secretary of state. I look at this and obviously Romney's in good order.
Or bad company? You got people like TED Crews and Marco Rubio. All at all, these people, early on in there campaign said in the stark as possible terms that Trump could not be present. He was either on Rubeus account unfit to Given the nuclear codes, crews called him a pathologic, liar and and Romney probably went first than anyone in any certainly earlier than anyone in saying that he was a con man and a fraud and an referenced Trump University with all the the moral opprobrium approach. To that end. Now you see these guys turn and I find this so secondly- and I feel like my my own empathic or in merely emotional circuits- are being played upon to an inappropriate degree. When I look at these guys, they disgust me
taken in by the illusion of free will hear right bright, but it is just a it's like this is exactly who, I would never want to be right, someone who is just in the mouth, foreign fawning way, attempting to ingratiate himself. To mere power power, which he appropriately recognised early on, was going to be wielded by by someone who didn't at all deserve it right and there's no exculpatory story about why they had this change of heart. Islamic Romney can say, will listen. I got to know tromp better, how long conversation with him- and he actually prove to me that he is incredibly well informed about the world. His campaign didn't it all represent, who the man is even just speaking, those sentences would make some process of reforming his views about
understandable and am therefore morally acceptable. But what seems to have happened here is just purely opportunistic or fear driven acquiescence to power, and I just find it sickening now the way this ties back to social media so on twitter last night, there's a New York article entitled something like the other, the humiliation of Mitt Romney, and I tweeted it out and in the spirit of condemning him, I tweeted something like you know, hopefully he's wearing his magic underpants. So A dig against Mormons, which, given my job description, is entirely fair, but I happened to look at my ad mentions after I tweeted it, which I don't always do in the new
work article. There were two interpretations of what Romney's doing in one was the wondrous gave. Hence the notion of is humiliation, but the other was that actually, this was not an abject and opportunistic cosy up to power. This was actually a heroic act of self sacrifice it. He recognizes that because of how incompetent trump is and because of the incompetence he's surrounding himself with Romney decided that you he's at he, he would actually be doing the country a lot of good by getting into a position of power. He wants to be in a position to do some good because he actually is a reasonably competent person. The personal twitter said will would wouldn't be better to actually have the charitable interpretation here, and I'm just immediately embarrassed to have sent that tweet and I just said Absolute Lee. I d
the tweet. I promoted this person's criticism of my tweet. In that case, social media, and I really think Twitter is just the worst of the worst of social media was functioning for me as a morally com. Terrifying machine. So anyway, I open it to you. You ve got tromp you got now you ve got social media. You have anything you want to say about our current moment. Ladders lot there so so First it's always reassuring to see that your rejection of free will leave still you fully capable to moral disapproval of the strongest level. Second, is even worse than you put it cost, It's not true that all of these people said terrible things about tramp tramp said tat. But things at all of these people here he the little the looks of TED Cruises, wife so seated Tom Cruise this far with the murder of J F K, you're here in response,
Romney's criticism, he made crude reference to roundly being on his knees in front of them when he For money I mean you know, so I honestly do I I I, like your charitable interpretation, I am which would apply to Mitt Romney. But I I am cynical enough about politicians, I've seen as so often on that. I think, a useful baseline default is just to assume that people don't mean what they say in Rome and at another. There is a high level of personal ambition and power, but I don't, and how the ambition take the case of Romany Romney is a by any objective measure, a very successful person. His is a wealthy person. He doesn't need the job in any sense, and I would think he would purely
four egocentric reasons. I would think he would more or want to preserve his dignity, his sense of himself his sense of his having been right, the first time and rather than just simply have the job of Bein secretary of State. I don't see how worth the sacrifice along egocentric lines. I worry that you're illustrating some weaknesses of cognitive empathy were here port in your own moral views and set of priorities onto another person and have had. Discussions are people who sailor trumpet I'm going to be motivated in order, to make more money. Yes, plenty of money. Why would he ever want to make more money and its true for free person saying in you know a million dollars to be enough, but but but other people work different ways. I would suspect that again, you may be right, but I was just like them, Mitt Romney, politician and and in some way
fair and all accounts a decent man. I think comported himself very well when he was running for office, really wants to have an incredibly powerful political position. If he doesn't it he's not secretary of State he's signed into irrelevance and so I can really see that this is the sort of thing that one might Well, your soul. I have to state its instance says I'm since you know we're gonna crash and people are less. I am in this way. I have to say in a whole miserable two thousand sixteen election season, be able acquitted themselves very well, and I am thinking particularly of conservative pundits in ITALY. She was a Jonah Goldberg and Bill Crystal yeah who want who recognizing date day in all regards behave like people of principle where they have conservative prince. The goals that they recognise, Trump accorded with none of them,
and they broke with the Republican Party and with a lot of their twitter followers and friends and fans to point out what a narcissistic buffoon was an ape and many late in the day pay the price, and so so it is it's a sort of all awfulness it. As demonstrated that people can show integrity in certain and has been a good sign. I gotta say as somebody who me, whose develop much his career, arguing that people are basically rational, and we are rational powers and rational capacities. We are also creatures of reason. This. This is rough election season. This is where this has ended up for somebody saying house our people basically are and fundamentally Gooden. Fundamentally, a reasonable. This is close to falsification that I've ever experience, but I'll make one point
which which actually comes- and some of them is a response to people, I respect it like John Height hoop point out our medical weirdness is as examples of are fundamentally rationality and a point I want to make us will at our very worse when it comes to national politics. If you want to see people being outrageously stupid check here, because for several reasons one is because the consequences of your action here vote you're next of the poster you're holding up the thing you person, Facebook, is in an objective since infinitesimally small if, if I you know if I go round, I tell upholsterer- Obama was born in Kenya and I should at a meeting in everything it doesnt matter? All it is all its function as is signalling to other people, my affiliation. It could be very
you signalling? It could be grouped signalling my My bed, by the way, is that most of the people who claim to believe that Obama was born in Kenya, we just say boo, Obama. You heard about pizza gate right. I have not heard about pizza, gave a talk about this and I my last podcast, based on the Wikileaks John Podesta. Male dump. There was a mention of a piece of parlour in D C that these people frequented and one of these fake news stories, said that John Fidessa and Hillary Clinton are wrong. In a child. Sexual slavery ring out of this pizza. Parlor right deference plausible enough. Go on ass possible enough that people actually believe it to the point where they have made. Endless death threats on the owners and employees of this pizza, parlor right in there and put photos of their kids line- and it's just been a nightmare for the people who work there now
Gotta think that someone who is actually talking about pizza gate and going so far as to make death threats is not just boo Hilary, this area, this kind of conspiracy thinking it just reaches so far, and I people have been completely absorbed by the nine eleven truth, conspiracy thinking, rice or whether thou spend all of their disposable time. Online getting deeper and deeper into this into the minutiae there there not just, still saying you know it at a removal of fifteen Years- Blue Bush and Boot Cheney. They think this is True on some level. So I agree: there's gonna be a minority people who honest to God believe in all manner of conspiracy, varies and they believe it as as much as they believe that they live in a house down the road and much as say they believe, basic facts about the world I just think it s a minority there's a bit of evidence supporting that, so so another study at North pole, none at
It is a before Donald Trump ran for president would ask people, do think annulled was born at two states in a big chunk said no, and I think they were just saying booty I mean are poles where they ask people, do you think tat? Ruth Zodiac Killer. An alarmingly high percentage of people say yes, even though it seems implausible goofing on on the question there, so it s this thing. So I think that the debtors. There's a blurring of the line between, on the one hand, cannibals, Yet on the other hand, sort of thing. Let's just say this, because it sounds good and goofing on a question. Somebody who goes to the trouble of I don't know putting a bomb at a pizza plays or some Red probably, is is, is deranged They better lotta people who put this on Facebook. I tweeted whatever
a kind of an unclear relationships that truth, That didn't do not necessarily believing as the truth claim as imposing its fun to say. That could be true. I even example. Actually I give you an example that has to do with you again A friend of mine on Facebook, made us an argument and the Tribune to you of you. I knew you'd in hot this is the result of a misquote. It wasn't I was a mile misquote, so I wrote to my friend and I said, you take her down gazette gives you got him wrong. Here is a real quality that I'm wrong and my friend didn't say: oh I screwed up. He said something like YAP, but that's the kind of thing that eighty as would say and you know- and I think a lot of this is fine from maybe isn't what precise Obama isn't born in Kenya, but you know he's canyon is that America is additives. So, let's not quibble about the details.
The argument I would make is you could, get away with this sort of nonsense in a political round, because It doesn't really matter, like my views on evolution. If I paused, if I say creation nest on Facebook. Our in answer to bolster in assign a doesn't matter, so the claim would be that I would make is when people deal with local power, attacks are local interactions, there, far more sensitive to the truth, the far more rational I claim would be that a small town CALL Town Hall Meeting we argued, but sidewalks and traffic lights, who's gonna pay for it. You for further, that the new wall in the church people are much more ration. One reason why when it comes to national politics, it's all virtue, signalling a nonsense that I say this ain't. I never thought of that that there is the
locality of it might matter and how people are thinking are or in the ways their statements about what they believe track, what they they actually believe. I gotta say the the post truth aspect to this election has been the most disturbing for me: images that just the fact that all of us is encapsulated by Trump himself. The fact that he lies to a degree that but fur bearing witness to it. I would have thought it was totally impossible and it is impossible to even parody how dishonest he is, and the fact that there's no consequence to that that the people who were supporting him don't seem to care that he is speaking without any concern for the believe ability of what he saying right, he's contradicting himself he's contradicting just terrestrial facts. Here.
We have brought in Frankfurt. He is actually doing exactly what Frankfurt described your technically as bullshit in the difference between bullshit and lying. Is that when you're lying, you actually have to keep the truth in view. So as this to successfully lie, you have to be, you have to be an tis, a painting, the logical expectation, your audience and inserting your lie in the space provided in a way that fits with the rest do what you and your audience understand to be factual, that the only way you get away with a lie if you're bullshitting discharges are completely unaware of what the truth is and or what the expectations of your audience are. And you just say whatever you want to say, regardless of whether it it survives any kind of reality, testing and that's why it is a great line and in Frankfurt S say that the boy
shit is a greater enemy of the truth, then the liar is for that. For that very reason he's just he's not even assuming the cognitive overhead necessary to be aware that the truth exists or that anyone has an expectation that year utterances would conform to it and that's what I found so shocking about tromp he's just he is every inch of him is a bullshitter. Not only did he not pay a penalty for this, you could argue that He won because of it and there's something something so nihilistic about the way in which people revel in his dishonesty and people revel in the fact. The New York Times with its errors is now more moralist, interchange, bull with a website to get invented by Some maniac was just making up fake news stories, and people just have lost. Any ability to discriminate like bright barred is just as good as dead. The Washington post.
Because the Washington Post has made a mistake. Who can judge whether one is a more reputable enterprise in. I think that the effects of this are really far reaching for us in an are more significant than the ascendancy of Trump. I agree, I think we had politicians before who were indifferent to the truth, but never to that extent of trump and The problem is you one year, and so, if it's not clear, I mean people pointed out that I am I'm all after remember when Romney pudding His dog on the roof of his car and possibly bullying high school worries, major scandals while You know you have a man who openly boast of a sexual assault and an people, as this may not be the last from within in our lifetime and and its limit but let me throws I because I agree with everything you're saying. Let me through an alternative interpretation.
And which is necessarily disagreement, but it's a way of framing things, and it's a quote. I'm embarrassed that old member who said this for a sum of said. Essentially, people like you and me tremble, literally banal seriously, while supporters took em Syria sleep, but not literally, he may Acclaim gonna build a wall and we can all. Details. They all can you afforded where that doesn't make any sense is the wrong size, while his supporters listen to him and said, and babies. It would saying is I care about border security, and this is like a first foray into thinking about it and that just about everything from says: shouldn't be taken as basin. Its truth values you were talking to normal person or even a normal politician, but read some sort of expression of value. It is as if I is, if I said to my wife to my friend. Oh, I would die from
you well will die for them. But it's a nice thing to say and an if you I the only way I can make sense of the many people who supported Trump and continue to support them. Is they don't actually care about a truth. Values utterances, as opposed to the sort of the Spirit behind them, is acute quote the seriously, but not literally in literally, but not seriously, but try to map it on to reality. So what does it mean to have taken him seriously, but not literally when he excoriated Goldman Sachs and Hilary is alliances there and now has just hired a bunch of Goldman Sachs people into his cabinet right? Where will, people who took him seriously, but not literally start to be offended by his choices, to not honour the things he literally said he would do during the campaign. You can
Jim reversing everything. I don't know. I don't know that he will and I certainly hope he reverses most of his things. He could turn out to be a great president if he did, but I'm just imagine if He had only literally said he was gonna, bring those coal jobs back radio. As that was just that was just meant to be taken seriously that, but not literally, what is really going to do is argue that we just need more solar panels right and he's going to be as environmentally correct. As any Democrat at some point, you have to admit that the people who were taken him seriously We're really only taken him seriously because they were taking some measure of what he was promising. Literally yeah, I mean as somebody who disagrees with Everything Trump is proposed is Only thing a reassures me about tromp is well Two things one thing is is actually no principles. There's nothing easier the care about at all The second thing is you never keeps its promises, but I'm I'm obviously not from voter
I asked you don't know how voters are going come to deal with the sort of the blatant apart You say that you just pointed out or the indifference it may be, that there are some things he will have to He will have to abide by may be some degree of anti immigration policy. He still doing speech, acts that are sort of encouraging as base like her. You know P, The american flag should lose their citizenship, which seem to be carefully for that. The tweet, perfectly orchestrated to enrage. You mean a New York Times and please Everybody else. Let me ask you something: I've I've. I've, like a lot of people, have tried to make sense of busy wider Trump win. And there's one explanation. I've heard so many times, but I haven't heard much data, which is at a lotta trump supporters were rebelling against what they saw of as really you're by liberal elites.
Clinton's comment about deplorable is too big example, but the fact that that so many People in America then call racist and success, and so on and ignorant, and that the The vote was an f you today to the sort of peace, who read the new Yorker you now and and live in places like I, Cambridge, a new haven of commented on this before on. Because I think there were several thing that had any one of which been different would have sunk trump, but they were all hat and the way they had to be in order to get him to win. So I may I think one issue was the email serve scandal Clinton's choice to keep her email on me, private server and her team. Oh inability to justify or sufficiently apologise for that when I saw it
reasons why people were just failing to make any kind of distinction between Trump and Clinton in moral terms, that Pisa I was doing such heavy lifting. So whenever I would talk about troms, lack of qualification, say or or his dishonesty people would immediately go too well. Hilary is a criminal right. You, voting for someone who belongs in prison. There are people in prison free year. As for doing less than what Hilary has admitted to doing right, end of analysis right. They moral, outrage. I got directed at me on that point. It was unbelievable. Right now, just one point, but it was just. It was a perfect inoculation against seen trump to be worse than Hilary in terms of his qualifications for office, I've always thought of that. Today. You hear a lot and course Camisa the treatment of death be idle,
time, yeah, maybe played an important role, may be made the difference I often wondered whether that is sorted out again, to go to John Hype, whether the email, server was real played a role in people, voting against Clinton and for Trump, or rather it was the sort of polite way, you could say it wishes. If I made up my mind to vote for trump despite all of them, You say she's all other problems. As someone Chow When does it on me talent? trust me this? I guess it well Hilary clean and may well have committed a felony ran. That's a plausible enough point, but I guess I wonder, and maybe the right polling could kind of passes out. Whether that's really made a difference as opposed to being a ready statement to justify freely already had that's possible, but there are just a few things like that that works, so I was hearing the same language thrown at man. You could just see that it was just the product of an echo chamber where, in this this came
rather later in the campaign, but once Russia's involvement in Syria became more obvious two people and more relevant in the campaign. People were saying that Hilary wanted to start World WAR three with the Russians right because Hilary, advocated a no fly zone in Syria, she was determined to get us into a early in nuclear Armageddon with Russia, so a choice for Hilary, is a choice for world war. Three right and this captured a lot of you- I think former Bernie people yeah, the common isolationist impulse- was made defined by this stark choice between the man who will say nice things about Putin. Get us out of foreign wars and the woman who seemed eager to get
to yet another war in the Middle EAST and very likely a shooting war with Russia. Obviously, none of that related to eight a sensible analysis of what Clinton was likely to do as a matter of foreign policy. But I take your point. I just think the other thing that I really felt myself was how affair and and dangerous and counter productive. It was that hilary- and you know, Obama before Her- could never say anything honest about Islamism and jihadism, and the relationship between actual religious beliefs and behave here? Is the fact that all you got were euphemisms and sanctimonious and bullying and accusations of racism. On this point from the Democrats, I think,
add alone also had that been different would have eroded a sufficient amount of trump support to to give us a different result. I'm a Clinton's campaign was basically dont, be racist right and that just doesn't cut it. You have people been slaughtered in the capitals of Europe. You know every few months and then he starts to happen here and where have we the presidential election, whom you may be right, I mean to some extent you're seeing the election as role apt to do through, what interest you the most and and and the theme of of sort of terrorism and and global conflict, something which, which you don't want to work on I'm not sure that mattered damage to the voters exit polls zones in reflect them. Of an interest, but I think what you're saying about actually does imitate the examples. I saw that the people who voted overwhelmingly for tromp we're? Not the people who said the economy was their first concern. There were people who said terrorism who was a
this concern, but again I also have a unique viewpoint here because I would say very negative things about Trump and very typically supportive things about Clinton as they like sir evil and gets even in my own social media networks, not exaggerating like a hundred to one criticism again. I think my audience is probably not more than twenty percent trump voters, but they were so much more energized. Then Clinton, voters and This point got raised again and again and again, I'm least two points she's a criminal, and it can't believe you don't see that Trump is the only one who can keep us from jihadism. I've seen a lot of this gets a meal. You may be right in and make an act well with issues of jihadism, but I did a lot of it connects oddly enough with the phrase that Trump often uses of political. Correctness of saying things as they are just to be clear here, the issue with
he had. His m is a subset of this larger issue of, as you just said, political correctness and like black lives matter? Was the other peace here. So the fact that gap Clinton couldn't say anything reasonable about the politics of race or an item, honest analysis of what was happening at the level of police violence and the misuse of violence. That was also other side of this and is of the law and order side was just the domestic side of the the war on terrorism, side and and and Trump could speak in politically incorrect terms about this. It people recognised to be true. Yes, there is a greater problem of violent crime in the black community than the white community. This is a fact and to call people racist for acknowledging. This fact is just deeply offensive and counterproductive thing to do politically and that's all the Clinton did so in some way, some of the issues with quantity. Trample is a creature all by himself and and
issues that normally hobble republicans say than to say we have smaller government or whatever wounded was uninterested in trouble was his own thing, but Clinton was. It was a Democrat. And in a lot of what you're saying may well be true and may have cost your votes, but but if it was a if it was Biden, I am sure, be much different. It was him came running. I need the same issues will come out. We one think DEC Examples are interesting, because there's only subtleties of people are fascinated by so one subtlety and Skype. Alexander slates darker export in society, that more and more african Americans new spandex proportion, wise voted for Trump than it did for Romney. So so surprise many people, but but we tend to forget basics, the human these things looking at the data, the biggest predictor of who of who somebody votes for his weather, Mckenna, Republican right now, of course, we're fascinated by the margins who voted for Obama
to change their mind and voted for transit and an that's? What wins elections, but basically american politics roughly falls and two tribes and investors approach Same reason, you you vote for the person from your group and them and in a Hilary weaknesses that cost or votes urges standard, democratic weaknesses and them, and is possible. She may have done better, but but They have a very unusual election. We actually have some new imaging results that were just now finally going to publish, took forever oppression go into in such great detail, then publish yet, but we scanned people's brains in a paradigm where we try to change their political beliefs.
Real time by presenting counter evidence, verses in ordinary non political beliefs. So the ordinary police were of a sort where we thought they would be very open to being persuaded that they their default position was wrong, whereas obviously the political beliefs, we thought, would be more resistant to change, and that, of course, is exactly what we found. It was very similar to the presenting evidence against religious beliefs, which we had done in a previous study, a member that work in the difference there was we weren't looking at an attempt to swayed in real time- and so here we have the the Neuro anatomy of both being persuaded and not being persuaded on some level but political affiliation is a lot like religion. You know it's just it is a for many people. It is a non gosh about that, as as you said before, what is what was so refreshing about seen certain prominent republicans in alike in the editors of the Wall Street Journal, yet
and the National review, and we re standard yeah people had a lot to lose break, ranks and say the skies unacceptable. That's what so galling about seen crews working of amid there's a lot is going about crews, but to see him be attacked, humiliated, beaten by someone who We openly recognised to be a menace, then see him. Why, in the foreign banks in trying to get him elected shop is hard this horrible sat in his purse, gotta is gonna win some kind of prize for the most brutal photograph this go back to what you said about Romney, which, as you would have felt better about Romney. If he's a while in Iceland, to trumpet I realized I was mistaken about this in any stronger and that everything I sometimes think the whole point of what things like this happen is. It has to be some act of abject humiliation and not humiliating enough if you're, grounded and reason if Romney explained now,
I support round for the following six reasons. When he made it has to be an active humiliation. I think I think, from point a to humiliate ironic. That will be interesting by the time we release this punk ass. It man fact have happened, but when we're recordings we don't. You know who he is picked for Secretary of state. If I was wrongly by the way, I would say, look, maybe secretary of state to humiliate myself in some way, but I wouldn't pass it. You know I wouldn't put it pass trumped up. Romney's through some sort of degrading, dance and drop and virtually any oh yeah, and I think that is quite possible and I would be very Trump in one thing which has not reached, which has received a lot of attention, but could still receive more just simply how cruel cool and sadistic trumpets there I've read articles summarizing distance, the vicious things he's done to people
for no other reason than the pleasure he gets from making them suffer. So I really when put to pass on to. You are a psychologist who must at least sometimes function by thee, the creed that one can't diagnose from afar. If you ever done any clinical work, each superior, purely research on purely research, I'm not even a member of an American Psychological Association. I'm happy diagnosing on, I mean he's he's plainly an artist, I'm not your visa he's a psychopath. I don't, I think in general people greatly psychologist are too are too prone. To apply to the court Nicole designations, two things Georgia's more moral flaws. Right he's is he's not it is, is narcissistic, he's he's cruel
Self aggrandizing he's, paradoxically, seems to be a good father to his children, showing that people are complicated, but ease I've, never seen a worse person in a visit him so much power and had say, and I am no doubt you have complicated views about Obama, but one thing I alone I think, as consistently struck me personally as an admirable person, as somebody who treats able respect who carries himself with dignity, hoo hoo, as a grace and intellectual curiosity and charm regarding one thinks of his policy, he here He really treated offers respect and it's easy to admire him for that and trumpet the exact opposite. Yeah, and I totally concur there and end the thing about Trump is that again, if this is what so bewildering to me, is that so many people don't see this movie? Having argued this really add nausea, I have spent hours on my podcast,
on other people's bank ass. I've just run the guy down endlessly and obviously there are many people who think This is purely a matter of my articulating, my own political biases right and it just absolutely isn't if almost any one else, obviously there, through their religious maniacs and republican Party, who I would have a different argument against, but you know we have Michael Bloomberg or somebody they ran a Republican against Clinton right. I would have voted Republican Canada in a heartbeat I asked if I couldn't. I haven't gotten absolutely no partisan commitment to the Democrats. Apartment affair They generally articulate my values or have in the past better than republican.
When, is largely a matter of the degree to which Republican Party has for my entire lifetime, been captured by fundamentalist Christianity? That's the problem there, but with Trop, is so obvious that he's a con man with out an ethical or intellectual core and that such a terrible thing to put in charge of the country, literally, he has said and done a hundred things. At least that should have been disquiet fine, but if you just take only wanting to take Trump University right, yes, head, you perpetrated Trump University. You know that would be the end of your career right. And for good reason. I wouldn't have you on my podcast right, if you, if you are the sort of person who had built needy people out of tens thousands of dollars and then and then use every trick in the book to
hang onto their money and in a publicly celebrated as a great victory and is like that, should destroy a person right and that's, arguably not even in the top ten the things that make him a liability is as president talking of a younger son on the phone and he was making fun of for all my political predictions that have gone wrong from the and obvious victory of job Bush to the successive Marco Rubio to the many many times I said about from, while at now he's toast- and I remember the first time was when he mocked John Mccain having a prisoner for being a prisoner of war left As I say this, because it, how did the military get behind him? It is a he himself as much of a draft dodger as you can be right, some one who did not fight, and now he is condemning a Directive war, hero for having been captured and tortured, and yet the military got behind him them it s. What so amazing about this out
it's all amazing. As you know, I had a party at my house was turned out not to be much of a party on em, an annual falling, on twitter and as things were going horribly, all of a sudden somebody tweeted. This is the worst blackmailer at ever hear and an escort? I feel a gambling and yeah it as well. Well, you at so you and I and our first podcast. I think it was the first pilot. More than a year ago, confidently expressed that we would never be talking about tromp again. Yes, yes, good, they were in that business will continue to have conversations to a third and fourth terms about. This is like one of those moments where you understand that we probably live in a multi verse with with parallel universes living out almost identical lifelines, but I did not think we were in the universe where tromp was can be present. We have genuinely surprise yet
really is like living in a disturbing in science fiction really and and is just the beginning. Hopefully those who predict that he will be so unprincipled must actually be a good president will be right. I think that's what we have to take reaction. That's that's an optimistic thought. Then done well. Listen poets once again great to have you the pipe and in closing, please in addition to my reminding everyone to get your book against empathy that is now available, and I will linked to it on my blog and it is everywhere. Books were sold and it's obviously on Amazon, which is increasingly the easiest way to get a book, tell people where they find you. What's your twitter address Paul Bloom at Yale Hooker, you arm the third time guest, I'm sure there will be a fourth, so until next time is who is really pleasure. It was a total pleasure sandwich super grateful. Thank you, If you find this pancakes. I believe there are many ways you can support it. You can review
I tunes or wherever whoever happens to listen to it. You can share social media with your friends, you can block. Better discuss it on your own podcast or even supported directly, and you can do this by subscribing through my website at SAM Dot Org and there you'll find subscriber only content which includes my ask me anything episodes. He also get access to advance tickets to my life events as well streaming video of some of these events, and he also
Transcript generated on 2020-03-24.