« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#92 — The Limits of Persuasion

2017-08-16 | 🔗

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Pizarro and Tamler Sommers about free speech on campus, the Scott Adams podcast, the failings of the mainstream media, moral persuasion, moral certainty, the ethics of abortion, Buddhism, the illusion of the self, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Today I am speaking with a very bad wizards. It Pizarro and own summers they have upon cast- by that name I've been on, I think twice. We debated freewill at great length. So if your interested that topic you can listen to us there, and I recommend you listen to their podcast data fascinating subjects. And in quite the reverent way, and they do fantastic movie reviews as well David Pizarro is a professor of psychology Cornell. He focuses on morality and moral judgment. And the emotion of disgust and needless to say, all of that is credibly relevant to this time and any other And his partner in crime, Tamar Summers is a professor philosophy at the University of Houston and he focuses.
Is primarily on ethics and political philosophy and the philosophy of law, and he spent as in topics like free will and, moreover spy, stability, punishment, revenge honor again fascinating. And all the relevant in this point cast. We essentially took questions from twitter. People had heard us the very bad wizards podcasting had topics they wanted us to address. We talk about free speech on campus We do a fairly long post mortem on my pockets with Scott atoms. So if you haven't heard that you might listen to that, first otherwise feel free to skip ahead, especially if you're sick to death of hearing me talk about Trump. We talk about moral persuasion and then we get anything like meditation and the sense in which the self mayor not been allusion again
I encourage you to subscribe to their podcast because they are quite good, and now I bring you bad wizard, I'm here, with a very bad wizards David Tattler, thanks for coming on the Pike S thanks for areas I will have introduced you in, and people may have heard our previous interviews on your show, but remind everyone, where you are and what you, what you guys tend to fall. Design when you're not causing trouble in your pocket Well, I am a professor of philosophy at the University of Houston, your Tamar and I am Tamar summers- right and when I'm not hot casting on very bad wizards with David. I I'm working on this book, which I have been working on for quite a while for the last few years. That's coming out in those,
sprang in their early spring, called in defence of honour, and it's about honour and morality, Yeah you like honour, I, that is something we could talk about. We can add to the list of things yeah. I look forward to that. And I'm David Pizarro from Coronel University when I'm not podcasting with temblor and losing my cool on a I do research on moral judgment and despair, beyond the effects of emotional judgment. So the emotion of disgust to something that may be for the last ten years have been been researching and how that that can influence judgment, political judgment and and moral and social judgment. And then just trying to teach the young minds trying to sucker them in getting Phds or listeners wants to talk about the moral panic on campuses as one of the items we went out on twitter asking for topics,
and I know you guys- disagree with some people who think that this is a huge problem until I want to get into that cuz. You guys are also on the front lines, as professor is the first. It was just start with your pain, His report cast is fantastic, I'm a huge fan and I'm a fan, even though it seems every at a time I tune in it. He said something disparaging about me. That's temblor, trolling! You! I wiped my hands clean of this one I think earlier I was disparaging of certain your remarks from your book, the moral landscape on moral relativism. Since then, I think we ve been very even handed and without her We don't need with anything. We think that the term I believed and was watching a different movie. It's it's an emotional truth. What I just said that base truth,
persuasive to somebody nonetheless, your pack ass his great and people, check it out and when we will provide a link- relevant links on my blog, but I am just wondering so your pocket, your both professors full time and you have a fairly edgy podcast me. Are you guys you get into topics and you express opinions that I would think could conceivably get you in trouble, and this does actually connect with this first topic that has been suggested to us. This idea of a fundamental and spreading intolerance to free speech that taking hold Universities. Do you guys ever worry about what you're doing upon CAS with respect to your jobs and both have tenure of how do you think about Europe? your life at this point augur well I'll start by saying. I think that at first it was what some people refer to to use an analogy, if I may refer to a security threat,
security. I was sort of convinced at first that nobody would be listening and Therefore it would be perfectly okay, but I've been actually quite surprised. Swords are listener. Ship has grown thanks to the many wonderful guess, including and as our audience has grown. I do not think in Temblor Beacon, correct me if I think One of the things that is is so nice about the long form, podcast discussion format is that that people. Can hear they, to know you in a way that that the things that you say are in a context of conversations in it for lack of a better word. I think they get to know your character a little bit and in some of the crazy things we say, People really are good. At Hagen contacts out, I dont twittering, maybe one or two email ethically devoted as out of God. That's right, everyone time express the fear that we'd be taken out of
on tax and that that Twitter account started up and and you know- I think, maybe one or two times we ve had somebody email us with, maybe so- anger about what we ve said but you mean from your own institutions, not not enough from former listeners from our own institutions. I genuinely think any part of it is. I haven't. I haven't made it sort of anything that I talk about too much in my own institution in part, because of that worry isolated connected to the topic. This is one of my point. Pics evidence when I say that I think people exaggerate the degree to which there is a chilling effect or their people can't express their views if they don't toe the line with you know the progressive agenda, whatever it's the we, I think neither of us do that. I think
you know, maybe me even less than dave- and I haven't heard one single- not a single complaint from any colleagues who listens to it from any person at my institution who listens to it and there are, there are Bunge no but he has. Taken umbrage by a single thing, now we ve said- and we ve said some repugnant shit as in out that part of this part of our trademark and I think it's for the reason that Dave says is you know people get to know us, and they know. I think that our hearts are in the right place and so as long as they know that they're gonna allow you to be
little edgier or more inappropriate and not try to shut you down, and so this is one of the things that makes me think that these incidents are not as its eyes as widespread of phenomenon as its portrayed by some in the media, but those are relevant partner that we didn't answer, which is we both have tenor, but we think we got em. We got tenure after maybe we were a year of doing the Paca when we started on think we had here, but we do have to just two at that. Are you guys as irreverent or edgy in the classroom, or is there a varied big difference between your podcast persona and you're? Here, professor hat, I teach a course interest. Psychology, which is largely freshmen. With about eight hundred didn't enrolled for many of them, it's their first experience and lecture course in college and
while I probably tone it down, I don't purposefully any part of it. Is your persona kind of changes depending on the situation, so we we it's more like we don't. We will raise it up a notch on the park. S sometimes, but but large I say crazy things in my class all the time I've had students who Take delight in writing down that there was once a somebody on Facebook who would who would quote me extensively. Why gotta word document at the end of one semester from a student with a list of all the crazy things I had said, usually again, I think not on the first day sort of you, you build you build yourself up at an always, I think at least I try in the in an attempt to communicate.
Thing well, so if I drop in F bomb, it's usually because I want somebody to remember something I'll give an example in it. When I talk about evolutionary psychology, for instance, I remind students that if a claim is made that natural selection cost something has to be directly tied to the mechanism of survival and reproduction, or else ass, it doesnt work through natural selection, so I just remind people unless it leads to more fucking. It's there. It's not an evolutionary argument like adapted and clearly- and I say that an attempted sanction Well, it's an attempt of too much to the chagrin of my mother is an attempt to solidify a princess. Maybe I'm just making sounds a little time. I just want the lab regarding your Anderson from your want one moment of stand up for the day camera. You do tone it down because I'm not drunk, usually when I teach so that's one, their friends, but every once in a while.
For the podcast we found. You Let me again a little more frequently I've done that why things which divided by Ebay Ways. I think it's exactly what Dave said. You build up a little trust over the course of this master and they sort of get you a mirror You know like I'm, somebody that likes to grow up and approach the line. I get bored Lord when everybody is talking and it's a little too ones being too polite or dancing around certain topics, and I think that students like that- and especially now, when I think a lot of these students, at least at by institution, which is a public institution, and there and their working life jobs and their stressed out taking five classes and a lot of them.
Family issues that they are dealing with and anxiety issues that their dealing with it is nice to just have a place where people can. You know not watch what they say I feel like they have to walk on eggshells so that at least the kind of environment that I try to build and again in classes. I have yet to find that to be a problem even more. Lastly, like not one single complaint, at least one has reached me, now we have to reconcile our world views because anyone, you know many, these principle- experts really How do I square what you guys have just said with what Jonathan his sane and and really care an eyes in in the the Heterodox Academy worrying about this creeping moral panic that is fundamentally antithetical today, the core values of the university. I'm sure
David knows Jonathan, but perhaps you do too Tamar you guys they should have him on your part gas, to talk about these things, because I'd like to hear what he would say he's really worried about this, and then you have it Cases of like Nicholas Christophe, as who I'm sure Billy's David, knows Yale You have bread wine Stein, who at Evergreen University, which has gotten a lot of attention and that, just when fully off rails eyes farther no disease, and I I'm sure he is families back in town, yet based on safety concerns, and then you have that the Rebecca whole incident actually had lunch with her to talk about her spirit. Not that long ago, so it's totally possible. That you guys are right and that these are individual cases. That suggest
very little about the rest of what's going on on campuses, but take the first part. How do you think about how height is describing this? It's a tough question because because I think this is one of those cases where two things can be true and one or two, thanked him. I should say that you say your your step. Mom is Christina. Summers who, yes, this basically is, as far as I can tell. She has a cold following on the right in our centre right for the way she has brought attention to this sort of issue. Yes, especially as it relates to gender and Yeah, and so yes, this is a debate, I have often and certainly everything's, giving get on pretty close to my stepmother. So we go back and forth. You know it's like, if you listen to us, talk about it, I think we can both concede a little bit of, and this is how I feel about height to you now I thought the cod
King of the american mind was you know, one of those first sort of over hyped pieces that captured attention in the imagination of everybody, and I think people aren't good at at looking a video like the crystal as video or the Evergreen state, video and and and an end their bad cases, there really bad. I mean there's no denying it. If that is going on in every or the or the Charles Murray thing right. If that was going on in in the universities, then people would be right that the two to panic about this, but what's I think, difficult for people to process is day in and day out how many things happen at the thought. Thousands and thousands of universities across the country where there's no stifling of speech. There's a chilling there's! No there's none of that. You know
Charles Murray successfully gave that same talk one hundred universities, probably before Middlebury and you know, evergreen state is a little bit. A whack job liberal arts college to begin with, you know, and for a while this isn't true anymore, but for a while any time was an article written about this day. It was Oberlin like something happened in Oberlin cause. That's just what Oberlin is it's been like that for fifty years, and it will probably be like that for another fifty years. So I think it's important. A separate What's wrong, which legitimately wrong that's going on it at these particular institutions,. For what is going on in court, unquote the American university has, I think those two things are different. I understand, like height, will kind of could concede some of them
and say it is at these more privileged private institutions that this is occurring, but that still a significant worry- and you know I have some sympathy with at the end and just to make clear. I think that that their and I disagree about this often, although, although we share a lot of the sentiment, you know, I think that is important to separate arguments about frequency arguments about importance and and I I do think that there is a proper ugly measurable chilling effect in that that some professors are less willing to say some of the things that they used to say, or they think twice about and I do think, there's probably measurable difference in the average undergrad in the way that they think about a lot of these things
then we can separate whether the reaction of panic, which I think the Templar is is responding to is- is the right. The right sort of reaction to to the problems currently stands, which I'll I agreed is is probably not it does get overblown in it captures attention but but I nonetheless do worry about it, and I do think that that we are creating an environment in which people pause before they say something's, but I always tried him size that there's, there's a way in which, a lot of this is actually progress. I do want people to pause before they say some things, and so, if that's what's called chilling, then good. I think I mentioned this on one of our pockets. I don't know if I made the final at it, but I did have up a professor once tell me that he really felt like you couldn't tell the same joke that you used to, and I said
like what kind of drugs, and then he gave me an example, and it was a pretty racist joke and thank God the he wasn't from the? U S and he didn't think it was a racist jack it hasn't stopped Dave from his in a constant stream of anti said it is, I feel I feel, like that's the canary Nicole, mind them, and that is why I will announce the right they came from my methods, which I did not. I didn't want to add that I think sometimes, like I think, Dave's right that sometimes professors feel like they have to watch what they say, but sometimes that's their fault. Not the environment. Spot, like they ve been reading too much of the Atlantic and too much- whatever the later call at the heterodox blog, and now they ve convinced themselves that they can
anything that might border on inappropriate. Sometimes you just have to man up and just say, the thing that you want to say and if there is any blow back from that, then you'll deal with it. You know WAR or equipment or whatever, yes, or when I the poor woman, and you got that I'm gonna get you that's a cave No so, Do you think I was having this talk with a professor? at a conference in he was there. He said you know I was in this faculty meeting and then you know an hour later, this faculty member tweeted out something she didn't use my name, but something that I had said in the faculty meeting, as is so who so, who cares? So what so, maybe she'll tweet out thing that you said at a faculty meeting that doesn't mean you shouldn't say it. That's just life its life that, when you say something, sometimes people will react in a certain way and you deal with it. Then
yet the problem is there. We have these cases which may miss written on your ear. Counter or outlier cases where this stuff just goes completely haywire and you have someone's career destroyed or theirs. Lisa aid, just a massive public, shaming experiments. That follows of aimed precisely that pattern. A tweet sent from it, otherwise private meeting or What was that incident where there is a guy were a shirt to a conference, and he was just vilified endless wait for the insensitivity of his shirt again, we have these cases that get media attention and the minimum advertise? How hey wire- this can go so it's easy to see how this would propagate back and cause every one to choose their words more carefully. I guess it's partly it's easy, but it's not it's not an excuse. It's on a full excuse.
You know who professors generally are smart enough to understand the difference between a why spread phenomenon and some cases that still, I think we can reasonably We called isolated, and you know like anything like a terrorist attack. You dont of react to it, you don't want it completely. Take away everybody's freedoms just cause. There was this one terrorist attack in Orlando. So you know that's I will say that I think is important stated in in India many the incidents that we ve described. These people are treated horribly unfairly and and there's no lack of assholes who were who are causing people grief. But I always think that this is the response to me is more important than then the whatever growing number of of undergraduates who furiously offended. I think that this,
is actually what what do we make of this? What do we do with this, and if it is anything like a trend, if it's not isolated incidents, and it is the beginnings of a or you know some site, guys changing more so than ever. I think that the role of the professor is, I think we ve failed our students, if, if, by the end of our classes, for instance, they they still Don't I think part of the training of say a seminar in mine is for students to come out of their comfortable with expressing opinions and not vilified others who they disagree with, and I think that the response to- claims of alarm and and and these trends, whatever being dangerous, ought to be met with open and clear. Combat station with our students and not with a response that it's just these. These students were like completely progressive liberals on the left, who are ruining. Things has opposed,
modernism. You know I want to talk to that students to bring a men. Let them teach by example what it means to have a respectful disagreement? The issue with postman tourism connects us to an another item that many have suggested. We talk about it. I think this is something that you slam before on one of your podcast, the conceptual penis hoax. As our mess we need, up there. We saw him, do you and I, but what happened? I was among the people who forwarded this Junta guy. I think I read a piece of their paper on podcast and then NAM. Retweet and in many people who have now judged to have been a false hopes, or at least they miss fired hoax when I ve spent a lot of time on it, but I think you guys saw it as an example of sceptics. Not being nearly skeptical enough, because they just practise their own version of key. Formation bias. By spreading this,
which in the end wasn't what it seemed to be. Is that still how you think about it, because I think tat, the authors both defended them right and I think even Alan Sokol roadie a fairly appreciative piece about it, or at least partially appreciative is about it. I think what was then we had James Lindsey on on our are podcasting. We talked at length yeah, we talked at length about it and I think that that not them according to listen to a, but but at the end of that I was more disappointed with his response than ever. And I, and I think it is a case where yeah we were taking to task many in those, so whatever skeptic community. If you want to know, if you want to call that- and I know how you feel about the wave falling prey to confirmation by us Europe. I think our point was just generally that this was published in a really low tiered. Laughter being rejected from a meteor journal, and I thought well what would be evidence of a good scholarship. If not,
rang with disappointment that against from journals from now on ranked Jimmy were rejected and rang counter studies journal and got at public pay per publish, not gender studies Journal, It requires no defence of gender. That I mean, I think, we're up all on record as saying that the slick spectacular bullshit coming out of some of these fields, but if there's something about the arrogance and the quickness of of mockery and in this something I want to talk to you this year, Pike S. You can direct us, but I did want to talk to you about the the in, in this broader context, moral persuasion about the role of this mockery and- and I don't think I've been struck- maybe especially in the last few few weeks are few months, as is our audience. Has grown and we get more and more people interacting with us on Twitter at an off. It's just some believe.
That this is an effective way of convincing others of the truth. But I found the authors, or at least the one author. We talk too, of the hopes to be very dismissive and, and and quite quite about the way that he presented his his case in a way that so called himself was not, and I find, for instance, you, to be very reasonable when you talk, but you have a wide army of people who are that way in I don't know how you feel about when you see you private somebody tweets that it's hard to keep but but when you see people who sort of on your behalf are acting in ways that think that you would ever act the really two topics what one is whether mockery is ever useful and and persuasive to the people, your mocking or whether I think I think you guys have even more global doubts about whether just hard criticism is ever persuasive to the people, your criticising
whether of of a frontal assault. Atheist, on religious faith ever wins, hearts and minds that I think that something that really Tamar his doubted the paths. Well, I mean it depends what you mean by frontal assault, but then there is the issue of of how ones fans are or listeners readers. In my case, represent me in how they respond to two people who criticise me or my podcast guest on that second point for me very clear and I have with some frequency- and I can't keep doing this, but with some frequency I admonish my listeners not to be jerks, and I've said a few podcast. Listen you you're doing me no favours no matter how much you hate what some said on my podcast, no matter how wrong you think they are you
Doing me any favours if you now just flame them on social media. I dont want persons experience coming podcast. That was the worst thing they ever did their lives because of how they were treated by by a fairly large audience. In fact, I want to be the opposite. I want everything that comes their way to be really sir. Martin, civil, no matter how hard hitting it actually is, or no matter how critic- it is of their position. It has to be said. Oh and irrelevant, and so the unfairly clear about how I wish people would- represent my audience, but I have very little control over what people actually do. Apart from saying things like that periodically, I guess there So I mean there is right. You dont have control over what the people who are fans of yours do and all you can do as model good behaviour in a witch
you did I mean he did when the Scott Adams. You know Almost to the point where I was heroic district? need. A wedge seem like us, don't model it and now that we talk about, but so there's some Christus level patients. But the question that Dave alluded to before or about whether mockery is an effective tactic to change people's minds. Think is a you know it something that I think skip skiff the sceptics and sometimes atheists, I I guess maybe I just disagree with them: cuz have any great evidence onwards, mockery changes minds are not certainly, in my experience mocking somebody calling stupid calling Them you know obviously national or whatever, not tat, it just makes people more defensive. It makes people dig
heels in more and the the way, I think to change. And is to be respectful of there Indian, Inter really tried a you know, see the best side of it as an end and and to engage with it even if you find it indefensible answer on some level, just as a purely practical. Instrumental goal of changing somebody's mind, you know in my expire, answer someone who's, no stranger to mockery It's not what I wanna trotted out for mockery is fund can be funny. It can, get the people who already agree with you agree with. Few more and to be more proud of. Themselves for being on the right side of the view by it doesn't change the minds of the people that your market, I would just say that
that assumption is, pretty readily diskin firm about me. It doesn't change, some people's minds are grant, that it might not might not even change most mines and in most mines, depending on what they believe system is, might just not be available for change rights are there there's nothing you're, gonna, say on a podcast on in a book, however, well tempered is going to change the mind of opening a real jihadist. Do I get him to question his his faith, but You know I've been amazed to learn that some of the most hard hitting stuff I put out there in us to this I have said about Islam in the end, a faith or in various youtube. Videos has actually penetrated and reached even totally devout. Conservative people and communities in Pakistan right where the people are net are now closet atheists right based on Ah Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens have said about their religion and
it s, not that those people themselves must outliers, but you have to picture people at every point on the spectrum of credulity with respect to any ideology and others people who are in a fundamentalist and have never questioned the faith in their people who are halfway between them, and being fairly, just nominal adherence of the faith and they can be tip in either direction and if they see something very hard hitting but also obviously well thought out directed at this thing that they have been told is so unfair and and so beyond. Doubt in you. Don't know how many of those people you capture, and I can say that- and I haven't having done this for more than a decade. Theirs Personally, I kind of an endless stream of confirmation that mines get changed through confrontation, with
evidence and argument. However, actually disrespectful and and hard hitting an eye, maybe something there's some distinctions came to mind. As as we can to talk about this in, and one is that that that I don't at least what I know of the discussions that you ve had haven't, struck me as mockery in I find, even even in instances of strong disagreement. I dont think that you are disrespectful, but but I think the question of of whether mockeries effective may be just the wrong way for me to think about it, because it may very well be that you changed some minds through mockery, but that that isn't the way that I wanted to do it. And maybe there are some tactics that just our so I mean there are some issues that are so important that you might adopted by any means the sorry approach, but I I find it distaste
fallen and disrespect full yeah yeah, I don't how we define mock rebus suffers is the way I speak about Trump right when that this is not one cup of tea and obviously the trump supporters who are totally incorrigible hate. What I say about try- and then they must be unreachable, but either I gotta think even there it reaches somebody an end on certain points. There is just no other way to say at me, too, failed to convey the fee. Killing of moral opprobrium, that that seems to me just central to the response I am having to Trump, I was still lead to leave that off the table is to actually not communicate what I think about Trump and what I had what I feel everyone has good. Reason to believe about him. So I guess they leave the respects I'd comes in where I can give us sympathetic, control of why someone didn't
see it that way at first or maybe even doesn't see it that way now, and I can certainly sympathise with someone who hated Clinton and felt for their own reasons. The trump probably a better choice. There is definitely a a discussion, we had that they can dignify the other side, and I spent a whole podcast running down. Clinton with with Andrews elements, I am sympathetic to the other side, but to actually just focus on specific example like Trump and Trump University. And I did was got atoms and to not express just how despicable that was and how despicable it is not to find it despicable. Now I was somewhat strong in my conversations with God, because I have to play host end debate partner but cut a host has to win at least using it as a heuristic, now that the host has to win in those moments and keep it its civil at at at all costs, but two
him a pass on that I feel, is a moral failing in itself, an intellectual one, to end I communicate that is. It is dishonest guess, what you did with Scott Atoms is. As I see it, different. You weren't mocking him. You weren't, I'm not saying you shouldn T express your feelings. Are you? Should sugar coat how you feel and what you believe about Donald Trump by you look at what you did with Scott Adams. You were very deliberately trying to see his perspective, trying to understand why he was defending their positions. He was defending and I don't know I see that more as an example, even though he wasn't going to be persuaded, either way. I see that as an example of more what I'm talk about then we're talking about, and I,
this is what doesn't happen with Trump with liberals and trump voters is. They are dismissed and light up the basket of deplorable they're just dismissed as this monolithic group of racist idiots who against their own interests constantly and just because I'm highlighting not what I said to Scott or about Scott, but what I say about Trump, there's no way to sugar coated, I am being as disrespectful as you can possibly be about Trump. So imagine what I would have to say to trump to his face. If I ever at him to square with what I have said, and I at a trump voter and trying to convince a trump voter to change their mind, say we get tat, next election time and your canvassing with the Trump border, the way two to chain. Is their mind both as a party and as an individual person isn't going to be. I dont think too
make fun of them, because that's what was tried and that's why seemed like almost a galvanizing, I had a kind of a galvanizing effect to the voters but what you think of something like the US now sketches against tromp and an assurance by yeah? So I was get this right I was gonna get to two and another distinction about about humour, because there is it's not a clue, there's not a clear line and and all I can do, I think, is point to the sort of attitude that somebody holds. Toward another human being which were humor is actually great way to satirizes, to condemn,
by the way. I also agree with you that what I'm not saying is that there aren't cases of just share moral condemnation, that we shouldn't pull our punches and we should be very, very comfortable to say I agree with you. I think Trump is somebody who I wouldn't have anything good to say about him and I think so much of what he's doing is wrong and and setting the wrong example and with humor, I think, humored there, there is often a line there and I've I find I can distinguish the kind of humour that I I think is good satire for me and my reaction from stuff. Just gets nasty in some way in the tone with which it is being done and- and I think I think the power of humor is that it is too.
A truth in a way that disarms people it doesn't bring their walls up, not always, but but it has the power to do that, but I think I've gotten so much more insight from people like Nature poem, Louis UK, because they tell some pretty difficult truth in a funny way. They can. I think, though, that it can go, it can get to him a mean spirit. Then- and I just don't like it as much by dont like that feeling that that some business, by acting in the end. I think, when I said mockery, for instance, what I meant was somebody who is unwilling to engage in, and I found I think in our James Lindsey Interview about the hoax on an unwillingness to engage or I'd just stopping point at their willingness to to talk about opposing views that that is what distressed me. What what bothered magazine! I haven't listened to. That's all
After the do. That's all was open it up to this larger issue of moral persuasion, and this is as follows. Rather, directly from what Scott Adams was claiming on my pike ass, this dead tromp is this brilliant persuade her and that persuasion is really not about facts and and Needn't, be needn't, be about facts, and this is not. A bad thing that is not about facts. There is one thing that again in my role as host, I couldn't fully communicate how reprehension I feel this migration is I say anything about Scott that I wouldn't say to him: mistress it it's hard to kind of sport, the baby in real time when you're on your own show- and I say this now fully aware that it will get back to Scott, but I just feel like this- he seemed totally comfortable. In fact, he seemed fairly jubilant.
About carrying non about what is true, but about what people can be led to believe that just matters what people can you like to believe. Don't you understand, SAM? That's the game, we're all playing! That's what this life is about. It's about persuading people to get what you want out of life and Trump is great at that, and that, as a kind of the linchpin of an ethical worldview there's so much were unaware. Do I start that everything is wrong with that, as a scientist Ecevit ass, if her as a journalist as a compassionate person who just wants to have his or her beliefs track Reality of you, whoever you are attempting to build a better society. I don't see how you can be comfortable with that. As your your starting point, and yet he d a point in either the fact that no one in the one thing that was astonishing after our podcast was to see how differently are to respect of audiences
perceived it and my audience vilified him. And his audience vilified, animals is clear that they thought he had destroyed me. What an embarrassment I was a career suicide for me to have someone is brilliant and as persuasive, Scott, my podcast adjust Guenaud. Do the jet. I mind trick on me. By the way read some of your followers. Listen to our are along progress on free, will and say, SAM destroyed. You guys, and I always will sort a laugh because, unlike you know, I don't think that be the destruction I did is recognised as I get idle. I think today that I was met with me. I have another account like an account with six Pollard there's gotta an interview. It's it's a it's! It's a funny thing to listen to you get kind of disoriented and any, and there was a kind of postmodern field to it. There was a kind of Postman
and critical theory kind of perspective that he said. To be inhabiting with facts, and and and reason based arguments or at least sort of you no objective reason based arguments. There be independently evaluated just didn't play the role for him that at play than a place for you and that it mostly we think plays fur for all of us and There was a meadow level as trying when you know, when you too would debate, save Russia, investigation or climate. Change and he would say. Well, you know the Paris deal was a hoax and you weren't, but trumps our climate science was a hoax, then you know all of a sudden there. They were shifting terrain, and then you
start to wonder is got Adams treating this very debate as something to be like, vehicle for persuasion, not a view, he probably knew that you weren't gonna, be persuaded so he's not trying to win the argument in the or the debate The sense that we understand that he is trying to do what he says. Tromp ISM asteroids doing, which is persuade people too appreciate tramp or to find something. In him that they haven't found before and then it was like now I dont like how do you assess this? argument at all. If he's not even trying to win the argument, as I understand winning arguments, you know, nor think extra think he's very.
Sincere about his insincerity. I think he's got he's, got this bad faith structure to his game and he's fine with that, and I feel that there is an immense number of of intellectual and ethical problems that follow from that end, and we couldn't fully get into it, but it say I do find it very frustrating, but in his defence the aftermath is everything we see around us proves at least one part of his thesis. The two movies ology audiences, my arm and and and Adams as audience are: where would clearly watch indifferent movies that podcast end and perceived it totally differently and the question of of moral persuasion? How do you bridge that Gulf. Honestly, I am at a loss when you can't get facts. That would be
morally salient and in another context, to matter to some one for the purpose of a political discussion, like when it. When I m one point I made with how much to which he didn't have rebuttal, I mean, I think you basically agreed with me. I said: listen if, if I did any one of these things that I just named that that that you're, not disputing Trump, has done if Did any one of these things. It would be the end. Give me and for good reason, and you would not come on this podcast. If you had heard that I have a had a Trump university in back story or if I had been in a barging in The dressing rooms of of the beauty pageant contestants under my sway or any any of these things, and No, you rightly recognised that I'm a schmuck dude be taken seriously. He does source, but the difference here. In another moment he says or who might a any of that and I'm not the pope, and I don't know what he's talking about tromp he'd he's are yours.
As our he's lived more publicly than you serve implying, who knows yet? Who knows about it by Anna, and I do wonder about someone who feels that he is in no position to judge. Leave a litany of abuses too. Morality and reason we see just pouring out of crumbs life. I think his better argument was that you shouldn't like we're not hiring him to model to be a model citizen, good, behavior, where it's like you want that. Parity lawyer nor his Dave would say the Jew lawyer too, when your case for Yod darker assassination you don't want the lawyer. That's the most upstanding citizen when you're in a bad all you know four year, you know whether you gonna go to prison an order for a lot of money. There's so much does to disagree with him about and but I'll tell you what I found them most astray
an end and again I actually found him to be like an interesting, respectful dude when he was discussing. So this isn't this, but but I bob I guess I reserve the right. A send you saying before to just fundamentally through them and what I found the most distressing in his whole whole interview, was You point out the emerald of his of his arguments, but another one. Just the insistence on praising Trump for his persuasive power, yours and unwilling to talk about what he was persuading people about, that you is avoiding any discussion of content, so so
it's fine if you wanna getting what it wants and ass an intrinsic good, intrinsic good, and it made me think you know, for some people is an insult. Some people might a compliment, but but I it was very an brandish, and I was I was struck by that being a good in of itself that that sort of you know we reach thirty level persuasive powers, and so you got admire the guy, but if you're persuasive cars are being used to not care about the the future of the environment or or two to discriminate against people. Or whatever? How is that a good, but you couldn't get him to discuss that and it was always bring it back to you. While this is just part of his masterful game, which is great
you might be a really really great marksman, but if you're shooting people- I don't like you, but at this point autonomy while the failed, because my use of analogy I hope that that I think I found it. When it's all said and done, I found it almost monstrous too to think of a president and endorsing him for for doing that, for being good them, yet lay area also not to see the cause. We forget about what he's persuading people sword the fact of justice having this style of communication that is so oh dishonest, that more or less vicious every. Assumption now is that there's something false in what he said, even if you're fan you have to bracket everything he says with this, sick uncertainty about whether he means it and the cost of of of that to our society and our politics
The downside of that is is so obvious, but you know he clearly doesn't care about it. Your question about you know there are these two movies and the movies seemed the operating according to different principles to just in terms of what counts. You know if the hall, The media takes trump, early, but not seriously. People take to trample seriously not literally, and it's like, and this, and I guess that serious part on the Trump voters is that idea of kind of emotional trust or bad No, they they trust him emotionally, and so when they, when he goes off on some bullshit tweet storm, they know it's shit. They know he's lying, but he has their emotional trust. I mean. I think, that there is some thing right about that, at least as a descriptive
explanation for what's going on, and I actually think that mostly untrue, and may I think I wanna call bullshit on that claim to I mean for us as well trump gets up, there is, as my Duration crowd was bigger than any that has ever seen. I think most of his fans think that's true when he says it anything gets the fake news media out to get him. That is disputing it anything ever come around to being convinced by the photos which, in a half of them, probably think or doctored they think or who gives a shit You know he's great anyway, and so is like there's a wider They say he's great anyway, because they trust him. They trust him he's a fight areas of business. Music, fight for their Louis Scott views, him is a very unusual way of viewing him. I think people are they think every
how to get him so that, in most of the criticism about him and most of the fact, checking has to be purely malicious and Most of that is just a tissue of lies and conspiracy theories in this, probably nothing untoward happening with Russia, and you know, heap praise almost certainly this really good guy who's, just getting hammered by the Holy left wing elite. But then, when it when any one piece of this shifts in two the certainty column, where ok, no Trump clear was lying. There then they they have a piece of the Scott Adam View, which is well. Who cares he's just new? That's just for a factor. That's easy that that that works. He did it because it works, get used to it, but for the most part I dont think they're there. That's not their first perception. The first perception is he's just under attack. There's a siege and it's it's driven not by how far
are from normal, an ethical and professional and competent. He is its driven. Based on just pure partisan, rancor and people like me, or just unhappy to have lost an election in no, I mean, I think, you're you're right about that. I guess I didn't want to build too much on the psychology of the Trump voter as much in terms of getting p in that movie to sort of be able to talk and debate There is something in this idea of building emotional trust and one of the one of them. Reasons why the fake news in a liberal, skewed, biased media. Ah you know all those charges seem so effective. They there very active unconvincing trump voters that he's being treated unfairly, as he loves to say
is because there is no trust right now for those kinds of institutions. You know that. Stabbed judgment, Republicans the establishment Democrats an and then news, media in general, and so you know that's that. I think the work that has to be done is building some of that trust. Ban because without that there's no terrain to persuade people to eyes their opinion of a man. I have put a lot of stake in alone, these voters, they it's dead Air really motivated to not look like they got played for a are too not look like they ve been conned, and so on we somebody who they have a tremendous amount of trust in and and also, I think, sums some degree of respect for is going to be able to make progress.
In in changing their minds about back, there's a lot of biases. I think I think you're being utter. I dont think that there is another, that the liberal media has eroded. Trust in that. This is why the people went for tromp. I think it's a much simpler story which is pure saying shit. Alot of people want here, they were voting in their self interest for tromp, because they really believed in one way to take Scott Adams. View is agro with both of you. Don't think this that Scott Adams represents in any way average trumps border and one way in which I think he's right is that Trump has persuaded a substantial portion of people that he is to be trusted, and I think that that is despite all of the evidence, that he is not to be trusted. And so you said yourself will. How can people trust him? Despite all of this evidence that he's a liar that he makes decisions based on self
there is not even on principle- and I think it's because he is said a few things that people really really want to hear, and I don't think the liberal media has eroded trusted. It needs to build a back up. I think it's just totally directional by The thing is that it has a MAC and attest to the family, of the liberal media, or that the main stream media on certain topics so, reliable that I had to have a window into how a right wing fox and bright Bart fan could view the editorial page of the New York Times or even even just the new pages, because I've seen them commit errors of fact or or to shade their discussion of facts so reliably on certain topics The topics of the link between Islam and terrorism is one where I pack into guarantee you. I will find in an article
some way in which political correctness is distorting the presentation of a stark fact, their whole articles in places like the New York Times. Talking about terrorist suicide bombings, though the motive worry a mystery that is to remain impenetrable till the end of time and no mention of Islam. There's no mention of religion does just that. You have generic wars, like extremism and all of this to someone who's been paying attention to this problem and is worried about that. The spread of specific ideas relative to jihadism, it's v, fish he waited describe was going on, and so it was something like gun, control and gun. Safety may well be a shooting it at a school and you'll have the response in the New York Times times and you'll just see a yo YO see positions being articulated by people
who know nothing about guns who have never shot a gun. Who don't get everything wrong. I'm in the names are wrong that we hear them on CNN talking about guns. They pronounce the names of gun manufacturers wrong- I mean it's just that the level of closeness is so obvious, and so I can see that it's possible that even in Valid reaction to Trump something demeaning about have in to respond or feeling that you have to respond again and again and again to trumps DIS, honesty and indiscretions, because air, every time you do it. You are you're running the risk of making it. An error yourself, however small, which seems to put you on all fours, with bright or with or with Trump himself or
just that there's something something better roads, your credibility by just taking the time to be endlessly criticising. Someone like this for for the same, point, and so you did when you look at the New York Times now, their days where the whole paper looks like the opinion page, because they have to take a position against the sky. It's it's. It's a horrible, save her sight. I hate but I, but I will say this- I think you're, giving too much credit to to the truth seeking nature of people. I dont at all disagree that there's one that's as adamses point, I'm into in defence of atoms, ass, exact, that's exactly what he would want. Say well I mean, but I think he is wrong in that. This is a I think everybody should be true seeking. I think people are wrong to take trump faced and believe him, but so I don't care. I think it is totally wrong about about the more
virtue in this, but I think that when people see an article on cutting Control New York Times and they disagree with it this way, I don't think that their trust in the factual, I dont think, These people are like well look at their most recent statistics and can show you where you wrong. I think they're, like I like guns in New York Times, doesn't so fuck you guys in and out to me is not erosion of trust that is just directional by us on all part on all parts they some people can recognize bullshit when they see it and if you're a big pro one person and you see the position being misrepresented, you'll recognise that and that will piss you off, and rightly so. You know yeah, but this People will have it it's not as if their more sensitive to facts or something right so the same people I mean this is the whole point of motivate reasoning when they, when you spot, you spot, an argument that you dont like, and then you dig into it then you're going to find evidence, and- and maybe you can say well in your times by us, but when when they say some
that is it caught and that that is consistent with the with your belief. You won't do any. You know you you're just be like yeah, that's right, but that's all. I don't think that I'm here This is something has been going on for ever with the media and the way the people process. Information on think. It's anything that has eroded in that the trust of the people who once thought the New York Times, could give them genuinely unbiased facts about gun control, and now they can summon up over tromp. I think is More waymore got reaction than that. But what do you do? with the this under law. Claim, which you did just echo, People are not as truth seeking as they should be, or that I think that they could be I'm depressed. About it. So I think that this is actually one of the things that I said I want to talk about. Is at what point when talking about moral persuasion right, so I feel, like I've fought the good fight mm in inches
some things and unwilling to keep fighting it for that percentage of people. So sometimes I look at my classroom, USA, if maybe can get five people to reason a bit more out of that. A fifty then I'll. Consider this a victory but one of the things that that may both of you can you can give me your opinion on is at what point I realized, I think Maybe its maturity? Maybe it's just growing impatience that there is a stop rule at some point before turning into mockery. I want to just stop engaging because I won't be worth my time. There are people. I know who I know won't be convinced and they're not worth my, despite my my being didn't reactive on twitter to some trolls, I feel like well. Maybe I just need to be more pessimistic about human nature and not even engage them about, but then there is this set people who are you know who it there is something you could do to bring them around they're not currently around, and there is a set of people. You could
you know, move closer to. This. As you know, we ve seen this on the podcast people email s all this time and said you actually changed my mind about this issue. That issue and I don't know that's what you know. I agree that there is plenty of. Plenty of room for pessimism on this question, but certainly not despair, was David it. How close you are to this research, but through Certainly is some scientific research on persuasion and just how hard it is to change people's minds and things like that backfire effect and all the biases that Conniston and Turkey have. Brought to the world's attention. If someone wanted to create a fully scientific approach, an approach that grounded in the best research now too
changing minds. Do you know what that would look like and because of their these perverse things like? If I tell you something that is, True there's this year at how well replicated this has been a guy. We have this replication problem to some these results, but like the others. The illusory truth effect where, if I tell you if your first hearing of something is only context of hearing that in fact it's not true, The proportion of people will remember, it is being true merely for having heard it. So how do we have our minds based on current science, its way, because that them currently in Toronto, and one thing that I do on the site is consulting work, where we try to apply the science to to changing consumer behaviour and- and I'm often have to struggle
with you know, there are the cot. There are the ways in which you can try to change someone's mind that that I think, are our good ways like looking trying to find the ways in which people will be more willing to listen to and and grog sort of, an argument that is opposed to their. Their initial argued and then there are the ways that are saved like the dumber ways that that the the ways that don't require reasoning that are just sort of like sate, say an emotionally distressing image in order to get you to stop smoking or something like that. I always any in my own discuss research on discussed. I've had liberals asked me: how can I use discuss to make people more more in line with liberal ethics instead of with conservative ones, and I always say I gotta thought I don't think that's the way we should be using it, but the question of how to get
people's mine change, especially the moral domain. It it's uh, it's a tough one, it and I've vacillated between sort of downright despair and just regular pessimism, but I do think that the the best way is in the context of relationships and respectful friendly, really ships, and so I'll say this way. John height, I think was on is onto something when he talks about the need to build relationships, have social relationships. In order to make some of this stuff actually work and you run a gun control earlier and I'll use an example from my own life. I was unfairly liberal and I perhaps even in my learn, sort of becoming a psychologist, those extra liberalized and when I went to grad school, I took a course and normative ethics from a philosopher than him. He
turned out: he was a gun owner and had very specific, libertarian You aren't gonna ownership, and I was I had just need your reaction against this. This is horrible. How can you promote this and setting study about the mere presence of guns making people more violent and because I became friend and because I respected him in all sorts of other ways in which he had demonstrated. That he was a reasonable person? I was left with what would it it's weird that a reasonable person believe something about this that so contrary to to my view- and he exposed me too- turn I started reading and I actually changed my mind about. At the very least now I try to look at objective evidence which, as he says very hard debt, but it was only in that context because I think that anybody else had just told me I was an idiot for believing what I believed I would just double down. I think that it's a really
hi bar, but it's the one that seems to work people from your group who you respect for you can save yourself. That's weird that I agree with this person about so much that in this case, what is there? What is it? That's their and twitter is horrible, Twitter is the opposite most ways that we have communicating that are new or are not that this is wide trump. Is a bit of a mystery to me in his success it is a bit of a mystery and again this is something that does fall into in line with adamses account that he has something miraculous Going on with him- because you have- the leading lights of the Republican Party. Right, like all that, journalists and all the opinion, people in certainly the smartest ones, These were all never trumpeters the NASH review of the magazine itself came out against him. Rightly have people within their group saying, Ok, listen! We all have we hate Clinton as much as you do, but there
sky is a monster in it, It means nothing apparently means nothing to the rest of the Republican Bay says. Maybe that was this, investment. Republicans review not as insiders, but as outsiders, him in there just moral lead us so they're they're the same thing Clinton they're all at Davos, together even canopy, is in there they're all that part. Problem and trump is the MID finger raised in the direction of that problem, adding that's. That's absolutely right and I think there is a lot of evidence that the aid they were as disgusted with the main stream Establishment Republican Party, not as they were with Hilary. That was a different level, but you know that they didn't trust them and they still don't trust them. An tromp is the first, I think the first president or a candidate that they felt in a while
was on their side. They thought both parties had sort of. But how is he one? When you look at me, the Lotos of his apartment? It's a visit. This was in Ceuta, look at photos of his apartment to me whether this has been described as fascist Sheikh literally. Looks like one of such same imperial palaces here, what's with what's with gilded stuff, that that is what is tracked by that aesthetic preference that includes Donald Trump and Saddam Hussein see I mean so I think what you like the best thing that somebody said about that was even though he so rich any so clearly, not like a poor working class person in Ohio. He he gets sort of mocked and dismissed and made fun of like that and so you know- and even for his garish tasteless star- you know like that. So I saw herds.
Some interview, and I don't remember where this is from, where when the people that he said when the people are insulting Trump and mocking him and calling him an idiot and his Ike. It's like they're, saying not about me. That was just a voter in and it wasn't like. So it was the same the same people that they think look down on them, also look down on Trump and again, I guess his garish notice is still aspirational. Her some people in there, and I think I said at one point in this. No doubt offended somebody that Trump is, is a poor persons. Idea of Iraq, person as what it looks like to make it right that you know I'm. So I'm I may be more cynical or maybe more liberal, but I think that there is a straightforward story about how Trump succeeded in, and it was his willingness to say things that were just under the surface of many Americans and not. Coincidentally, these Americans are just the ones
who know how to vote and are willing to go out and vote. There's another, not disenfranchised they're, just disillusioned think they said this at some point. Our pike S there is a guy who came on said: let's get rid of Mexicans and Muslim. And let's and People are getting a little uppity and women are just complaining about stuff and at the risk of sounding crass. I think that's the message that resonated with a large bay. Now. Why do people feel that way? You know, I think we could talk about that, but I think that's what what got any remember. He barely one right so so all he had to do was get I mean how many trumped up like other, how many of transfers you know, but the ones it did, I know- were like a jet jen. In general. Why do too? kind of didn't like mexican people taking all the jobs you know and- and I got a call a spade a spade. Like that's what I saw. I said this before and upon cast with one sign of what a bubble-
and the right of all people. I know I think, there's only two people who I am reasonably sure voted for tromp him in this. Like all the people I if my life depended on it? I had to physically a trump person you and it may be a thousand people are so that that my contactless right, you just gotta to Jolla and when one is Peter TEAL. So it's like I have to reach two Peter deal to find someone who is rebels in my trends, that being a man of the reason you caught my eye can feel like we shouldn't time talking about trumpet the person been going to cut my hair for a really long time I found out, after the election had voted for tromp and fairly enthusiastically, and she not what Dave is describing. She was of mexican descent herself She had enough she's been at war with her very religious
in laws over custody for her son Socio, that they live in east taxes and and so he's no friend her religion, she's very pro algae bt, and so I mean I think, there's just so many different reasons. There are some element, that's what that that what Dave's is talking about, but I think it's dismissive to attribute there are also significant percentage of trump voters, but to broaden it. You know when you're talking about moral persuasion and how You know when you're talking about moral persuasion and how hard it is, because everyone's vulnerable to all these biases and it can start to feel like you're kind of starting from the assumption that you have the right view and the challenge is how to get. Anybody to kind of a group, with you, because
you're right and an army you to back this is this is sort of the premise of of these discussions sometime and I think that a lot of times we are not sufficiently reflect Dave about our own biases and ways in which we nor about the same kinds of things that provide barriers to convincing other people and in that I guess that's a separate issue, but it I think one that is important if to sort of demonstrate if you want to bring, other people around to your side, is to show that you are efficiently reflected. About your own views in your sensitive to that's obvious, evolve, for debating any topic, except there are clear cases where you know you're right and the burden really
is upon you to prove it right. You're trying to get through to somebody who you know who you bet your life is wrong here or is not seen something. This is this happens in the intellect full sphere when you're you just trying to get someone to understand you, no Prob billowy or anything that you may have well hand and they don't, but I think it also is true of certain moral things like that. You like it. There's a moral costs that the other person is not recognise as in, and you are sure this is something that has that should be recognised, and you just you trying to go to the mad for it, and you can't pretend to be unsure of your position there, maybe you're, saying that you should you should have a kind of pretence of not being sure, as a way of using more honey than vinegar for the purpose of persuading is added as a strategy is opposed to your actual epistemological view.
You're right that there are some cases like that, but I dont know how great we aren't identifying, which are those cases and which are the ones that we actually are. Getting a little. You know we are a little too confident in our opinions. One way. Reading what what time we're saying is is not that you have to be unsure about about your own position in this case, but, but maybe in this, this ties into what I saying about having your knowing somebody over time and realizing what kind of person there where you can. It means a lot him in one of the reasons that, if you recall we had joy, honor seventeenth of absurd and where we we had a bunch of people on to talk about what they had changed their minds about. I think it's important to be open about those instances where you can, where you can show people that you, you have been sensitive to to truth
and you have changed your mind. I can remember what I changed my mind about might have changed back. It was about eight. I actually something thing requested. An arm still end and store it. I got it actually is. It for four in real time. I changed my mind from that conversation with you in some. I can't believe you change your mind so quickly and we know liked somehow I had laid down I was like what no I was convinced like that. That happened site they didn't. Maybe it didn't take much, but but but that conversation convinced me to to be worried in a way that I haven't been word and so Sir, in people that you're capable of that and in an instant is to always, I think, I'm all all constantly worried that I'm that I'm in part of the problem not constantly not constantly But, but have to remind myself that that that hate
But I haven't really taken a critical look at my own views in a while that I'm not falling into that you're. What one thing I think Adams, where I just feel a duty to give the most charitable spin on his side here, which I am pressure, he would agree with. He would say that that is a genuine weakness and Anna failing in a persuade her May for you to be willing to. Second guess yourself in that way, is either one of trumps strength. Is it he never. Does that there's no way he's ever going to conform to a criticism of him or express any kind of self doubt. It may in fact be true who did that style of what is, from our point of view a whole? lack of self awareness that that actually wins fully, how of any audience, you're going to be in front of your already ahead. Who, whoever you're dealing with, if you are the guy who can
I'd, be embarrassed about anything and will now red met that you're mistaken or that and will never apologize yeah that that's its I told you know. I got that from from Sky Adams. When he said that very thing I was like well, then I just have a very an idea about what it means to try to be a person of moral character like I dont want, I mean, maybe I'm with the fifty percent. The doesn't want that. I agree. You know, there's a way in which he Asher sure, like we're your sales person, in your view, working hard to get the best price you know or whatever, then fine like there's, there's a pragmatic way in which that might work for some substantial portion, the people I just don't want. I dont want to inhabit the world in which That is what we value. Morally, I'm a little sceptical that that is as effective a technique or even among his trumps, the yeah me to I mean,
I don't know what the evidence is on that so am you said earlier that you feel like sometimes at your certain about a moral truth, so that sort of that was interesting to me that You could be certain about some moral truth or moral fact. And your goal now to convince other people to agree with you on that. I accept like how big is that category would something like abortion. You know the stance to be pro choice or pro life is that one that you would, that that would be, in the category are in the set of things that you think you're certain about at the extreme ends of the the continuum? Yes, but it I will admit that drawing a line in in gestation is difficult and and is bound to seem, arbitrary and, and
all the facts are in and maybe even when all the facts are and it'll seem arbitrary, so I could sort of like when you give someone a driver's license. You know what it is: what's the right age but yeah, if you're going to say, is it okay to allow a woman to have an abortion when the theatre. Is, or the embryo is two days old, or is that the murder of a precious soul that has to be protected, the way a fully developed human being? Would that strikes me as absolutely clear cut now what you're talkin about it when you get me into the second trimester, will then, all of my concern about harming sentient beings kicks in, but so that, like it said, that's a local case, but that the more general cases are. I think that.
If what you are concerned about morally, doesn't have to do with the actual or potential well being of conscious creatures somewhere some time if it something else right that doesn't map on to the experience of beans. That can suffer. Will then it's a pseudo moral concern imminent Dennis you may, a category error or you know you you care about something that you don't you shouldn't care about and but a two month, embryo or even a one month. Embryo has a potential for wellbeing yeah, so that is, but so In the case of a two day old embryo ray I'm making it super clear. I think the interest, the mother and the kind of life she wants to live. Her actual life and though the kind of life she thinks she can provide for this child that she doesn't want forced to have it. I'm, u can stack the deck and you can make it you can bet you can make the case for abortion as clean
air or his muddy as you want- and I agree that on both extremes, it can be very clear, very, very muddy. But if you, if you give me someone who's, he would find it he's pregnant very early, and really doesn't want the baby and make it more extreme. She was raped. You know by her stepfather right forcing her to bring this baby to term. I think I saw clearly wrong, given the the amount of misery your imposing on this actual woman, but I think to connect us to another question: existential risk I think, as a real ethical topic worth talking, about, and there you are talking about the interests of uncreated people. Secondly, why would it be a bad thing if the law Its went out on our species and painlessly all at once tonight and there were no more people what's the law None of us would suffer when none of us, know about it. We'd all just bit. We just cancel human history or ended abruptly
Why is that bad? Well, the only answer there is that it's bad, because all of these good thing, all of these creative things. All of these beautiful things were won't happen in that case, but that is a loss to know one who exists anymore since so there that's interesting, because one of the reasons I ask that question I was listening back to an old podcast that David, I did on moral prison asian And we read this article, that it was an article cod, very famous in philosophy why abortion is immoral by dawn marquess and it was an argument for the pro life position based on this idea of potential. You are robbing a living creature of evidence of a future and given that that sir, seems to be why we think killing wrong in general. There is no reason for us not to think that it's wrong in this case, and it
is it really just simple, elegant and and fairly effect if argument in that, its very hard to pin down whether Eric goes wrong if it does go wrong, but dave- and I both I mean we're both pretty solidly pro choice and as much as we recognise that this was actually a fairly compelling argument against our position, its we both had to a kind of admit that, didn't change our minds in any way about lemme, give you a test So I haven't read that paper, but I think I got it based on what you just said and it does change my mind released. I recognise that it could totally changed my mind, given the right technological environment, so, for instance, if he made it very easy to remove, this embryo. They like painless, no risk to the mud
to remove this embryo and grow it up in a vat or in or in the womb of surrogate earned another woman who wanted it, Then the woman's claim upon having an abortion. I think evaporates pretty quickly, says I view We have a pregnant woman who doesn't want her this this baby, but some one else does and this baby presumably, you'd like romance pointed out with transport we get it. We could transport it out or make it is very easy to remove and then the art and this is a viable life that is convinced steam to the universe and has a claim upon itself? Then I think that suddenly becomes hard to dispute and then then than the pregnant woman's concern. And about listen. I want to live in a world where I know I have this baby and when and now this on her daughter who I never will wanted and home now never gonna meet. I don't like the idea of it well, given that the right chain,
and in the environment and in culture I feel like well, that's the feasible that then I'm then I think she might be in a position of someone who we would say will just get over it. You know this is not the only matter what, You think this is a person who exist now and end has his or her own interests too. Is that so different kind from her bringing the baby determine immediately giving it up for now is it is. It is because we want, bringing a baby to term is its own. The life derange inexperience right and air birth, as you know, now is still something akin to a medical. Emergency has immense just it's crazy How many? How many doctors you have on hand and then you have it experience of having to go through the whole all ordeal of bearing a child that he doesn't want and given it up with that
late stage in the presence of the the infant. Now I'd like to hear you're imposing if she said she doesn't want this at two days, conception be at the state of imposing this her I feel like it's so much of it. Position that she has to be free to decide whether she's going to shoulder this burden, especially if you make it very clear, like you know she was raped or Amanda to take the other associations that could be negative with taking this to term and then it becomes super clear to me that you could you change enough and that changes. So this gets us to debts to something where you know. You said to sort of of
the third matter more clarity about about the well being of conscious creatures, I think that's absolutely right, but I think the problem that this this is illustrated by by this topic is that its, I think a lot of people would think that that's actually the right the right way to approach morality. The question becomes one of trade offs and when you start doing the calculus, that's where I think the disagreement sets in where people who are pro life in some sense. You would be very weird, too, to be pro life in thinking that that a boy
is akin to murder and not being vocally opposed to. It are what kind of person would you be if you believed it was murder in, and you were wing pragmatic that the pragmatic sort of suffering of of the mom we would say well, look like that socks right. I mean there's stuff that sucks in the world, but you can't just put a bullet in someone's brain because you're gonna be uncomfortable. There's some level of of risk that you're just gonna have have to accept. Think that's where that all of this, debate comes in, which is whose interests, and how do we calculate them? You can make it more extreme and that than the member of of a mob reacting to a mere rumour of a being burned, you could do EVA Vocs population interview with him and say no, what what you up to here. Why do you want to kill the person who may or may not have burnt this Koran? He could give this? story. I just gave any you don't is terms, he could say, listen you! You have no idea how much I suffer upon hearing
the Koran was burned. This is the worst thing has happened to me in twenty years and I am defeat in my way of life in my worldview from these kinds of insults, because they are so painful, Will you put a pain meter on my brain? It's off the charge right now. What I would that is, this person, is suffering over the wrong things to be. Wired in such a way by your culture in your belief system to be disposed to suffer over that kind of thing. That much is to close the door to most of what is good about human life and in all the other things they could bring. You joy that could bring you enlightenment. They could relieve this necessary suffering and expose you too far more. Sublime range of experience. Right like this, a lot you don't understand about how good life could be it a part of a Lynch mob chasing
somebody who is rumoured to burn the Koran. To take my more landscape analogy. This is clearly not a peak on the moral landscape and we were consequential list. We should want to get too something as close to a peak as we can do act our toward and we should have a navigation problem end shhh mobs organ used around bad literature. That's nearly someplace, we want to migrate away from untoward toward something in a much more le like the lives, the three of us are attempting to live and who how much better it could get. You do have the layer you do have to later than your the argument that, right I mean you have to say: well, it's not just about the welfare of conscious creatures. It is circular way in which I think that we should assess the sublime to get ticket an example that then I think you very sort of wisely brought up with with Scott Atoms when you're talking about breaking into.
Like the government sort of finding a nest of potential gang members and deporting them, I think the thing the example is split. Perhaps illegal immigrants were working. And you say well, look maybe I have evidence of. Three of them are two of them, I'm not sure, but let's deport them all me you could. You could use some sort of consequential calculus too too easily say in those cases the risk to to my country or my people or whatever is so high that it's that it's worth the suffering of of these individuals, and you you pointed out what, if what, if it's a mother of an eight year old child and now you're, here, you're ruining this this child's life and in bringing undue suffering on the woman. It's what's what what worries me is that, under the guise of just plain consequential as calculus, you can get yourself to to
sounding like all. The only assumption that you have is the welfare of conscious beings and and start arguing for Forbes pretty. It is my only assumption and I think it is everyone's only assumption when you drill down on what they claim to care about. This extends to even the craziest religious views where people caring about whether they get into Paradise? Well, why was a good and a paradise and wise it bad to go to Hell, will still you're talking about the well being of conscious creatures, you're, just not admitting it and you're. Probably talking about fictional creatures Maybe this we run into this all the time with a just, and we have bureaucratically limits on how far ingrained are concerned can be about individual suffering and we have to Ass, a law which decides in one way or the other and we know that there may be fairly tragic case
Is that fall on either side of that law or that policy right? You know, insurance company has to deny certain claims, otherwise it couldn't be an insurance company. There will be edge cases that will make that is since company seem fairly callous, just the slippery slope problems where, if we know that if they spend their time too packing every single story. Well, then, you know they they would a business and everyone would be worse off. I'm not sure insurance claims are the best example there, but there are certain examples where you have to be course grained and bureaucratic, given the limits of. Human attention and resources, and and and that can seem in specific cases callous, but I we were again that becomes intolerable when we can point to an extreme case of suffering that no one can countenance and it end only acceptable when either ignorant of the suffering that no
one should countenance or its attack honourable level of suffering, or we have just tacitly agreed to tolerate it collectively. As as we ve been talking about you know, the various consequential is considered Asians one can raise for and against a particular position. I think why, one thing that we tend to overlook- is something that John High or at least there's this position, and this is what John Height has argued for. You know he's not slamming college students. Is there We are very good at coming up with reasons after words to defend a position that we
I have already reached through the use of our emotions are intuitions and you know something like the abortion debate. It would be it it's that's, not one that we come to with the blank slate and then we're just you know at least I think, we're fooling ourselves if we think we come to that a completely open, mind and then we're just weighing you know the considerations of the future benefits of the of the child against the the hassle and love Daniel suffering of of the mother and we're just doing that in a completely even handed manner and just, however, at all shakes out. That's the view. We're going to hold it tat. I think height is right, that moral reasoning and just moral deliberation and the ways in which we arrived at our moral views and the way in which we argue
do for our moral views or defend them or justify them is more influenced by a sort of your got reaction. That you had Eve, and it can be complicated reasons why you have that got reaction, but your gut reaction is going in, and that was certainly the case with something like abortion. For me, I was right rising. When I was being honest with myself that I just wasn't, gonna be convinced out of the pro choice position I was gonna be. I gained a lot of respect for the pro life position, but I wasn't you know that was as far as its probably possible to take me with rational argument. I don't know you agree without. It sounds like something you disagree with, but that seems plausible. Me that that phenomenon is fairly widespread, was a few issues Herman one one I think a height is.
Probably right much the time about most people. I think he is wrong a lot of the time about me with her. Two, how I reason rights. I I recognize that I'm not the conventional use case or at least I don't think I am, and this could be self to submit his legs actually what his theory predicts. You would very robot South Urim, high percentage of professors who believe they're above average. This right is sheer coins but I mean it I can only two examples where pretty clear about how persuadable. I am and why and what what's actually anchoring me in cases like this and I get and change my position is I've changed my position. Prettiest our on were completely on pretty Polarizing topics me like, like the death penalty for answers,. I am now against the death penalty, whereas I was once for it and I'm very in touch with
why someone is for it when I contemplate the case where its most you give me the most evil person- and you put me in the position- sympathising with his or her victims, usually his Then I feel like I feel The lust for vengeance that everyone feels until I tell you get a purchase my whole worldview. You know when I will actually think about the totality of the situation. So is something I I think what height does. Is he significantly undervalues the potential of reason to change people's moral convictions and he also the outside side of this is reason is itself not this bloodless, calculating for it is also built on very vis Earl intuitions about
right and wrong and consistency in it and the need to remain consistent and finding certain propositions doubtful I think doubt is an emotion of you say something that sounds wrong to me and I feel honor. That's just that's not right. It feels like something to feel that way as is whether in that's true, whether you ve given me an equation that doesn't add up or you ve articulated position. That's at odds with how I remember the world to be yesterday or what I think far follows logically from what you just said are detecting the most. Sick errors in in anything is a felt, embodied expire Science is innocent. It's an emotional experience, so this this option. Mission between reason and emotion, as many people have pointed out, doesn't hold much water when you actually look but I just think you can reason yourself into fundamentally different, positions and stay there, and and stand. How
should wait you're ear more. Your APEC reactions that threatened to pull you out of it I have an embodied comfort with in your Templars perfected, the art of not being bothered by inconsistency. I think that I mean. Certainly I can feel the burden of consistency. I think it's overrated, sometimes in moral debate, but that would take us very far. Afield the field? I want to drag you upon is also takes a another podcast interview as its source, which is the unity that just did with Robert right about his book meditation and Buddhism, which I think I think right it's gonna come on this podcast, probably not for a while, but maybe a couple of months, the title of the book as well Buddhism is true. So anyway, we have a lot to talk about potentially old, bold claim. You guys seem. You guys seem fairly confused,
I would say about some of- what he was claiming. I don't know that I agree with everything he said, but I think you did take away my, Did you guys got? Was that many the things that are claimed in Buddhism or by people who spend a lot of time in meditation are at bottom paradoxical and really can't be rationally understood, work or just are always going to seem paradoxical, however, you state them and instead it's a matter of taking people. Their word for their experience, but even when there are taken at their word. They they can really be asked to make a lot of sense, and that is very different from the way I see it, and I think I can talk about these things so things like a complaint as it had at last night. I don't think we said that it. It was bound to lead to paradox, but that there is a comfort with parents,
talks that many buddhas people in an buddhist people who are trying to sort of app export ex blockade it that they seem more comfortable with paradox. Then you are ordinary person trying to explain I'm thing and also that our language might impose some barriers in terms of trying to articulate some of the aspects of Buddhist thought buddhist notion of the south. That's at least what I believe I think that has then oversold significantly. I think the people who are most comfortable with paradox just don't know what they're doing in about they don't know that it actually can be explained. Clearly, that's the fear that we have right, where em like one at that point it. What? How can I evaluate the truth that the truth claim about something that is inherently took too,
ty into what we're just hanging about seems inherently contradictory and, and it seems as if there is a view that this is a way to a deeper truth that can't be There is a almost a view of a released from reason that might be you know it might just be that particular strain of then that that made its way to to western thought, but but I do worry, I'm very open to two that has that the experience of imitation and the sort of claims about not self, but I worry at that point that I don't have you know getting into the exit Jesus of Buddhist texts, which I am not interested in doing about those claims that seem ITALY on the face of it. To me to be inherently paradoxical and in embracing a paradoxical,
I think we should leave Zan aside. Asean has a kind of stick which is to use paradox to kind of stifle the the conceptual mind, and it is true that echo relentless conceptualizing of experience is. Thing or one of the things you need to cut through in order to have the insides that are being talked about insights into selflessness, for instance, and so it is, it is a kind of method it sort of like a a cigarette. Like a Scot, Adam style method of June. I just stopping that that parliament, conversational, maybe trumpets Zen Master, he's a perverse, his and master, but in terms of the self being an illusion. That's not really upset docks and whither I feel like. I can walk you through how that makes perfect sense in my world and doesn't entail any paradigm.
Sure I would love to hear that an end and then, while you're at it, tum like in, please include how it leads you to care about other people, more cassettes apart, part like well shit, maybe there are no solve so why the hell do I care about collective suffering of cells One problem is that we use the word self in many from ways and they really different, and we don't recognize how this term is going to sliding across topic. So in one sense, selves, clearly not an illusion and MRS away what, when I say the salvage illusion, I'm not saying that people are illusions: the self that is is considered an illusion from the point of view of meditation at an end can be discovered to be such and felt to be such an that can actually change the way you feel as a person in the world is not a matter of discovering that people don't exist. It's a matter of discovering that the fee-
feeling that you have of being a subject interior to the body you're in your head hind your face riding around in your body as though it were a vehicle. This is the self that most people think they have. Most people don't feel identical to their persons in all feel like Denticle to their bodies. They feel like they're into put, I think, How bloom uses this raise. People are common sense, duellist, where there were there. They feel like a riding around as mines as subjects inside the body and they feel like there. They are the thinker of their thoughts into the thinkers an independent of the next thought. Just arising in consciousness and they feel like their expiry Sir, in the centre of their experience, rather then being merely identical to a sphere of experience me. Another word for this is the ego, the sense of there being a subject
and that's the thing that is interrogated by a technique like meditation and, if done correctly, that's the thing that can be discussed, however, to be absent and it can be discovered in a way. This actually not paradoxical, and you can can talk about it in a way that can maybe so on paradoxical you can say: will how can the subject discover itself to the absent? But what the subject is an illusion. The subject is absent. Read this sub consciousness. Isn't an illusion. Thoughts aren't illusions. Perceptions aren't illusions that everything is all those things are actually appearing, but this felt sense that there's a centre in an hour and unchanging centre in the middle of it to whom all of that refers, which is appropriating experience in each moment as though from outside of experience. That's the thing they can be undone through adaptation, and then many things follow from that. But again there's no there's no paradox there. Can I so ask a question about that, so
I completely follow you. Obviously I think there is. I can understand that we're not duelist selves and I don't even think they know that something that's certainly exclusive to Buddhism. You know most scientists believe that most phosphorus now leave that. I guess, when you said a felt and just to clarify hammer just to clarify most Buddhists are effectively do though I met you at most Buddhist, do think when you, when you add to this picture than of rebirth right. You know when the body in brain die, there's something, however inscrutable. Let can propagate to a new circumstance, there is a kind of dualism there and they don't think consciousness and mind or reducible to brain chemistry. So, ok, Joe, but when you said there is a felt sands.
And but there's no feeler anymore, So how is there a felt sense when there is no feeler? While there is a failure, The feeler is consciousness to take this from the other this actually one way in which the elusiveness of the self can be established. Logically, so safest makes sense everything to be noticed ass to a first appeal in consciousness, omitted to notice a sensation to notice a thought to notice a mood it has to appear before the the floodlights of consciousness and self, this feeling of self is also appearing in I'm way it has to have some signature has to feel like something to be. I I feels like, something otherwise we wouldn't-
We wouldn't use this word in this way. We wouldn't feel that we wouldn't find it inscrutable to hear that there is no such thing as the self and yet, by virtue of appearing in consciousness. That proves that consciousness is in some sense prior to with an transcendent of it. Admissible is just just as you can see an object occur. Ass, the room and by virtue of seeing it not feel identical to it. Just as you can hear a sound and by virtue of hearing it having it appear as an object. Unconsciousness, you realize that consciousnesses prior to it and just as you can see a thought, arise and realise that will you're not identical to the thought, because is there, it is just a bit of languages and image and consciousness is overhear prior to it, while so too, with this feeling of self. That's all so that has to be appearing in some way. Otherwise you would never claimed to feel it again This is not a way of having the experience. This is just a way of conceptually
understanding it consciousness. That is the feeler, is just it doesn't feel like a self, because the thing that feels like health is yet another thing that's appearing, as you know, is a kind of contraction. It's a sensation in your face is sensation in your chest. It's something it some signature by which you are reading. This sense, have I into a condition which is actually unstructured by that. It is just a sphere of experience where things are coming and going in every channel of seeing her. And smelling tasting touching thinking and no other sensations as well, you know you can add Propria, reception and and perhaps other things we now have names war, but there there's the justice flux without a centre. The centre is only implied and when you look for this enter the feeling of there being a centre? Can
and genuinely drop out, and yet everything else remains: there's, no, that there are still sites and sound sensations feelings and thoughts. So there's there's a therapy things that that I think I need help with here which so I The the dualism part I dont think, is what I at least I meant by self, because I I accept that there is no special extra stuff that makes us a self But what you might be saying is is perhaps a couple things, perhaps both of them, so one the notion of identity. What reward philosophers identity might talk about, which is what is illusory, is that that there is cohesion among the experience that can be. That can be boiled down to the feeling that that I David Pizarro em in the same group, as was yesterday, and that I was five years ago and when I was in fourth grade daddy, is a product of of sort of
Just a mistake that that that is you, we are but collections of experiences, and it makes little sense to call these all one thing that is the Dave of, and so it so could be, that the sense of identity is illusory. But I still struggle with I accept I except that, except it you know, there's there's a way in which my language forces me to say. I did this yesterday and I did this ten years ago. Isn't it what I can't shake is the sense that what I mean by self is that thing that is, as my sensory import is taking, and information for my environment and listening to both of you and at what I, there is, I think, a very meaningful way in which those experience since our mine and their different from the experiences that you have so there's. There's that part, and then there's this other part, which I think it's wrapped into this witches and inflated notion of agency
That is, I am the locusts of control over my own thoughts, which can get. I can get why meditation makes you feel reminds you that you are not encounter. There's no thing, that's in control of the thoughts that you are but a collection of your thoughts, but take both of those away the persistence of identity as an illusion and be the notion that you that there is a thing that is causing agency causing you to think something, and I still am left with a meaningful sense of self that I did I take. It is also being deconstructed here, which is that that there is something meaningful about the senses that I have the thought that I have that you don't get why I'm not taking issue with that and that I would not expect tomorrow morning to wake up as you they'll be awesome for you. I won't be surprised away. Up as me and now
as you to Morrow morning right and I would be surprised insofar as Asia that that it makes sense to even a minute is kind of it. Derek perfect style thought experiment because to wake up You would not be to have the memory of the having been me right would be to have your memories and then then I wouldn't even as I would just be you, in fact, maybe this is was happy in all the time anyway, we're doing that all the time. But in fact that's that's actually blowing mind. There is actually a position that did you ever read. Ermintrude angers book is, in my view of the world. I think it is my view that No M, he was kind of e, was influenced by Vedantic, which has a foreign other way of talking about these things, but very close to the the Buddhist view, despite the fact that Buddhist won't like that, he does talk about consciousness, is simply the fact that anything is known. Everything that's particular to you who is just being brought before the light of consciousness and its being known in the only place
It can be known where and as you are as you, but this point of view. Of being just knowing is truly generic and truly interchangeable, and it's the only thing I know about you and your memories he's just that collection of of stuff that is changing over time where and as you are experiencing it s, the only place it can be experienced but consciousness is self. Doesn't have this personal quality to it to me that that gets deconstruct. In Buddhists thought in other ways and there's there's this concept of emptiness witches realm. Then here, where you with your look. If you look at the evidence of your body and mind for something solid and unchanging. That's really you! Well then, you, I find it a me just fine, this flux you find in Idiot yearbook, changing over time. You find your mind, populated by stuff that you didn't author. You know that it's just the fact that you follow the rules of grammar is. This is not something that you started. They have phrase
They got into your head that you now you using or know where they came from, and in some ways. Europe a similar with Europe with prior states of yourself, then you are Two other people in some respects, given that you ve changed various ways, and there might be put is an in depth. Perfect goes into some of the stuff we with the desert paradoxes of identity, where you might remember something your past very clearly, he'll say when you at age for but just not from when you were nineteen say. And so what are you more had? He makes sense of the fact that you have zero, episodic memories from that one year of your life, you you have you have them from another. You know which is Europe which is more yourself but the crucial issue of selflessness. From it from a meditative perspective is isn't that call screen level of thinking about personal identity.
And trying to make it square with physics or with change with anything else. It's this feeling or its absence of representing yourself in the world as this in the inner subject as a thinker of thoughts or ceasing to do that and then being free of that feeling, Being free of that feeling has psychological consequences and whether that happens second or an hour. There's a difference between being stable in this feeling, or its absence or just having brief glimpses of it and then much of what is claimed to be true formative about meditation, follows from that that becomes relevant to the increasingly Haifa claims people make about the promise of meditation things like enlightenment and in a Buddha and all the other things that that begin to sound like religion. But there is something fairly radical to be understood here. That is clear,
and as on the surface as something like the optic blind spot, whereas I get like, if you didn't know about the blind spot and you'd never been taught to glimpse it. You would have no idea that this thing exists but the moment someone shows you how to look for it, and then you see it will. Then it's on deniable right, there's as part of your visual field. You're. Just not getting an information from it is just not obvious to you, and this tricky technique has now proven this to you, and then you really can't be in doubt about it and if in doubt about it, you just have to look again and then you that you resolve your doubts. Meditation does offer that kind of clarity with respect to this feeling of self, whether you thought something was there and then you look and it was clearly not there and you are finding it to be their makes. It no longer feel like it's their rights
not like it still feels like us there, but I know conceptually is not there. No is actually not there. I mean, oh. I like. I can't tell whether you're saying something that is less radical than I thought the Buddhist claim. Was in which case you know I? I definitely can grasp that, and I understand it and I you know as someone who meditates, though, I've never been to a retreat, but I've been doing it for a while now you know there are definitely points where I start in its and its and it's very hard to describe were used you really do start to feel this kind of. I am a vessel for a flow of experience. Says and sensations. And it
is a relaxing feeling? It's a really sort of it's it's it's it's a kind of release. I guess that she that I thought I had, and maybe this isn't an issue or maybe I didn't fully grasp what you're saying is it still there stealth feels like a me. That's noticing that that's noticing the sensations, that's notice, sing, that's being aware, and mindful of what's going on and the hard part for me as if you tell me that me that that Being mindful, that's being aware, that's that's that's kind of just really tracking. What's going on in my body and outside with sounds moment to moment like that, that thing is also an illusion. That's the thing I have difficulty understanding
when you say me, ammo, just to be clear about what you are claiming. I believe I understand what you're talking about, and I think it is this conventional starting point. A feeling like you are a locus of consciousness inside the head. Who is now paying attention in this act of meditation. Two objects like the breath and sounds and sensations in the body, but you are located in your head, as a subject. That's now meditating or been mindful family like I suppose there are times, whereas this is times that are completely infrequent for me, but also the times where it feels most sort of relax where I am out of my head and actually in the black, if I'm feeling the sensation and feels like theirs It's not mediated by me sort of saying. Oh I'm feeling tat In my feet, or its just like I'm in my feet kind,
there's a really fleeting. So maybe that's it. It's like you sort of but come the thing and not, you're, not interpreting it, there's no further barrier between you and the experience. Some is it. Is it something like that there is that, so there is this, and this comes straight out of the EU in a buddhist teeth this it just in the scene, there's just seen: there's not a seer and things seen, there's just this moment of scene, and that can happen by virtue of paying attention so carefully that, for you know by brief moment, there is just a moment of seeing or just a moment of hearing and there's no there's, no distance. There's no sin I've been a seer on one side, with the object of just and on the other, it just collapses. And again this happens for people in the beginning. This happens very briefly. When things really start huh in autumn meditation, retreat and you're kind of in the flow
mindfulness and it becomes effortless that can characterize much longer stretches of experience where there's just a sense just phenomenon arising, and so that also synonymous with not conceptualizing experience, you're encounter, with raw sensation, rather than thinking about your hand, for instance, a hand as a concept as a man experience you're just down on the level of tingling vibration and temperature, and so he can be there. Can a laser like, but there is a a very similar but anymore article- and, I would argue more use, four inside, which is when you turn that quality of attend and on this feeling of being a self itself, do you turn it back on the subject, mine can kind of go into a failure there, where you look for them, thing this looking and you don't find it, but the not finding is is really conclusive.
Right is not paradoxical. It's not a struggle is not like. Oh did it was, it did. I see something, no there's a turning which affects its is similar what you say of you know. There has certainly been no distance between consciousness object, but you look for the sense of self and it drops away and then what what is left is the totality of everything else is in consciousness, but it is the experience of consciousness without a centre it's not the same thing as saying. Well, now, I'm the identical to the universe, although I can understand how people, in the context of a religious interpretation or a or a new age interpretation, of an experience like this start talking that way. But it is show the world remains on some level are only consciousness and all of its Jack's remains, and there is no eye in the middle of it and the moment there seems to be an eye, what is actual happening there at once. Again,
thinking without knowing that you're thinking, you're lost in thought, and so this to come back to your initial question the sense of being the one was meditating or the one who's been mindful the sense of being this subject. Yes, it is is an unexpected thought on some level in each moment there is a kind of an undercurrent of of still conceptualizing experience and thinking about experience, even when you think you're being mindful of thought themselves, that's going on inspected and that's the kind of the structure of this as it sounds a lot like it's it's an exercise in shaky, of categories and concepts which intrigues me read so you're on your almost sort of disappearing yourself of of these concepts that we use in everyday life in a pragmatic way of me and an EU and But what I want I want to know, then, is what what is the relationship between them? and not being a dick right, like
does that get you there and is? Is it one way of asking your Vienna deck you're lost in thought happens? Is that I can see. Is this? Is this our help? Our bright sworder described it sort of helped him be de less mature? I dont see a conceptual link there, so must be an experimental one that makes you a better person after you yeah what it actually has a pretty straightforward answer. This two levels to it one is in the beginning, you can become less of a dick long before you have an insight into selflessness just by law. And to be mindful and being committed to that. So, when you look at the things psychologically that cause you to be a dick, two click cause you to act out the cause you too, to a less say, if you feel angry to helplessly, express your anger in relationship no matter how inappropriate what that is it is, Fundamental lack of mindfulness in the worst case, if you're not even aware of becoming angry until the words fly.
Out of your mouth and there's no possum quality of being otherwise right. You see no choice, there's no pause to take because thing broke over you like a wave, and you know everything got wet. So basic. Mindfulness that even the even mindfulness it that really hasn't river yield much of anything of interest to you, psychology, Italy or or contemplatively, still gives you some cartoon categories of experience. You can be angry and totally law stood it or you can. You can be aware of anger as a kind of an energy state, of your audio arising, emotion, which you then can either act out nor be motivated to to act by or you can observe, as just a change in your purse
and then observing mode is different and leaves to different consequences. It leads. It leads you to pause before saying something, but, as you get better and better that would you begin to notice is that all of these negative emotions, have a very short half life. It's impossible to actually stay angry, for any significant amount of time. Much less be motivated to terrains your life for relationships on his bases with out can't and you ll be being lost in thought about why you should be angry or why you have every right to be angry. You have to stay lost in thought. Me literally have to be thinking without knowing that you're thinking like going back to sleep and getting back. Into the dream to be angry at one of your dream characters. You have to do that or lead be done to you over and over again in order to stay this state and and the moment you become sufficiently mindful and again this This can happen long before any
what I said about selflessness would make sense. You can discover the half life of negative emotions to be really short and then you're, given some kind of choice, where you can say well. Is it worth being angry? here is it here- are some ethical purpose served by expressing anger or is this just me, screwing up my life needlessly an end. So that's one answer to your question. I'm not wholly myself up as someone who has taken this to anything like its ultimate fulfilment. I can speak honestly about the range of my experience, but my experience is not of being stable in this place of scene. Through the arising of every thought and every motion. I mean nothing like it. The minority of my time is spent clearly experiencing what I'm talking about, most of my time, I'm lost in thought the way everyone's lost in thought. The difference is- and this is a very significant indifference in one's mindfulness practice is that you can spend a
of time, meditating literally years on silent, retreat and never clearly realise that you can experience selflessness, In every moment of even ordinary awareness offer treat when you were just distract Eddie you just watching a movie, nothing particular meditative going on. You can cut through to the clarity of selflessness every bit as much there as you can. In the most sublime moment in the middle of a united three month, retreat when you ve been doing nothing but meditate eighteen hours a day and your experience of the world is completely psychedelic in its diaphanous sense of just you know everything has just bleeding and everything else and there's just no substantiality without anywhere there's a an experience that equalize as those Do you know you just grabbing more popcorn at the movie and you feel like Jesus, but about two deliver the sermon on Mount because you feel so good.
Love all sentient beings everywhere. Both of those experiences are centralists. Both of those experiences are just as good as the other for recognising this thing about the illusory us of the self, and that can be can take a long time to experience that and you have to just be lucky. I think so so what's to stop me from becoming not an emotional, Dick, but a strategic dick. So are you now now? What's this you from taking over the world. With your new found powers of emotional regulation too high An evil motive is synonymous with certain, things which now we're talking about no longer feeling or no longer fit have feeling good reason to feel or or being disposed to cut through a kind of selfishness and fear of others and anger and hatred and bias theirs and of normative ethical attitude, perhaps not across the board, and I think there are very serious blind spots in Buddhism. Just as a philosophy and in Buddhist says people no matter how much they meditated
Actually there are moral. We would consider moral blind spots are ways in which culture still influence even supposedly enlightened people in ways that we would find to be non normative, but there's a Norman kind of normative ethics that begins to creep. In the moment you put this kind of sense of self in question, and the moment you begin. To be aware of that, the half life of was negative and positive emotions and the moment you begin to did become aware that The thing you were looking for inexperience so avidly amid the gratification of desire that isn't really the a durable basis of well being so. This is actress under that also camping, your podcasts, this discussion of one of them. The punch lines of Buddhism being life is suffering is not quite the punchline punch, is more that life is unsatisfactory. The difference
is Lamb word here. The Polly word here is Duca and it's not that life is is just a reliable circumstances of misery. You can easy to get that from Buddhism as well, because there's an emphasis on how bad things can go, but it doesn't deny that there are different levels of happiness and some of his happiness can be quite sublime. But. Because experience is always changing because as There is no stability to go to this domain of experience seeking stability, see and never have any more problem seeking to scratch and each and to have it, stay scratched, that's a misapprehension that is bound to be frustrated. So, if your, if your seeking stability in in a condition which is by death initial, not stable. You will suffer the thing you clinging to will fall apart in your hands. You know an end annual
Yet more of the thing you thought you were successfully keeping away and so that this flocks of pleasant and unpleasant experience is gonna, keep coming and you in seeking to only have one and none of the other. You are Thirdly, at war with a circumstance it you can't change and so that changing your attitude toward that is part of the programme, but but again mindfulness of its nature, changes ones, attitude toward that make us think. A reaction, a strong reaction to pleasantness a grasping, Ray Should I go. I want more of this. I want to keep this strong reaction to unpleasant mistress aversion like keep this away there. That is what your cancelling, when you're being mindful, when you're training in that kind of medicine asian and then that has that has ethical implications, because you know and are trying to control experience in quite the same way.
Yeah. I guess that this is the part that I think we that that can go both ways right. So There are times where I will want to grasp on two experiences and the so say, oh god, Raw, other than just going on my electronic devices. I'm actually talking to my daughter and were joking around and we're having dinner at the table are watching a movie together, and this is an awesome experiences, a beautiful expire. Ants and I want to take steps for this kind of experience. Needs to happen more often. And not just sink in two, the normal habitual, all kinds of things that we sometimes do and that that desire to want to continue experiences that you consider to be
good pleasurable, but also worthy seems like a good, or at least I don't see any problem with with having that, and yes, it opens yourself up to disappointment when that can continue for a while You had it, you made the most of it in their doesn't seem, there there is anything wrong with that, but it also seems like sometimes what's, b being recommended is to just enjoy the experience and not try to or feel like you want to replicate it or not feel like you, We want it to stay any longer than it's gonna, stay naturally
and I don't like it since it is sometimes you do have to take active steps to preserve some thing that or at least feel like you're taking active steps. I know that you know, on this view that's kind of an illusion, but it but the from those subjective fan monotony of it. It's like okay, so we're gonna have we're gonna turn our fault. Vices three times a week, nor have dinner at the table where'd you know whatever it is that you do to get yourself, but you're doing in order to preserve the experience you see what I'm saying. Wouldn't dispute that all I actually even the Buddha, at least in certain of his moods, wouldn't dispute at all, and I think there is there's a suit in in the polish cannon, call them ah homunculus outta, which is almost like a rank order array, a ladder of happiness, where he just kind of lists various things-
There are- and I say this a little self conscious about how much I seem to be shilling for boot. I'm here, because I do not consider myself a Buddhist and I'm I've said fairly critical things about Buddhism as well, in so far as it can look like a religion, but just to give you the Buddhist view here, they would fully acknowledge that there are many conventional all kinds of happiness that are real for of happiness. They just happened to be in permanent a minute. They end of their own accord, and people go to sleep at night, or people suddenly get a pain in their knee and things change or people die or MRS nothing's permanent. They are. Nothing is truly stable, but they wouldn't dispute that there are deeper or higher levels of pleasure to be experienced in this world which its it certainly makes sense to want, and it makes sense to want some more than others and you can kind of climb this ladder to the point working life could get so good, Under this view that well now,
just noticing increments of better. Where you know you're kind of living in a kind of paradise, but still on the buddhist view, if you look very closely right, you'll see that and instability here, it's not you can't maintain it perfectly and the work you are doing to maintain it in certain respects. Is based on an unexpected error, and actually more pleasure awaiting you as a conscious being too change the game. You know and any kind of equalize Europe's areas so that you're no longer holding on to things when they change and an end, so that your actually you can save her moment of exploring. Which now wouldn't strike you as worth savouring. You know that they're not actually beautiful to you yet, but beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder here, and you could actually be as satisfied with the next moment of experience,
that you wouldn't single out as being in a something you were trying to maximize or create about this, as it is not its only it. In the kind of its highest mode, that it seems too level all distinctions between experience, for you talk about somebody who doesn't really care about the difference between pleasure and pain. Right, Until until you got there is a meditative will, then there's nothing wrong with it for the climbing this ladder of of sublime experiences, where you recognise that having quality time, with your daughter is better than squandering it bickering were just being lost in Europe devices, and there is a whole lots of teachings about skilful means and ending a wise uses of attention and am in this, is why, on the buddhist view, you ever bother to live and ethical life, because it actually is. Kind of raft that you get in the car. The river. It really is really the thing you need to cross the river, but on the Buddhist you, then, when you cross the river, you don't pick up the raft and carried on your head
you know where, where we're at yes, of course, we're going to make distinctions between better and worse experiences, and that's really the only rational thing to do given how good life can be and how needlessly bad I can be if we don't do it was signed me up. This is lying Trump universe. So well, in this case, you didn't, I say as much as we would have been from university It is amazing that these kinds of things are all sorts of great pod calves and websites, and you can do this for free. You can he's. Listen guys, guys. We come to the end of of many hours, waterways, work who are close to three hours here. Maybe if I've cut some of this down will be closer to two and a half hours business, not gonna, be much below where is it, is a pleasure to have you, the podcast and it's I felt like. I was quite on your part
cast. But I would have to aware that was my podcast some of the time heard the news you were getting into. We now really appreciate that. We hope to have you back on our podcast. And we certainly get alot of requests for that, and yet we and talk about Jordan Petersen, that was the other one. Now people those, though what other members I will make time next and I extend a think tank somewhat. Having, as we want to put out a twitter address, for anyone share that very bad wizards at temblor at peace. If anybody wants to getting contact with us and thank you to all the same Harris, listen, is he jumped over till the very bad wizards dot com will take you to our website and we hope we can some even more New SAM Harris listeners out of this, because that they have been good to us overall may they be better behaved,
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Transcript generated on 2020-03-23.