Friday, October 15, 2010

Winning the Case for Freedom!

Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio helps you close the case for freedom. Recorded at the Porcupine Freedom Festival in New Hampshire.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Freedomain Radio - The Free iPhone/iPad App! - a free application to help you access Freedomain Radio podcasts, videos, news, books and give feedback on the show! Wisdom - there's an app for that!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Delusions of Gender - Dr. Cordelia Fine, The Freedomain Radio Interview

Cordelia Fine studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, followed by an M.Phil in Criminology at Cambridge University. She was awarded a Ph.D in Psychology from University College London. From 2002 to 2007 she was a Research Associate at Monash University, and then at the Australian National University. She is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics at Macquarie University, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Ethics of Self Defense - A Freedomain Radio Article

UPB and Self-Defense

Self-defense against the initiation of force is generally accepted, though not always advocated, in most systems of morality. My book “Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics” touched on general aspects of self-defense, which I would like to expand upon here.

Generally speaking, self-defense is the ability to use proportional violence to avoid or minimize harm to oneself during an unprovoked attack. The phrase thus generally refers to the use of violence, rather than merely escaping a violent situation, and so, in the UPB framework, must be subject to moral evaluation, rather than a neutral or aesthetic (APA) evaluation.

The first thing to recognize about self-defense is that although it describes the use of violence, it remains fundamentally different from the initiation of force, in that it is reactive, rather than proactive violence. Self-defense, then, does not exist in the absence of the initiation of force. In other words, self-defense is a potential effect of the initiation of force, and thus the primary moral evaluation must be focused on the initiation of force, which is discussed in great detail in “Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics.”

A second aspect of self-defense is that it covers far more than physical attacks from other people. Few people would object to a man hitting an attacking bear or shark on the nose, or taking antibiotics to kill off an infection, or having a swollen appendix or rotten tooth removed. These can all be considered categories of self-defense, in that force (and poison against bacteria) is used to defend the body against an imminent and growing physical danger or attack. If self-defense is morally invalid, then all these actions would be very hard to justify. This does not constitute an ironclad proof of the validity of self-defense, but it does indicate that opposing self-defense creates insurmountable practical obstacles.

Three Possibilities

Using the UPB framework, there are three main possibilities to consider when evaluating moral propositions regarding self-defense:.

1. Self-defense is morally permissible.

2. Self-defense is morally required.

3. Self-defense is morally prohibited.

In the first instance, self-defense is morally permissible, but it is not immoral to refrain from defending yourself. In the second instance, self-defense is morally required – and thus, as proved in the UPB book, violence can be used against those who do not defend themselves. In the third instance, self-defense is morally prohibited, and thus violence can be used against those who do defend themselves.

Common sense draws us towards the first instance – that self-defense is morally permissible, but not morally required – but let us discuss this possibility last, because if we have disposed of the other two options, this first one becomes much more credible.

Self-Defense Is Morally Prohibited

If self-defense is morally prohibited, then the UPB-compliant moral statement would be something like this:

“It is universally preferable for all people at all times and in all locations to refrain from defending themselves against attack.”

This proposition falls apart very quickly. First of all, since that which is universally banned may be subject to violent opposition, then the initiation of violence cannot be universally banned, since self-defense is also universally banned. However, the arguments in the UPB book clearly demonstrate that the initiation of force cannot be universally preferred, and therefore self-defense cannot be invalid.

Secondly, to ban self-defense is to ban the effect of an action (the initiation of force), but not the action itself. This is like banning murder, but not killing, or to argue that making someone fall off a cliff is immoral, but pushing them off a cliff is moral. You cannot have a shadow without an object and a light source, and neither can the effects of an action be immoral, but that action which causes it be moral. Thus self-defense cannot be immoral, while the initiation of force is moral. But if the initiation of force is immoral, then self-defense is justified, again, as described in “Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics.”

Thirdly, if self-defense is immoral, then violence can be used against somebody acting in self-defense. However, by definition someone acting in self-defense is already subject to violence – that of the attacker. However, the UPB framework clearly demonstrates that the initiation of violence is immoral – if self-defense is also immoral, then a man acting in self-defense can be aggressed against – which is already happening. In other words, the same action -- aggression against a man -- becomes both immoral and moral at the same time. It is immoral because the initiation of force is wrong, but it is moral because using force against a man acting in self-defense is moral.

These logical impossibilities and contradictions – not to mention the practical impossibilities of acting in accordance with such illogical rules – clearly refute the proposition that self-defense is morally prohibited.

Self-Defense Is Morally Required

Perhaps self-defense is morally required – this seems closer to the truth, but also feels problematic, to say the least. In the UPB framework, the non-initiation of force is morally required, which is to say that the non-initiation of force avoids immorality.

If a certain action is morally required, then the opposite action must be morally banned, and thus subject to restraining force. Since the non-initiation of force is morally required, the opposite action – i.e. the initiation of force – may then be subject to restraining force, i.e. self-defense.

However, if self-defense is morally required, then refraining from defending yourself must be morally evil, and thus subject to restraining force. However, we then run into the same logical contradiction outlined above. If Bob attacks Doug, and Doug is morally required to defend himself, but refrains to defend himself, then Bob's attack becomes morally justified, since Doug is acting in an evil manner by avoiding self-defense. However, the same attack cannot be magically transformed from evil into good, and thus self-defense cannot be morally required, since it would thus transform an evil action – the initiation of force – into a virtuous action, which would be the just punishment of defenselessness.

Furthermore, if self-defense is morally required, then any action taken – or avoided -- which brings harm to a person would justify a violent attack against him or her. I think most of us would be fairly uncomfortable with the idea of violently attacking the overweight, or those who do not get regular medical checkups, or take antibiotics for an infection, or get a rotten tooth pulled and so on.

Lastly, as discussed in the UPB book, a good rule of thumb regarding moral propositions is the “coma test,” which states that a man in a coma cannot be rationally accused of moral evil. Clearly, a comatose man cannot act in self-defense, which further supports the rational and empirical objections against the proposition that self-defense is morally required.

Self-Defense Is Morally Permissible

The elimination of the other two major possibilities lends strong support to the proposition that self-defense is morally permissible, but not required. This rule allows us to use force to defend against the initiation of violence, but does not support the use of force against us if we either do not or cannot use force in self-defense. It also accords with the medical reality that to undergo surgery to remove an inflamed appendix is not immoral, but neither is it immoral to avoid such a surgery – in other words, self-defense even against a dangerous organ is permissible, but not required.

Since self-defense is morally permissible, we may not use force against someone engaged in an active defense against an attack – in other words, we may not morally join in with the attacker. This restriction helps us avoid the logical impossibility of defining an attack as immoral, while our simultaneous attack becomes magically moral.

Since self-defense is a universal standard, it is not restricted to a single individual – i.e. the individual being attacked – but extends to everyone, thus permitting third-party defense such as security guards and courageous bystanders. (It also validates the highly useful proposition that it is preferable for a skilled third party to take out my appendix rather than forcing me to do it myself.)

Since self-defense is a reactive action, it can be universalized, since it is merely the shadow of the action of the initiation of force – where the initiation of force is not present, neither will self-defense be present. Any reasonable moralist would far prefer the non-initiation of force to self-defense, just as any sane person prefers not getting sick to getting cured. The initiation of force mathematically adds to the amount of violence in the world, while self-defense does quite the opposite, and even from this utilitarian standpoint, a lot of good is done through the moral permissibility of self-defense.

In summary, then, UPB validates the proposition that self-defense is morally permissible, but not required, which accords with our commonsense notions of morality, and with the logical rigor and strictness required by the approach of Universally Preferable Behavior.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Greece, Democracy and Catastrophe


Greece has a long and complicated history with democracy, but the future of Greek democracy will be short and brutal.


Largely as a result of 400 years of savage Turkish occupation, Greeks retain an innate distrust of and hostility towards the State – as one Greek said: "We never had the Enlightenment because of the Turks."


As a result -- and this is no different in America -- political power has only been maintained through outright bribery of special interest groups. Chief among these are the military-industrial complex, born out of military rivalry with Turkey, which costs over €14 billion, or 6% of GDP. Naturally, nearly 80% of the Defense Ministry budget is spent on administrative costs and payments to Army staff.


20%-30% of the entire Greek population works for the government; they cannot be fired, and many are allowed to retire with a pension in their 40s. Tens of thousands of unmarried or divorced daughters of civil servants collect their dead parents' pensions, and pension outlays are projected to rise to 12% of GDP, over four times the EU average. Some civil servants receive bonuses for using a computer, speaking a foreign language and even arriving to work on time - and all workers get 14 monthly salaries a year, the result of a plan to keep monthly wages -- and so future pensions – low.


Two weeks extra salary is paid out at Easter, and also during the summer -- the 14th salary is paid to government workers at Christmas. Until 2008, the government owned Olympic Airways, whose employees and their families were allowed to fly around the world for "free." It was only able to sell the money pit after lavishly paying or rehiring almost 5,000 employees. Overall, the Greek government owns 74 companies, mainly utilities and transport firms, most of which are overstaffed and bleeding money. The state rail company warehouses over 9,000 people and reported 2008 losses of 800 million Euros.


Nebulous and pointless committees infest government payrolls -- one committee is supposed to manage Lake Kopais, which actually dried out in the 1930s.


Greece was able to gain entry to the European Union by cooking its books and hiding debt through swap agreements, with the help of US financial services firms. Greece then continued to fake its budget numbers until 2008, when it ran out of money, and revealed that its deficit was four times larger than reported – 14% of GDP. It is important to note that this GDP measure is completely misleading, since the government does not have access to the entire GDP – it's like planning to pay down your debts by using your pre-tax income and ignoring your interest payments. The Greek public sector consumes about 40% of GDP, which represent a cost to the state, not an income, while taxation rarely rises above 50% – so at best only 10% of the GDP is available to address the debt, which basically means that debt levels are in reality 10 times the numbers commonly reported.


Like all doomed governments, Greece imagines that it can "grow itself" out of its fiscal crisis, referring to the fantasy that the Greek economy grew by almost 4% per year between 2003 and 2007. However, even if these numbers are true - and the source is not at all credible – this was due largely to massive infrastructure spending for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and consumer borrowing as a result of easy credit -- even before this crisis, Greece was a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of GDP. If past growth was an illusion, future growth is an impossibility.


What about increasing government income? There is little room to raise taxes; the top income tax rate is already 40%, and the sales tax is 21%. In addition, 44% of salary is taxed for Social Security, with employees paying 16%, and employers paying 28%. These ridiculous tax rates, combined with a historical mistrust of government, have created an enormous black market and a culture of tax evasion. In one wealthy Athenian neighborhood, 324 residents admitted on their tax forms that they owned pools, while satellite photos revealed almost 17,000 pools. More than half of the doctors in a trendy neighbourhood claimed incomes of less than $40,000, while a quarter claimed less than $13,000, and so were tax exempt.


It is an axiom of statism that compulsion and control must always expand, and the current bailout of Greece is an inevitable result of the long-term subsidization that has already occurred. S&P has already downgraded four Greek banks to junk status. Euro zone banks are holding about 75 billion Euros of Greek bonds (about $97.5 billion). French and German banks are holding about 34 and 20 billion Euros respectively, so a noticeable amount of their capital is at risk. A retreat of investors from the debt of Greece, Spain, and Portugal could lead to high interest rates, declining investment, and slow economic growth in Europe. This will affect countries, including the U.S., that export to Europe.


Greece's dismal economic performance has in part occurred because it is already being bailed out by the EU, and has been for the past 11 years -- first because Greek bonds are priced relative to the economic strength of the EU as a whole, rather than its own basket-case economy, and second because the European Central Bank accepts Greek government bonds as collateral. European banks that buy Greek government bonds (paying higher interest than German bonds, because of the additional risk) use these Greek bonds to obtain a loan from the European Central Bank at 1% interest.


Without a doubt, and with no possible alternatives, the EU is doomed, and Greece is just the start of the avalanche. Since wages and social benefits constitute 75% of total (non-interest) public spending, the Greek government will attempt to stave off the inevitable by targeting public wages and pension bills. Daniel Gros, an eminent EU economist, argues that for each 1% of GDP decline in Greek government spending, total demand in the country collapses by 2.5%. If the government reduces spending by 15% of GDP — the initial shock to demand could be well over 30% of GDP. These sorts of transitions from public to private employment can work in a low tax, low regulation environment -- think of the millions of soldiers returning from the Second World War -- but the Greek economy is crippled by suffocating state controls and crushing taxation.


Firing government workers provokes violent, expensive and destructive conflicts, raises short-term costs for severance packages and legal battles, and the resulting unemployment destroys income tax receipts, and raises welfare and retraining costs.


What is rarely mentioned is the basic economic reality that every EU nation is currently running enormous deficits, carries catastrophic debt levels, and so has no actual money to give to Greece. Germany remains the strongest European economy, but German voters, already weary from decades of bailing out Eastern Germany, will find themselves hard pressed to muster the motivation to cut back on bratwurst in order to pay for the sundrenched retirements of Greek public servants. England is beyond useless, since its own budget deficit is poised to surpass Greece's as the worst in the European Union.


The entire European Economic Union is a house of cards, with governments all loaning money to each other in order to hide their true deficits from potential bond purchasers. Bailing out Greece with imaginary fiat currency is not a solution to a problem, but only a brief respite, designed so that those at the top of the political class can finish their looting before escaping the collapse.




Thursday, April 29, 2010

Heroism Part 1 - from Freedomain Radio

What you think is feeding you is actually eating you. An examination of the heroism that is stolen from you. TEXT:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Bomb in the Brain Part 4: The Death of Reason - The Effects of Child Abuse

The scientific evidence underlying the near-universal resistance to reason and evidence. If you want to change the world, you first must understand the unconscious barriers to thinking.


From Freedomain Radio, the largest and most popular philosophy show on the Web, hosted by Stefan Molyneux --

Saturday, March 06, 2010

需要政府的时代已经过去了 (Freedomain Radio 'Matrix' video in Chinese)






















因此,管理养殖场人员便给它们更宽阔的空间 --- 当然,这不是因为想释放牛,而是想提高生产量并减少费用。












尽管你享有一些很有限的自由 (包括有限的拥有权,迁徙权,结社自由,就业自由),











政府的荒唐矛盾 -- 正如宗教 -- 只能在向无助的儿童灌输不计其数的宣传下才有人相信,才能维持下去。



















Thursday, March 04, 2010

True News: The 'Economist' Defends the US Government

The free market of legal bribery meets with the moral approval of the magazine the 'Economist'.

From Freedomain Radio -- Http://

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Greece, Gold and Financial Terrorism - Freedomain Radio Interviews Max Keiser

The economic war being waged against Greece, the EU - and North America!

Max Keiser is a TV presenter, radio host, entrepeneur, broadcaster and journalist.

Max Keiser is the inventor of the virtual specialist technology / prediction markets, Hollywood Stock Exchange, Karmabanque, and PirateMyFilm

Max is presenter of The Oracle with Max Keiser on BBC World News, which aired every Friday from 9 January 2009 through March 2009.

Max also presented films for AlJazeera English and is a blogger for Huffington Post.

Max and Stacy host of the weekly radio talk show, The Truth About Markets, on Resonance 104.4 FM in London every Saturday night since January 2005.

Max is a former Wall Street broker.

The Biology, Morality and Politics of Addiction - Dr Gabor Maté - The Freedomain Radio Interview

Dr Gabor Maté reveals the biological basis of addiction, and the insanity of the statist war on drugs.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944, Gabor Maté emigrated to Canada with his family in 1957. After graduating with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and a few years as a high school English and literature teacher, he returned to school to pursue his childhood dream of being a doctor.

Dr. Maté ran a private family practice in East Vancouver for over twenty years. He was also the Medical Co-ordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital for seven years.

Currently he is the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and resource centre for the people of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Many of his patients suffer from mental illness, drug addiction and HIV, or all three.

Dr. Maté has had regular medical columns in The Vancouver Sun and the national Globe and Mail.

Widely recognized for his unique perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder, and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health, he is a sought-after speaker and seminar leader on these topics.

He is the author of four books -- When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. The third book, Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, he co-authored with developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld. Most recently published is In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction.

Monday, February 08, 2010

True News: Public Miseducation and the Shame of History (from Freedomain Radio)

Why it is sooo insane for pundits to argue that Obama is having a hard time getting things done because the electorate is sooo dumb! :(

Thursday, February 04, 2010

'You Are Not Alone' - Freedomain Radio Interviews Dr Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz earned his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University, after which he began a long association with the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and more recently at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, attaining the status of Associate Professor at both institutions. He is coauthor, with Michael Nichols, of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in the United States.

Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems in response to clients descriptions of experiencing various parts—many extreme—within themselves. He noticed that when these parts felt safe and had their concerns addressed, they were less disruptive and would accede to the wise leadership of what Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. In developing IFS, he recognized that, as in systemic family theory, parts take on characteristic roles that help define the inner world of the client. The coordinating Self, which embodies qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion, acts as a center around which the various parts constellate. Because IFS locates the source of healing within the client, the therapist is freed to focus on guiding the clients access to his or her true Self and supporting the client in harnessing its wisdom. This approach makes IFS a non-pathologizing, hopeful framework within which to practice psychotherapy. It provides an alternative understanding of psychic functioning and healing that allows for innovative techniques in relieving clients symptoms and suffering.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Politics of Obesity - Freedomain Radio Interviews Dr. Robert H. Lustig

An interview uncovering the political and medical causes of the current obesity crisis. To read the article referenced, please visit

The Fructose Epidemic - An Article by Dr Robert H. Lustig

'Fructose consumption has increased coincidentally with the worldwide epidemics of obesity...' A powerful article on the diseases caused by sugar and high fructose corn syrup. To read the entire article, please visit http:///

Friday, January 22, 2010

True News: The Truth About Haiti from Freedomain Radio

The real facts behind the disaster in Haiti - the only natural part of the catastrophe was the earthquake, the rest is man-made. An interview with Carl Lindskoog from the City University of New York..

He has suggested the following links for additional research:

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Jubilee USA Network

Suggested Reading:
Paul Farmer, The Uses of Haiti, 3rd ed. Common Courage Press, 2006.

Josh DeWind and David H. Kinley III, Aiding Migration: The Impact of International Development Assistance in Haiti. Westview Press, 1988.

Alex Dupuy, Haiti in the World Economy: Class, Race, and Underdevelopment Since 1700, Westview Press, 1989.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Peter Schiff Interview - Freedomain Radio

Economist Peter Schiff answers questions about the coming fiscal crisis, and how to survive it, from Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Global Warming Skepticism: The Freedomain Radio Interview with Warren Meyer

"Millions of lives hang in the balance" - The Scientific, Economic and Political Realities behind Climate Change and Global Warming - an Interview with Warren Meyer of

Freedomain Radio:

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Die "Staats-Matrix" von Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux präsentiert auf seinem Freedomain Radio ( mehrere Bücher und über 1500 Podcasts mit Nachrichten, historischen Analysen und philosophischen Themen, welche leicht verständlich sind und einen grösseren Zusammenhang des aktuellen Weltgeschehens bieten.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The True Meaning of 'Avatar' - The Freedomain Radio movie review... (spoilers)

From crippled soldier to ten foot tall painted hippy - one of the greatest transformations in artistic history!