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Life is full of surprises and things don’t always go as planned. This episode of the podcast is the perfect example of that. 😉

That’s because I’m once again chatting with repeat guest Pat Flynn, and what was supposed to be a discussion about liberalism, morphed into a twisting and turning maze of philosophical ponderings.

While you may mostly listen to my podcast for the health and fitness content, our musings aren’t completely unrelated. Life is more than just physical fitness. Ideally, we want to live well beyond fitness, and “flourish” as Pat likes to say.

Pat is a repeat guest not only because I enjoy our conversations, but I’ve gotten great feedback from listeners who like hearing about these deeper, philosophical topics we wade through.

In case you’re not familiar with Pat, not only is he a fitness expert who is known for his kettlebell prowess, but he’s also a podcaster, philosopher, and author.

In this episode, our conversation runs the gamut, with several topics, including . . .

  • Masks and lockdown efficacy and social pressures in science
  • Recognizing credible authorities
  • Conspiracy theories
  • Virtues like prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude
  • Pornography and consent
  • Whether people get what they “deserve”
  • The subjective elements of evil
  • And more . . .

So, if you enjoy philosophical tangents and want to listen to something a bit different for a fitness podcast, listen to this episode and let me know your thoughts!

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!


40:51 – What are your thoughts on meta-cognition?

50:41 – What are your thoughts on developing yourself and virtues?

1:30:00 – If life had no evil would it still be interesting?

Mentioned on the Show:

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The Pat Flynn Show

Chronicles of Strength

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hey, I’m Mike Matthews. This is Muscle for Life. Thanks for joining me today. And hey, real quick, if you like what I’m doing here on the show and you want to help me and never miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast in whatever app you’re listening on because it helps boost the rankings of the show and helps other people find it.

And it makes sure that you get notified when I publish a new episode. And so what are we getting into today? This is one of my infamous, maybe at this point rambling philosophical discussions with the one and only Pat Flynn, who hasn’t been on the show in some time. And we had. An outline that we promptly diverged from.

And we ended up talking about social pressure and science conspiracies consent, the nature of evil and more. And as always, Eileen heavily on pat and like to hear his thoughts because of his background in philosophy and theology and his formal training. But I do always try to add a little bit of my own flavor and flare to the discussion and try to help us wade through some of these ideas as best I can.

And sometimes that is just asking a good question or two. And if you’re not familiar with Pat, by the way, this is Pat Flynn from Chronicles of Strength, and he’s someone who is known for his kettlebell pros, at least in the fitness space, but he’s also a podcaster. The Pat Flynn show, an author of several books.

And although he probably wouldn’t like the term because he would think it sounds pretentious, a philosopher in his own right, again, considering his formal training and a lot of his writing as well as some of his academically published stuff. So as always, I hope you enjoy the conversation. It is a complete digression from the stuff I normally talk about, which some people find refreshing and other people find off putting.

So if this is not your thing, don’t worry. I’m not changing muscle for life into metaphysics for life. This is just some dabbling I like to engage in now and then. Also, if you like, what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.

And we’re on top because every ingredient and dose in every product is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends, for example, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. So that means no artificial sweeteners, no artificial food dyes, which may not be as dangerous as some people would have you believe.

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Hey man, could you be back on a Mike Matthew show? Cheers. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. I we haven’t done it in a bit. This is gonna be fun, as it always is. Yeah, I, So we were just talking about, we have our little outline that we know we want to get into, but something topical is, we were just talking about masking, and I’m moving, For anybody listening, they probably know I’m moving to Florida to the middle of the state, a place called Ocala.

So I’m moving from like the DC Beltway where I’m surrounded by double masks. And that’s my joke is I just don’t wanna see a double mask anymore. That’s one of my primary reasons for leaving this area. And then I, on Instagram, I’ve said that, and some people have asked what about single mask?

Or what are you saying exactly what are you insinuating my values? Yeah. I’m like, All right. I don’t think very highly of the double masters and the single masks. There’s a bit more nuance there. I’ll accept that. Anyway, so you were mentioning that there’s a new paper that came out on masks and it’s gonna be interesting to see the tenor of the research going forward.

Now that. Guidelines are loosening and it seems like, Covid is just, it has less political capital now, right? Than it did you know, particularly before the election, 

Pat: right? Yeah, so this paper real quick, it’s conclusion is that mass mandates and use are not associated with lower state level COVID 19 spread during the covid 19 growth searches, which is exactly.

Consistent with what we see in the charts is if you just line up all the charts of different countries, and you can even break it down into counties, try and get the very, most comparative regions. I’ve done this on my website and if you remove any information of like when mandates went into place or which place even had mandates, nobody would be able to get it right.

To say this one had a mandate and it went in here versus there. And that’s not insignificant, right? Because when we’re doing scientific thinking and we have a hypothesis, right? And just basic scientific reasoning, we always wanna think what should we expect on this hypothesis?

What does this hypothesis predict? And we were told again and again how necessary and how useful and effective masks were. Yet again and again, what we expected did not seem to emerge in the data, or at least not as obvious. As we expected. So there was definitely a warranted skepticism there, even if it wasn’t an outright disprove.

But if a hypothesis predicts X and you consistently see not x, it starts to count against the hypothesis. Especially in a cumulative way. And we kept seeing not X even in places where there’s very high compliance in places of, And that’s of course 

Mike: where I’m, I was gonna go is cuz I know that is the first refugee objection is people aren’t wearing it.

That’s because not real masking, 

Pat: And that’s just false. Cuz you have, I mean you have this as high a compliance as you could reasonably expect in certain areas, in very strong areas where, you have certain, 

Mike: When I was in LA a month ago unfortunately, and I was basically the only person not wearing a mask outside and I was out walking around, I saw a lot of people, There was the occasional person who dared show their face.

But an inside of, of course everybody, but even outside, just walking around. By themselves even 

Pat: masked up. Yeah. And let me just say up front that I have nothing against, a mask mandate in principle. If this were shown to be effective and to some degree, and like it really made a significant difference, I would happily wear the thing.

The problem. Insane. 

Mike: I’ve been saying that since the beginning, right? Like it’s obnoxious. Sure. Do I like it? No, I don’t think anybody likes it. Actually no. There are some people we could talk about that, but most normal people who are mentally stable do not like wearing a mask.

But if it was very effective, 

Pat: then sure. Yeah. If it’s very effective, like I actually, I guess we’ll get about into this with political philosophy, but I’m like, I’m not like a hardcore, an arco capitalist, right? Like I actually think, like the state does have a role to play in emergencies, and it needs to sometimes be able to organize things quickly, direct people quickly make snap decisions.

It doesn’t have to prove every single premise to have that authority or power, but if it’s going to, and this is more related to lockdowns and mass mandates, I don’t wanna switch gears too much, but if you’re going to start, especially suppressing people’s other very fundamental rights, which Lockdowns certainly did, rights provide for yourself, provide for your family rights to congregation religious worship whatsoever, right?

If you’re going to suppress or completely override very other fundamental rights, which are necessary to human flourishing, you have the burden of proof. Yeah. Like the burden of proof is on those who impose burdens. a, That’s a basic moral 

Mike: measures require a very high. 

Pat: Level of proof too.

So you not just speculation. So you need to show that not only is this absolutely necessary, but it is highly effective. And that of course is just none of those burdens were ever met or even came close to being met. And that’s a little different with mass because it’s not as much of a burden.

Correct. But over time, again, as the data started to come in and we weren’t seeing what we would expect if this hypothesis were true, and I have a whole post of the papers that were published against mask efficacy and one of ’em unfortunately was retract. I don’t think for any good reasons, but I think social and political pressures, which is another point we wanna talk about, but I line up all the charts.

I can send you the thing where, and you can see where certain health experts are making predictions about what mass will do or what will happen when people remove the mass may needs. And they’re consistently wrong. So the charts are helpful because it shows when the predictions were made by a lot of these policy experts.

And then not only are the predictions not accurate, you almost see almost completely the opposite. Texas is a great example of this, right? We had prediction after prediction that when Texas had these large gatherings or removed the bass mandates. Yeah. What did Biden say that he said? It was, He called it Neanderthal thinking.

Neanderthal thinking. But then Neanderthals in Texas wound up doing far better than the, I guess I believe in science crowd who kept the very stringent restrictions in, in, in other places. Now there’s, there are differences, relevant differences in geography and population SCB accounted for, but. Again, even when you try to constrain those things to reasonable, as much as you can reasonably expect in trying to make these types of comparisons, what we see is not what we would expect if this hypothesis were true.

And at some point, you just, and also you can say that’s a 

Mike: failure of the government officials. And those are the people who really, And if we look at it from like a business, if a business tries to pursue various growth strategies that fail, ultimately it’s the CEO’s fault. That’s his job, right?

So it doesn’t matter how great the hypothesis seemed in the beginning, right? The fact that it didn’t work, it should be now just abandoned. If we’re talking about mask wearing, and if the weight of the evidence is okay, this really just doesn’t do much of anything, it should be abandoned and right. Go looking for something else.

And you could also say that then officials and public health experts, politicians, they should have done better as the the wines like to say do better, 

Pat: do bad, and 

Mike: Go tell your p do better politicians, You’re bad. 

Pat: And it’s certainly not enough to say, just listen to the experts, because what often doesn’t get aired or all the experts disagree with this stuff.

And there’s tons, like if J Aria from Stanford and you had this whole movement that was just absolutely drawn through the mud, the Great Barrington Declaration, if you remember that. And you had some of the top most relevant experts in the world from Stanford, Harvard, you’d name it, infectious disease experts.

Like they have all the credentials you could get, and they were relentlessly attacked. One of the doctors, I forget her name right now, I think she’s either from Oxford or Cambridge or somewhere like that. One of these, mainstream magazines, huffing the Post or political, went after her and called her like a right wing libertarian and she finally defended herself.

She’s I’m the left. Like I’m on the left. What are you guys talking about? It’s so you have all these ad hominins and a attacks against these people who were just coming from very different political perspectives, but questioning all the different policies. Especially the Lockdowns.

Especially the Lockdowns. They were arguing for something called Focus protection and saying the lockdowns are absolutely ridiculous. There’s no reason we should be imposing this. There’s no reason to think that these would work. There’s lots of reasons to think that they’re actively harmful in many ways, and we should do this measure that they called focus protection.

Again, I remember six 

Mike: months ago when I would. Mention that position, right? That what are the costs of these lockdowns? Not just economic costs in, in abstract numbers, but what are the human costs? And you could run through the, five to 10 different rather alarming statistics of things that have skyrocketed through the lockdown.

Suicide, alcoholism, abuse of spouses, abuse of children, and then everything else that comes with not being able to work or have your business open and financial hardship and blah, blah, blah. And it was funny, I just call ’em ditto heads. There are people out there who are obsessively obedient.

It’s strange. And then they take it further and they view their obedience. And their blind obedience as virtue rather than cowardice. It’s a There’s some sort of wacky psychology at play there, right? Yeah. But those people, I remember, they would attack me merely. For bringing up that. Maybe we should also look at what these lockdowns are costing in terms of harming 

Pat: people

And here’s the thing with that, that often gets overlooked. First off, there have been a number of studies published against lockdowns like the Lance that has a study where it found, and I’ll quote here, Government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of Covid 19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in a number of critical cases or overall mortality.

Another good study, one of the best ones I think done on this from frontiers in public health, quoting stringency of the measures, settled to fight em, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate. You have one from Tel Aviv University. Quote, We would not have expected to, We would have expected to see fewer covid 19 fatalities in countries with a tighter lockdown.

But the data reveals that this is not the case, right? So again, we have a hypothesis. It predicts X, we see not X. You don’t have to be a high, a specialist in say virology to understand basic hypothesis testing. That’s something I tried to get across to the general public, right? Like it’s not enough to just like punt two areas of technical ambiguity.

Like you’re not a specialist here to understand what a hypothesis leads you to expect, or what a hypothesis predicts and what or the models, 

Mike: Remember the models that were used 

Pat: to justify models. Man, it’s a farce. Like anybody can do some BA and voodoo, anybody can, What’s the quote from Mark Twain, right?

There’s lies, Damn lies and statistics, right? There’s a lot of truth to that, right? And there’s a lot of, This brings us to another point that we’re talking about kind of backstage. There was a paper that was published last year. It was a good paper, and it was on the idea of a Castro consensus, right? And the idea of a Castro consensus is this phenomena that affects a lot of areas of life, but it affects academia, it affects the sciences.

And the idea, the Castro consensus, is that if a consensus is there, but it hasn’t really been reached by independent free inquiry, then we have every right to be suspicious of it. Especially if the consensus is on a topic that bears insignificantly to areas of. Significant social or political consequence.

And this makes obvious sense, right? And they make that case mathematically rigorous in the paper. I’ll send any papers I mentioned here, I’ll send you Mike, if you wanna link it in the show notes for people afterwards. But I that’s just basic common sense, right? If there’s opportunities for social agenda, pushing, reform, if people wanna call it that, political opportunities, and you can get public sway by having influence in various intellectual spheres.

Yeah. If it leads to, to, to power. Yeah. Social pressures, that’s another big one. You talk to people who are in the field, so I’m in philosophy, right? And like I’ll tell you like there are social pressures. Everywhere in philosophy, like there are just certain subjects that people know I better not publish on this because I’m never gonna get tenure if I do, or I’ll even lose my job.

So there’s just these, What’s an example of that? Oh gender ideology is a huge one, right? And you have example after example, people who have tried to publish on this. There was a one related with Villanova University not too many years ago, where somebody who’s actually like pro, that type of ideology published a paper and the paper was essentially a reduct without trying to be, cuz it was saying in general the paper was saying it seems like any arguments that you could use.

For somebody to be able to switch their gender might also apply to somebody be able to switch their race. So why would it trans, And of course the narrative wasn’t ready for that. So the mob descended came after not just the paper itself, but the editor of the journal and the editor was, if I have my facts straight, still was the lady at Villanova.

They tried to get the paper retracted. They may have succeeded. They tried to get her resignation. I’m pretty sure they did succeed with that. Wow. So whoever thinks that what goes on in academia how does that 

Mike: lead to. Resignation. I wonder, that sounds, I part of it I mean of it what prevents these people from just being like, No, Yeah, I don’t care.

I’m not stepping 

Pat: down. Yeah. Part of it, think of it in kind of the online world, Mike, where mobs ascend on Twitter. Twitter mobs, and ignore them though. And yeah, we know that, but most people are supremely intimidated by this. It stresses them the hell out. Okay. And they’re like, I never want to go through that mob again.

It’s not that different, right? In academia, right? Like you have all these people coming in accusing you of these horrible things of being a big or whatever else, slandering you. More or less, maybe they might actually get your resignation. Sometimes institutions stand up for you.

I’m pretty sure Villanova actually put the foot down and stood up for this lady. This was a couple years ago, so some of the details are foggy, but I think she had, yeah, forces to fire you and then. But then I think she ended up just resigning that position with the journal. I think she’s still at Villanova.

Just because like she never wanted to deal with that again. She didn’t wanna deal with that. And that’s how social pressures work. And it’s very frightening. It’s very scary because just certain viewpoints are just completely off the table in terms of being able to question them because of the social or career consequences that people will face.

And like I’m an outlier because like I do my own thing. Like you do, right? Yeah. So like I’m not trying to go for tenure, so I don’t care what I talk about. But I’ll tell you like all my friends that are working, professors trying to publish, there’s just. Certain things that they won’t touch, even though they might want to or they think it’s important because the social or career consequences that will come with it.

Mike: Which I mean I understand. To a point you have to weigh what’s gonna come of this versus maybe getting tenure or, And then you have more options 

Pat: now too. Not everybody’s a Jordan Peterson. He’s an anomaly cuz he’s somebody who the mob did come for. When he was a professor.

I don’t know if he’s still a professor or not, but fortunately for him he brought him to fame. Yeah. But most people that happens to, they just, they lose their position or whatever. And then he just fade into obscurity. Not everyone’s gonna have that Jordan Peterson effect. Yeah.


Mike: of course. I think what we should do is hard hards here into just 

Pat: hard your hard. What we’re 

Mike: gonna talk about is not exactly, I don’t think they’re exactly popular 

Pat: ideas these days. We threw a bunch of stuff out there. I know this is a highly sensitive topic for people, so if anybody wants to just read through, like I say, I have a post on my website, Chronicles a Strength, and it’s called Lockdowns Are Not the Solution, and gyms are not the problem.

And I include the papers that I’ve talked about here. I include all the different data. Some of it was assembled by medical statistician, Matt Briggs. To just help people see where the predictions were made and what the data actually is. You’ll see whether it aligns with the predictions or not. And then you can decide for yourself whether you think that it’s a successful hypothesis.

So we could link that for people, but then yeah, let’s just, we’ll just do the hard segue Into the primary 

Mike: job. Yeah. Yeah. It’s just, it can be hard. I understand. I’ve thought about this. A lot of this stuff comes down to, I guess you could say one’s worldview because it can be hard.

So I could say yeah, sure, you can find people who don’t agree with the orthodoxy, but if they were right, why wouldn’t that be the mainstream position? And usually these people, they think that science and the communities are free of politics basically. And by politics now, I just mean jockeying for position and status and power.

And they think that science and the scientific machine is a lot more objective than it really is, And that people don’t have their own personal agendas generally, and they really are just following the data and they’re willing to quickly reject their hypotheses. Proven false. And unfortunately that’s not how humans work.

That’s not how anything that involves humans works. And it probably will never be like 

Pat: that. That’s right. That’s right. We have that human tendency. Typically when somebody comes up with a hypothesis, Look, I do it all the time, right? In my own writings. Like you get attached to it, right? You like it, you want it to be true.

It becomes your little pet right Now, in terms of intellectual virtue, everybody should have a threshold, right? Some way of measuring how you would know if you’re wrong, right? And we’ve talked about this in previous episodes, like you should have that for your entire world view in general. Like how would I know that I’m wrong?

What type of data arguments could convince me that I’m off base here, But for, Yeah, certainly for things like this, you should. Good scientific mode of thinking, philosophical mode of thinking before you scrutinize other people’s positions. Make sure that you have some measure, some threshold that you could say, Yeah, if this gets crossed, I’d be willing to abandon this.

I’d be willing to give this up. Or at least seriously reconsider it. 

Mike: Yep. And one other comment I’ll add, and this has been at least useful to make a point, and in some cases the point is taken by the other side where. Somebody will say something like, Mask are absolutely effective. All the research shows they’re effective.

Had people say that to me. I used all the research that’s yeah. I know what that means is they Googled study mask 

Pat: and they like found it out and you will find papers out there supporting masks. And I wanna say that’s where you gotta weigh. You gotta weigh it out, right? , I’ve seen 

Mike: some meta-analysis where you also, you can’t just read abstracts if you’re gonna take the time.

And if you’re gonna use that to underlie a hard position, then you have to at least read the paper and understand. There’s often a lot of terminology, but among all the jargon, usually, you can spend the time to actually understand the jargon, but there’s also, usually in the case of research reviews and meta lyses, they’re usually written a little bit more colloquially.

And there are things that lay people can understand fairly easily. And what you’ll find often with, and this is not just masking, but in a lot of cases, I’ve seen a lot in, in. Exercise research and nutrition research where the abstract doesn’t exactly match up with the data, where it’s not as black and white or the effect isn’t as significant like the word you might see, oh, it had a significant effect.

But then you go look at the effect size, for example, and you’re like that’s not really significant, actually. Like it’s, yes, it’s statistically significant, but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s not gonna do anything. But anyway, so when somebody. Says something says a position. And then, I’ve had this kind of discussion with people about climate change, right?

Where somebody will say climate change, manmade climate change is absolutely a problem. Okay. So explain to me a few points that support your position. Okay, good. Now explain to me at least as many points, let’s say they give me three to five that are the strongest counter arguments to your position.

Like steel man, your opposition, not strong man but gimme the best counterpoints and why those are wrong. That’s where it ends every time I’ve yet to have, I’ve done it so many times with people, so I’m like, Okay, so well, we’ve just concluded is you don’t know what you’re talking about, do you Underst.

That you found a few things that I guess made sense to you. And again, this is where it really, I think, comes down to you found some stuff that appeals to something deep in your character now, and you latched onto that and you like that, but you never even took the time to. Refute it or to look at what the other side is saying.

And most of the time when I’ve done that with people regarding covid to getting controversial things, gender stuff, race stuff, whatever, they have nothing. And that’s the end of the conversation. Or they scramble and they come up with some cartoonish stuff. Those would be like no, I didn’t ask for three to five really dumb arguments that nobody makes.

I want good ones that sound just as good, but I want to know why. And I want you to explain in detail why those are wrong and what you just said is 

Pat: right. That’s a really good, I think, not just conversational move, but I mean everybody should be doing that. As in philosophy, we say arguments are love language, right?

Why? Because arguments and it’s specifically objections are argument testers, right? We build this bridge of reason with an argument. We string together a bunch of premises, we try to get a conclusion from it, and objections are what are coming, and they try to test that bridge. They try and knock the bridge down to see if it’s strong, right?

Because we only wanna try and cross a bridge that is strong, that actually is leading us to hopefully the truth. Everybody should be seeking out what are the best objections to the position that I have, wherever anybody else is coming from. I think we could all at least agree that whatever the truth is, that’s a good thing and we should want that.

Now, that’s an easy thing to say, but that’s not an easy thing to live by, right? Because most of the time people don’t actually set the truth is their primary target, right? They set conforming. Yeah, that’s the primary formity or whatever my preexisting beliefs were or what the way my emotions are leaning.

I just wanna acknowledge that’s difficult for all of us. That’s difficult for all of us. And the best thing I can say is just like you have to make the most deliberate effort to say it’s gotta be the truth of the matter that I’m after. If I see an argument that seems decent, then I at least have to spend as much time trying to ferret out the best objections to this 

Mike: person or not.

But just acknowledge that this is some stuff that I did take the time to inform myself about and here’s what makes sense to me. And I like, but I may be wrong. But I haven’t taken the time to really look at the other side, and it doesn’t mean enough to me. Yeah. To take the time to do that.

But, I like this and this does make sense to me for what it’s worth. 

Pat: And it’s okay to be tentative on positions to be like, I think this right now, but I’ll admit I haven’t looked too deeply like climate change. Like for me, like I don’t have much of an opinion on that. Cause I just haven’t really studied it.

I haven’t looked into it. Whereas other areas like that I have specialized in like metaphysics, it’s yeah, I can tell you what my positions are and I can tell you the very best objections and I can guarantee you I can state those objections better than most people who would hold the opposite positions of me.

Because I’ve read it, I’ve studied it, I’ve tried to get my stuff right. And I’ve formally responded to a lot of this stuff, like in print. So I feel pretty confident in those positions because I’ve spent so much time working through the often very difficult and clever objections. And then there’s other positions I have that Okay.

I’ve taken like a somewhat superficial study. Looked at a host of objections, but I’m not like super confident. I’m not gonna go to the mat on that. Yeah. Like, I might issue like opinion, like I think this is probably true, but it could be wrong. Something like that. And that’s okay, right?

Like you don’t, it’s totally care, right? We 

Mike: only have so much time. 

Pat: Don’t, you can’t figure out every answer to every issue in life, right? There’s, I think that there’s some issues that are important enough that you should try and grind all the way down, right? And come to intellectual satisfaction on, But there’s just gonna be many things where you’re just not gonna be able to do that.

So that’s okay. And heuristics and 

Mike: razors can help with those types of situations, at least. Take like we were talking about when you have social and political power involved, right? I think the never ascribe to something to malevolence when incompetence will do. I think it, it’s actually the other way around when we’re talking about that’s honestly where I start.

Like the worst I do not give when, again, when we’re talking about, and also money, but that’s tied up into it, right? Financial matters, political matters, social matters. I see it the other way around. That’s where I start from I’m gonna assume malevolence here and if incompetence ends up explaining things, fine.

But if you are somebody who is conscientious about learning and observing life, you also. Just naturally come to some of those conclusions that it doesn’t mean that’s, you just, Oh, that’s it. That’s all I need to know. I don’t even have to look into it further, but you automatically are, can often be a little bit more 

Pat: right out of the gate, another thing is that if there can be certain authorities, certain experts, that gain your confidence, right? You can say, Okay, I’ve, I vetted this. He or she has been right about this. He or she has been right about the other thing. I trust that this person is a generally competent and consistent thinker, that if they’re declaring a strong opinion that is evidential, wait for me.

Like it might not absolve me completely of investigating it myself, but that can be something of a legitimate short or heuristic as well, right? Yep. 

Mike: Yep. I would say right where if I think about that, so if somebody has proven to be right, Several times. It can’t just be in one with one thing. I would say and this is also something 

Pat: that I, and in relevantly related categories, I would add that qualification too.

Mike: think about this in terms of advice. When I’m looking for advice, whether it’s in business or anything really, If somebody has done something I want to do, if they’ve done it once successfully, that’s a good sign. I’m open to advice. I’m generally open to advice from anyone actually.

I’ll weigh people’s ideas on their own merits. But if I’m gonna seek out advice, ideally I’m seeking out somebody who has done what I want to do. And this could be business related or literally anything has done what I want to do, ideally at least two or three times. And so there are like a repeat offender and they can explain the cause and effect relationships.

That produced the results that they got and they, and that they 

Pat: think that way, right? Yeah. So there’s a point here and the point is that authority and testimony, it’s not, sometimes like appeals to authority. Some people think that’s just an obvious fallacy. It’s not always right.

It depends on the context, right? Authority can be a legitimate evidential wage. However if the authority is under question in the argument, then just reapp appealing to the authority. That’s a fallacy, right? Because then you’re just reasserting or assuming the thing that is under question that is being argued about.

But in general, we all rely on authorities and testimony all the time, unlike really big things too. Like I wasn’t there I was there, but I don’t have it consciously recorded when I was born. But I think I was born in Delaware County, October 24th, 1989, and I take that on pure a.

On pure testimony, . But it seems like I’m justified in that belief because the people who told me that mean how many things do 

Mike: we really know? Have we seen the SARS CO two virus with our own eyes? These are, do I really know concretely that the virus even exists? No, but I’m willing to accept 

Pat: authority on that one.

So authority, because the people who told me that about my birthday, they’ve been consistently right and trustworthy on other relevant matters that I’m like, Yeah, okay, mom, dad, , I’m gonna trust you. That I was born at this place, at that date, whatever. And I feel very confident in that belief.

So the point is that authority and testimony, like it factors into the, into our epistemology all the time. It has to. There’s no way to escape that, right? None of us, we can’t pull the pole, like Cartesian project, go back to the cogi toe and then just try and work everything out systematically from like a blank starting point.

It’s just never gonna work, right? Even the idea of doing that is itself a tradition that’s been handed onto us from day card, right? So I don’t know how that connects with everything else that we’ve just said, but I guess it connects in a sense that, in some sense we’ve been questioning certain authorities.

But then I hopefully we’re balancing that out by saying that doesn’t mean that all authorities or all testimony is questionable, cuz that’s obviously not the case. And 

Mike: I think we should just keep going with this cause I have a few more questions here. I like to hear your thoughts on.

Sure. Just because choosing authorities and recognizing credible authorities is such an important. Skill, it’s in some ways you could probably even call it a meta skill for living. In the same sense that critical thinking that communicating, being able to communicate well, whether it’s spoken or the written word, just makes life easier.

And not being able to vet information and latching onto the wrong authorities makes life so much harder. If we’re talking politics and just culture, that goes both ways. I’ve tried to tell my mom so many times to stop watching random internet assholes. I don’t care if they say they’re a doctor and they say that there is no virus and it’s actually the 5g.

That’s literally what that David Ike guy was saying, I don’t know, 68 months ago, that there is no virus and it’s 5G that’s making everybody sick. And I haven’t heard that one. Yeah that’s out there. And there are a lot of people who believe, I don’t know if my mom believed that, but I don’t think she knew.

Cue. But if she did, she would’ve absolutely, She would’ve loved it. She bought red in eating that shit up. So that to me is just as dumb as just staring at cnn, being like, Okay, CNN says that now I need to wear five masks putting on the fifth mask now. It’s, 

Pat: This type of, and but there’s this psychology there.

I’m not that familiar with q what I’ve seen. 

Mike: It was almost certainly there. There’s good circumstantial evidence that the fbi, like the CIA was involved. It was a very smart, If I had to put money, I don’t know how much money I’d be willing to bet a bit, but I’d have the amount I don’t care to lose because I haven’t looked into it that much.

But yeah, from what I’ve seen, what made sense to me, and it also just given the narrative and the timeline of how it played out, is that it was a very smart SIOP to convince a bunch of right wing people to do nothing. Actually, just sit back. This is all part of the plan. Don’t worry. I There are still my mother-in-law, another Q Boomer who, excuse me, she was absolutely certain that Trump was gonna remain in the White House regardless of the outcome of the election.

Like in terms of tallying all the votes and that the military was gonna step in. Again, she all queue stuff. Sure. And she still, actually, just a week or two ago, it got brought up cuz she was, we had a little bet. And I was. No, it’s not gonna happen. Trump’s done. He’s gone watch and I think we had a two week and then she accepted it and now she’s back at it.

Actually Trump is, He is, He’s running things behind the scenes. And I’m just like 

Pat: Doesn’t that sound, I can’t understand. I can’t, It’s this hypothesis testing again, right? Like it’s the hypothesis made predictions. Those predictions failed. So that’s where I ditched q 

Mike: is, It was interesting in the beginning there may have been an insider and then where I ditched it is when I saw Oh, wait a minute, this queue person, people, whatever, they predicted this didn’t happen, predicted this didn’t happen five times.

And I was like, Next, I don’t care now. Like, why would I 

Pat: listen to any of this? This is where, again, before people commit to something, it’s so important to, to try and establish some threshold to be like, how would I. That I’m wrong, right? Because then you could just fall into this cultish mentality, right?

Where it just becomes an utterly un falsifiable belief where the goal posts and the standards can constantly be shifted around and then you’re just let around haphazardly. But the other point I wanted to make is that, there’s, there is to me something of an interesting psychology there, because I imagine a lot of people look out into the world and they feel a little jaded and they’re like, Yeah, there’s a lot of this stuff just seems really fishy and weird.

But then the problem is they just there’s a right intuition there. There is a lot of stuff that’s fishy and weird out there, but then they like jump to something that is in many ways equally dubious, right? Rather than trying to just roll up their sleeves and figure out what the case actually is.

So even though I again, never really looked into it, so this is one of those positions where I wanna say, anything I say is very tentative on this, cuz I don’t know that the whole q phenomena, it seems to me. , even though I, it just seems like a failed, whatever it is. Hypothesis, right? There’s an understandability there.

Why people would be attracted to it. I would say succeeded. 

Mike: But , that’s my cynical take on the ne for 

Pat: the nefarious reason. Did see that. Yeah, sure. Yeah. And again, the 

Mike: fbi, CIA connection, certainly fbi, that was reported that was mainstream ish. You didn’t have to go forward to find, I forget which outlet reported on it, but there was a rather long piece that was good journalism.

And Anyway, but go 

Pat: ahead. Yeah, I just don’t have much more to comment on it cause I just don’t know it. At all Uhhuh, but to the idea that certain branches of government can do very nefarious things. Where do you wanna start ? That’s certainly true. Does that mean that’s always the case?

Or talking about, jump to that conclusion? Can conspiracy 

Mike: theories, right? Is that we were talking, I can’t take anybody seriously who uses that term. Un ironically. 

Pat: I mean like conspiracies happen all the time in a general sense, like people conspire to murder, people conspire to rob a bank rights 

Mike: fair.

I would say that conspiracies is the dominant theme of history, especially if we’re talking about, again, power, rich and powerful people since the beginning of time have been conspiring, working behind the scenes, doing things that they shouldn’t be doing, or that people wouldn’t really like to get more powerful and to do away with their enemies.

And often if we’re talking politics to control their populaces so they can maintain power. That’s 

Pat: such a you see it at the high school lunch table. But 

Mike: I’ve commented on this before. People who denounce conspiracy theories going on, they don’t actually. Believe that there are no conspiracies.

They just, they like the conspiracies that they like and they believe in. These are usually more left leaning people, so they love their Trump conspiracies and right wing conspiracies and Koch brother conspiracies. They love all those conspiracies. Yeah. They just don’t like any conspiracies that run afoul of their political or cultural ideas.

They don’t oh soro. No, that’s just a conspiracy theory. He’s just a good guy. What are you talking about? But Coke, Oh yeah. Let me break it all down for you. Here. You pull out my chart. Look, it’s like, how do you not realize that this is a really dumb way to, to 

Pat: live at? Yeah. Yeah. The whole idea of especially the more like extravagant, like there’s a degree Where I’ll be like, Okay, that does seem implausible.

And certainly those types of conspiracy theories are by no means the right has nothing of anything close to monopoly on that, right? Like I see so many of those. On the left, you see ’em on the right too, don’t get me wrong, right? Yeah. But it’s not something that is exclusive to people who lean, right? Where do you wanna start?

And that’s the thing, right? So granted, like people conspire all the time. This is a basic historical fact for me. Like again, there’s a threshold where plausibility just becomes, it just isn’t plausible anymore, right? Where like you would need, I don’t even have an example off the top of my head, but like you would need multiple levels, Hu Hollow.

Mike: The, I this isn’t actually right. Multiple 

Pat: levels of, there is a 

Mike: conspiracy element. Cause I think the hollow earth is that it’s not just that the earth is hollow, it’s that there are aliens or other people living in 

Pat: the center of the earth. I saw the latest Godzilla movie, I’m hip to this. Yeah. 

Mike: Godzillas down there.

And I think that’s where Hitler went as well. And he’s still alive. He found the fountain of Youth on the way. But no, I think that’s there’s an alien civilization down there and the conspiracy element is that governments around the world, they know about this and are hiding it. And then you go, Okay, that’s interesting.

What’s the evidence for it? And then you go, That’s not very good evidence. And what are the counter arguments? And you just start thinking, you’re like, I could think of 10 right away, , same thing with flat earth. 

Pat: Yeah. For Flat. I’ve had like many, 

Mike: When I heard it, I was like, Okay, I don’t know.

Let me hear the argument. What’s the argument? That’s not a very good argument. And then let me hear the counter arguments to the most obvious stuff. Okay, what about all the space footage that we have? What about SpaceX with the little car and the guy and Oh, that’s all faked. Oh, okay. So everyone, all government agencies around the world, private people, corporate, all, they’re all in on all the 

Pat: astronauts, right?

It’s that massive. And then that’s where I’m like, element that where it starts to screen a lot of these 

Mike: And I’m done with this now I don’t even 

Pat: need to know anything else. The other thing, Aristotle had arguments against flat Earth too. So it’s not just modern science that helps to debunk that.

So if anybody’s interested, you could go back and see Aristotles thought on some of that. . 

Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.

What are your thoughts on being, I guess the term might be metacognition of being aware of how you think. And again I come back to this idea that I’ve thought about and this is not me being a sn and thinking that I’m so much better. Like I’ve actually thought about it for myself and try to, Cause we all, like you said, we all have these tendencies and I try to root them out or at least be aware of them and pull myself back from ledges if I’m going too fast. And so what are your thoughts Yeah. On being aware of, again, I think where a lot of this comes from is just, for example, is if somebody is generally a fearful person, they’re just a worrisome person and they have a lot of anxieties about the world and their life and they don’t feel very strong individual.

Right? . Then that person I would think is gonna be psychologically prone to wanting to just fit in. Like they just want to be part of the herd. They wanna feel like they have that protection. The mere thought of breaking with orthodox or official them makes them uncomfortable. , because again, and I’m, this is just a random hypothesis of mine. I’m just making an example that there could be a connection there. You know what I mean? , where you do, for example, do seem to have certain types of people who tend to be more independent thinkers. And then you have the wacky independent, I understand that.

And then you do have types of people who are more heard type mentality just they just want to fit in. And then that you take that to the extreme. . And again, that’s just like the quadruple 

Pat: masks, right? Yeah. No, I have a lot to say on this. I’ll try and keep it somewhat brief or we’ll see where the conversation goes.

First off, yeah, you should be aware of the phenomena, which is known as motivated reasoning, right? Motivated reasoning is just we wanna believe something, right? And we go out and we engage in confirmation bias and try to gather anything that will support that belief and look away from anything that won’t that’s something that’s well documented.

The ironic thing, however, about this is that the studies have been done on this actually show that’s being more educated does not help. And in fact it makes it worse. So it is just funny thing like people who are more educated and think I’m educated so I’m not gonna engage in motivated reason.

Or sometimes the ones who do it the most. And why would they do that? They think I’m intelligent. Of course my positions are correct. , there’s this kind 

Mike: I have a PhD. What do you 

Pat: mean by I’ve got a PhD. I couldn’t be wrong about something. So it’s just, it’s this very ironic finding, but also ironic, but not entirely surprising.

Again, that’s, 

Mike: there’s a danger zone there of probably, I would guess it’s Midling iq and essentially somebody who is overeducated for their level of intelligence. And again I don’t say that implying anything about myself. I’ve not even taken an IQ test. I don’t know, I’m probably okay.

I’m probably like not great, not bad, whatever. So I’m not, that’s not what I’m trying to imply. But it’s certainly, I’ve seen. What you’re talking about. I didn’t know that there’s research on it, but I’ve seen that where I almost expect it from people who are really not that bright. They think they’re geniuses or they think they are smarter than they are, and they have a lot of formal education.

 I already know what I’m getting into . 

Pat: You know what I mean? So yeah, that’s what we find is that education doesn’t necessarily help to reduce motivated reasoning and in many instances that it can increase it. There’s different cognitive mechanisms that people engage in confirmation bias, like selective memory usage, stuff like that, that helps to fuel motivated reasoning.

So I think it’s important to understand that motivated reasoning is a thing and that people who are aware of motivated reasoning still engage motivated reasoning, right? So you have to be like aware of that higher level issue, right? And then you have to do your best. Because here’s the other interesting thing is like the people who do research on this don’t conclude.

They’re actually of optimistic. They don’t conclude well, that’s. We’re all just doomed to this actually conclude no you can do things, you can really do things to, to hedge against this, and you can really find the truth, but you just have to realize that this is a factor that’s at play.

And as long as you’re, attuned to that, and like really attuned to it, not just being like arrogant about it, but really attuned to it and that it affects everybody and it will affect us as much as it affects the next. Then you’re gonna be better off. So that’s one thing I would say be aware of that, that it’s a thing we all engage in and education doesn’t seem to make a difference there.

And there’s another point, like intellectuals, they do get snobby and in a sense that there’s almost something of an error or prestige of not believing what the common person believes. So take any just. Strange voodoo that’s out there in academia today is of this nonsense beliefs that very highly educated people ascribe to that.

Your common, man or woman on a street would say, That just sounds like nonsense to me. And I would argue it is nonsense, right? But there’s this kind of arrogance that, that comes with higher levels of education. If you’re not. Aware of it. And in fact, Jonathan Height, he’s an interesting kind of psychologist and he’s done some research into stuff like this.

Like what he’s found, especially on like moral beliefs, right? Is that if you like ask somebody, I might get some of the details wrong, but this is generally it, right? This is gonna be a weird example, but go with me, right? If you ask somebody who like has not been college educated, do you think it’s.

Wrong to have sex with the chicken. Like most people are like, Yeah, that’s messed up. You shouldn’t do that. But if you ask people who are more like liberally educated, they’d be more likely to say, Eh, it depends. Sorry, should I heard? But yeah, it depends, right? And no, it’s the person who’s less educated, who’s right there, friends.

Like it is wrong to have sex with the chicken. We could go in all the reasons why. So that’s where a little education could be dangerous, right? Yeah. The wrong education you can, the wrong education should be d. So that’s just another interesting phenomenon. The other thing in terms of thinking is like people just aren’t trained in logic any, right?

One of my first philosophy professors, she had a PhD. She had to have me formalize different arguments cuz she didn’t know how to do it. She didn’t know how to analyze propositions. And most people don’t cuz they’re not taught that, right? They’re not taught the canons of logic. They’re not taught the differences between arterial and, formal fallacies and they just don’t know how to think because that’s what logic is.

Logic is really the study of the structure of thought actually has a structure and we can analyze that. And the idea of logic is not to of studying logic is really, the way I think about is not to just be like some snotty brat on internet who’s just, you’re committing this or that fallacy, right?

That’s a person who reads like one post on logic and then thinks that they find like the one fallacy they learned in like every Facebook thread. Don’t ever be that person, right? It’s really annoying. It’s the fallacy of composition. No, the point of logic is just to make sure you don’t fall for bullshit, right?

It’s to develop a more shock proof bullshit detector so that way you can say, okay, your premises here. They seem plausible, but your conclusion still doesn’t follow right. And you can really analyze and dissect what’s being put out there. Even if you don’t have technical expertise in an area, you can still analyze the formal structure of an argument somebody’s making.

And so yeah, even if I grant the steps in their argument, this inference is still invalid, for example. So nobody should buy this conclusion off the steps they gave. Or you could come to another position where it’s actually this inference is valid and I’m not sure about the premises, so now I need to roll up my sleeves and try and figure out if these steps at these premises are actually true.

So it’s this sort of massive failure of people to learn just basic logic, to learn proposition types, to do their oiler circles. Like this should just be like elementary school stuff, right? But most people don’t even learn it In college, this 

Mike: was at one point, this was the beginning, along with.

Grammar and rhetoric, right? 

Pat: That’s right. This is the beginning. The Trium, it used to be called. Yeah. Uhhuh 

Mike: of Education before you moved on to the, what was it? Quadrivium? Quadrivium. Quadrivium yeah. Where you started to learn at that time, I forget exactly what it was. You probably know, but it was, that’s where you get more specialized.

But at first you learned how to think. You learned how to communicate. You learned, I believe it was Latin at the time But like the structure of language, right? . 

Pat: So I mean that, that’s the other, The fact that fell out, you 

Mike: would think that would not be removed from education, that we would’ve expanded on that, and that we would’ve taken that original trivium and turned it into something, and we’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of years.

It should. Very well oiled machine. Part 

Pat: of the, It’s foundational. It’s foundational. Logic is foundational. And it’s absolutely absolute. It should be something, 

Mike: probably at this point that we’ve figured out how to start teaching at the earliest possible age. Yes. And of course then it would progress in complexity as you get older.

But instead of that, no, it’s just gone. And there are, there’s so many things where I’m just. And really, am I supposed to believe incompetence? Really? Am I supposed to believe that’s just a coincidence that just happened? I like the problem too. Black pill, maybe a 

Pat: cynical look, you have people who are highly specialized and competent experts and have done good work in their area of expertise, but then they just make very basic, logical mistakes often when they venture out of that area of expertise.

I don’t know if we wanna throw it historical. Like any, people who are notorious for this would be like your kind of science popularizer, right? Who like have maybe some even impressive level of expertise in one particular area, but then they venture out into all different areas. I’ll just, Neil Degrass Tyson is a prime example of this, right?

Of somebody who obviously, has this formal education. But when he ventures into areas that I actually know something about, particularly like philosophy and stuff like that, he’s worse than most any college freshman out there, right? He’s no more a relevant expert in these areas despite his assumptions to the contrary.

But because of our sort of inclination towards Credentialism, while this guy is an astrophysicist, right? He must know. So not no necessarily, right? Like just because you have relevant expertise in one area does not mean that you’re going to be at all competent when commenting in another area. Now doesn’t mean you’re incompetent either, right?

I wanna be fair. Like he could have studied and he could have learned. So I don’t wanna say just because you don’t have a PhD in something doesn’t mean you can’t speak on it. That’s absolutely not true. I’m just saying just because somebody does have a PhD in one thing doesn’t mean they’re gonna be competent to comment on all things.

And you just have to find ways of trying to analyze that. And the best starting place for that is just to have a basic command of logic. Because that’s gonna help you sniff out bad arguments from otherwise Impressive, well credentialed people, which they’re ventured all the time. What are your 

Mike: thoughts on developing like something else I’ve thought about because a lot of what we’re talking about is tricky and these are all human inclinations that we all have and we all engage in undesirable activities along these lines.

To some degree. Even if we’re pretty good at catching ourselves, we still have to catch ourselves. And practically speaking, I feel something that, that everyone can do to improve everything that we’re talking about is to improve themselves as individuals. You could probably express that in different ways.

You could go back to the virtues and take this example where if you have somebody who is generally fearful, just generally cowardly, right? There are so many different ramifications now from that lack of virtue. But if that person were to develop courage, then naturally there are certain ideas now that just wouldn’t appeal to them.

Or maybe they wouldn’t be so deferential to authority. Maybe they would be a little bit more willing to think for themselves. And even if that meant that they are not in agreement with a lot of the people that are around. You know what I mean? But they could learn to live with these. Does that make sense to you?

Pat: Yeah. No, it does. Courage, It’s a virtue. What’s a virtue? A virtue is a perfection of our power. To go back to Aristotle, right? It’s something that perfects us or completes us according to the type of being we are, being rational animals, right? So it’s really good for us to be courageous cuz this, a courage is gonna help facilitate or flourishing as the type of animal that we are.

And for Aristotle, a virtue is always a golden mean, right? It’s that sort of moral sweet spot between an excess. And a deficiency. So if we just take courage, what’s the excess? Something like recklessness is the excess, right? Just like rushing into any dangerous situation because it’s exciting or something like that.

But it’s really stupid to do it, right? So that’s advice, right? That’s not courageous. The deficiency, the obvious one is cowardice. And for Aristotle, there can be an asymmetry, right? Like it can be more likely that somebody in relation to a virtue will fall into a deficiency than an excess, which is obviously true I think for cowardice, right?

Like you’re probably more likely to see cowardice than recklessness more often than that. Courage is contingent upon the cardinal virtue, which is prudence. And prudence is just practical wisdom. It’s like moral street sparks. You think of like prudence as having three faces.

One face is like looking to your experience and your education and your learning looking backwards. One face is facing forward to the here and now. What’s the situation? What are the contingent facts about it? Considering all the relevant factors that should go into your moral decision making.

And then one face is looking forward to, what is the outcome. That I’m intending, what kind of future do I want from this? And that will determine, you need prudence to determine whether a particular action would be courageous or stupid in a particular situation. I don’t know if this is answering your question, but we can keep talking about it if we want.

If we want. So for example, if I’m. If I’m in a situation and I’m like, outside of a movie theater and I see some kind of skinny dude like beating up an old woman taking her purse and like it’s clear that this man’s just assaulting this woman. He doesn’t seem to be armed.

I’m strong, I’m trained in martial arts. I know that no police are probably gonna get here in time and this dude might kill this woman. It might be the courageous thing for me to go and refrain this man, right? Put him in a choke hold or something and try and save this woman’s life.

However, flip some situations around cuz that’s what prudence would demand of me in that situation. I seem to have the requisite skills. It doesn’t like this woman’s life is in serious danger and I think I have a really good chance that I could actually take this guy and doesn’t seem to have a gun or a knife or anything like that, right?

Maybe that’s not prudent. Let’s just suggest that it is. However, if I see that this dude is armed, He’s much bigger than me. I’m not trained in martial arts and it’s not unreasonable to think that I could turn the corner and call the police or something like that. That might actually be the more prudent thing to do in a particular situation.

So the point of a sort of virtue ethics, which I’m very attracted to, is that there’s both an objectivity and a relativism to it. There is an objective fact of the matter of what the right or wrong thing to do is, but it’s contingent upon the circumstances you find yourself in and your current development at the time as well.

For Aristotle, like the Good Life. Is just a life in pursuit of perfection, of virtues, right? And the kind of core ones, cardinal virtues, we call ’em, the hinge virtues are prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. So prudence, as we said, is that’s that chariot virtue. It’s developing the moral street smarts.

Justice is giving others there do. And that can be horizontally but also vertically. So a lot of traditional thinkers think. Is a matter of justice. For example, they don’t think religion is like just some personal thing you should feel good about. They think that religion is a matter of giving God his due, right?

There’s a sort of vertical obligation and the relation of justice we have to God, but also we have commutative and distributive justice. So there’s things that I owe other people. I owe my children education, I owe them moral development. If I’m a deadbeat dad, I’m failing morally. I’m a vicious person, right?

And that’s also where rights come in. Like rights are claims you can make on other people to either leave you alone or do something and positive and negative rights. This kind of ties into liberalism thing that we wanted to talk about eventually. Like a positive, right? Is an active claim you have on somebody.

Like my children have a positive right to demand services of me, that I feed them, that I teach them, that I help in their moral development, right? And if I don’t do that, I am violating a right of my child, right? So this is part of why I’m, I’ve moved away from libertarianism. Cause I actually think positive rights are a.

So that’s justice. What do we talk about prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude are gonna be appealing to your exercise audience, right? Because temperance is using reason to reign in the appetites, right? We have appetites that are pulling us in many directions and sometimes they can pull some directions we know are really not good for us, like becoming glutinous and stuff like that, right?

So we, temperance. Is that sort of that virtue that in application with prudence, reigns in the appetites in a sense and fortitude. So think of temperance as fasting, right? Fortitude then is pushing through a hard workout that’s engaging in the stuff that you know is tough, that you know is difficult, is arduous and maybe even long lasting because it’s really good for you.

I sometimes think of like fortitude is and so that’s the kind of the suite of the virtues, and you have sub virtues under all of those. And how does this connect to what we were saying? Very traditionally Especially even at the founding of our country, part of what education was about was not to make factory workers, but to make a virtuous population, right?

Because our founders knew very well that if we were gonna have success with this sort of experiment of self-governance, we needed a virt. Population that freedom. And this is all over the Federalist papers, right? Freedom is contingent upon a virtuous population. If you have vicious people, you will get tyy sooner or later, and that’s nothing new.

That goes all the way back to pla. Yeah, Plato. Plato was really big about that, right? So does, that’s how democracy turns into chaos, right? For Plato, democracy is a bad thing, right? Democracy is he’s got, your philosopher king set up, right? And aristocracy and democracy and oligarchy.

And then for him, democracy is like right next door to tyranny, right? Because it’s in democracy. 

Mike: Where, but where is an anarchy follows, I think, in his model. And then it recycles a new, you know this better than I do. I just may 

Pat: remembering wrong. Yeah. So for him at least when he talks about democracy, obviously.

Category shifts between how Plato was thinking about that way back then and how we think about democracy now. He’s thinking of democracy as like a population where people are really just run by their appetites and reason has completely left the scene. So he thinks of the state analogous to the human person in certain ways.

So for Plato, there’s three. Aspects of the human psyche. There’s reason, spirit and appetite, right? So reasons our highest power, and this should be governing our appetites, right? To direct us towards what is really good for us. So we’re not just pulled around by corn pleasures and being sick heed in this all the time, right?

And spirit is like that middle influencer. There’s no like great word for it in English, but it’s like a righteous anger that you might feel to get something done. Even though it’s tough because reason, demands, it’s right. gives you that impetus or push to get you to do something that’s right.

That you know by reason. But it needs some kind of vigorous fuel, right? That’s spirit. I got like a catalyst or something. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s like maybe the best, That might not be the best translation, but that’s the, as I can describe it for our purposes, right? So he is got reason, spirit and appetite, and these can become disordered in a person.

I think Plato is right about this. Like sometimes spirit can overtake reason and people can be too caught up with wanting honor and battle and stuff like that for the sake of it. But then, Worse for Plato was when appetites rule, and this would be like things like pornography, addiction, limbic capitalism, right?

Where people are just, it’s just all about just this sort of 

Mike: consumerism. The consumer collecting. 

Pat: Don’t, Yes. Don’t think just that reasons checked out. And he thinks that there’s an analogs there of how a person can become disordered. So Cuz reason should be ruling. Right? Reason should be guiding, organizing, that’s how you’re going to flourish as a human person.

When reason directs the appetites and spirit provides the appropriate fuel to get the hard stuff done. That for Plato is how a person should be ordered to live a good life. If you have a bunch of people that are disordered. And like severely disordered where reasons completely checked out and appetites are running aok that’s gonna spill over.

like society’s gonna look like that at some point for society is 

Mike: comprised of people. Yeah. This is getting too, No, 

Pat: It’s not implausible at all. I’m very attracted to this and I think we’re seeing this play out, 

Mike: I’ve tried to explain this to people and again, this is something that I.

Feel, because this is not an area that I’ve read too much about. Maybe I know more than the average person. , but there are some common sensical things that just don’t know what the good counter argument would be. That would where I would go. Yeah. Actually, that’s a good point. And this is one of those things where I’d be like, Okay, if we want to have a high functioning society and we want it to operate in very logical and positive ways to the benefit of the many, we’re never gonna be able to do everything for everyone, but that’s 

Pat: fine. Never gonna be perfect, right? Yeah. 

Mike: But if minimally we can serve the interests of the people who are net positives in society, who give more than they take, for example, we’re, I think we’re doing fairly well if we start there.

And then you have the criminal types, both the criminally minded and the actual criminals. Like those are the people who are less important serving their interests. It’s just less important. But how are we supposed to get there? If we have a bunch of dysfunctional people I can’t figure this out.

And if those dysfunctional people come to like democracy, Okay, so does it make sense just logically, fundamentally that the man and the woman who they have a family of, they have multiple kids and they, their kids are doing well. Kids are different, but they’re working hard, raising a good family, and they have a family business together and they employ 50 people and they produce good products and services and maybe those products and services even directly.

Impact other people’s lives in very positive ways. Like maybe it’s not just trinkets for people to buy and how does that make sense That their vote counts just as much as the dead beat crack head dad? Or let’s just take one of their vote. Like how does it make sense that the mans or the woman’s vote counts just as much as the dead beat crack head dad, who has nine different kids with nine different women who has never worked a day in his life and who has done nothing 

Pat: but take from the government or even to take a criminal, right?

Because people don’t believe the right to vote. But I’m just painting the 

Mike: extreme because it just makes the point of you can have some of that and still make it work. But what happens again when you have too many dysfunctional people who have a say these people, they can’t even. The right decisions in their own lives when it’s theirs that can be ignored when everything theirs is at stake, and they still can’t figure out how to make a rational, ordered life.

How are these people supposed to collectively make a rational, ordered society? And I’ve heard people say, for example they try to use wisdom of the masses as if it’s so simple as if we’re like, Oh, we’re guessing the number of gumballs, again, that just quickly gets dismissed.

I’m like, that’s so dumb. I could respond. But it almost is not worth a response. It’s just such a stupid counterpoint, but, 

Pat: yeah. I have probably more questions and answers on this cuz that’s a deep practical problem. But I’ll say a few things. One is, yeah, about the right to vote, right?

And traditional ethics, and I think this is right, is rights are very often counterbalanced by duties, right? So my kids, Star Troopers, do you read that book? My kids? No, I haven’t 

Mike: book. But in that book to vote. But if I remember correctly, you had to serve in the military, 

Pat: if I remember. Okay. So that’s an example, right?

Where okay, yes, there’s a right, but there’s also a duty to serve society, right? To balance that out. To fulfill, that obligation that you have, right? Because just as this is important, right? And just as some people have certain rights claims on you, again, in traditional ethics, society has rights. On you, right?

So it’s not just what do I get from society, but what do I owe to society as well? And if I’m not fulfilling my obligations, then there’s a legitimate basis that there’s certain things that are owed to me could be limited or curtailed or maybe even cut off together. Now, we believe this all the time, right?

We believe if somebody commits a certain crime or a certain degree and they’re put in jail again for a very long time, we thought that they’ve lost their right to vote, right? So we don’t think that the right to vote is just some absolute universal thing. The question, which I don’t, The reason being, of 

Mike: course, if they’re the type of person who’s willing to commit that crime and willing to impose that cost and harm another individual in that way, we probably don’t want.

Them to have a say in how society 

Pat: is run. Yeah. Especially if they want the destruction of it. It makes very good sense. At least there. Now, where is that obligation that you have to society to get to Right the vote? I don’t have a hard and fast answer to that. There’s things out there should you have to complete high school first?

And what if 

Mike: it were tied to and really again this is something that I don’t feel too strongly about, it’s just these are for me, just fun. Thinking exercises, but what if it were tied to taxes? What if you had to pay taxes in three of the last five years? , that’s not an, Of course there would be exceptions for people who now they paid taxes their entire life, they’re retired, whatever, blah, blah.

That’s not the point. We’re talking exceptions of rule, but the rule being three outta the last five years, you have to have paid at least a dollar in taxes and you paid, maybe you got a ref, a refund, that’s fine. But that means that you’re working, for example, . It really is what it means. Right?

And hopefully that means that, again, that you are giving more than you’re taking. At least there’s a chance now because somebody who is not working, who just takes. 

Pat: Yeah. This goes to the health of a society in general. And one thing that’s obvious, I think you’re getting at this, Mike, and just kinda what you’re thinking about is like, how do we reduce perverse incentives?

And that’s certainly like economics is a study of incentives, excuse me. But certainly public policy has much to do with incentives as well, right? So there’s many incentives that are perverse. It can come from bad policy. I We’re seeing that appeal to the appetites primarily, right? That appeal to the appetites.

But there’s other per, So like how do we get a healthy society? That’s a great question, right? Some traditional answers are what we’ve already talked about, like whatever else education involves. It has to have training in the virtues, right? Other people would argue that it has to go further in that it has to have an element of religion in there.

Now that’s gonna be highly contentious to people today, but it was in the minds of our founding fathers, right? If you read how they thought about education and the virtuous citizen read, they saw it as being something that is concomitant with at least a broad. Theism or Christianity, right? And I would encourage people to go back and read the significant thinkers at the founding of our country and see how they thought about things.

You might, if nothing else would be surprised at how different it is than today. In many respects, teaching in the basic virtues, teaching in the basic skills of thinking, these are all gonna help. And then curtailing these perverse incentives that would cause people to check out the reason and be run by appetites.

Mike, we’ve talked about this before, like pornography to me is an easy one. Get that the hell outta here, right? Just ban. Just ban it to me. Let’s follow Israel’s lead on that one. This is, to me, is a clear example of something that is an exceedingly pernicious industry. It ruins people psychologically, It ruins relationships, it ruins families.

It promotes sex slavery. And sec, there is every reason to ban this hellish thing from the face of the earth entirely. That’s just an easy one for me. And, but it’s a, it’s liberating not Shut up. It’s not liberating, right? It’s actually slavery. It’s that a little bit further 

Mike: than maybe should child porn be allowed then?

Hey, if just regular old porn is okay. Then why is child porn okay? Oh children are different. They don’t consent or, Yeah, trust me, if we wanna play games, 

Pat: Consent isn’t a magic moral wand we wanna talk about. We can 

Mike: find some ways around that one. That’s not a very 

Pat: strong reason. No, But also in child porn.

But allow, Yeah, let’s do two things here, right? The first is that true freedom? I think I’m gonna go back to Plato here, right? If you’re addicted to pornography, you’re not free. You’re a slave. Absolutely. You’re a slave to your appetites. That is not freedom in the tradition. I know I, when I say the tradition, I mean the perennial philosophy of a broad tent Platonism, which to me is it doesn’t even start with Plato, but it obviously includes him.

I’m lumping Aristotle into that. Yes, I know they had many differences, but they’re still under the same big 10, as far as I’m concerned. Like the Acme of that would be like a Thomas Aquinas or something. So like in the perennial philosophy, freedom is really disciplining the desires to make the good at first.

Accessible and then effortless, right? The real good, the true good, true freedom is disciplining your desires. I like that idea. To make the good at first accessible and then effortless. If you’re addicted to porn and fast food, you’re not a liberated person. You’re a slave in all effective purposes, right?

And that’s echoed by like people like Jaco wiling. He’s just got like this book that’s called Discipline equals Freedom. That’s the tradition, right? That’s what they saw, that humans can flourish by perfecting virtues, perfecting powers. But that requires discipline. That requires negating options, saying no to things, right?

Both individually and as a society to promote human flourishing. So I would just deny that this at all promotes a liberation. Or if it is a liberation, that it’s a redefinition of it. It’s a kind of what nothing to do with, right? Or that anybody should want anything to do with As for consent. Yeah, consent isn’t a magic moral wand.

Like you can’t reduce ethics to consent. Mike, I can’t consent for you to go drive my neighbor’s car cause I don’t have that moral power to begin with, right? So consent is often question begging and these types of conversations, cuz you can’t just say, You can consent to do something wrong or if you did consent, but just because you can consent to something doesn’t mean you should consent to do something.

There is another way to put it. So yeah, consent based arguments to me are always exceedingly weak because whatever power consent has, it’s always riding a top of deeper moral considerations, right? Just cuz I consent to cutting off my own arm doesn’t mean that I did a morally right thing. In fact, I would say as long as I’m healthy and I had no reason to cut off my arm like it was gangrenous and I did a morally bad thing.

And consent doesn’t change the fact of that matter, right? , 

Mike: so what if it’s your, what if it’s your penis? 

Pat: That’s the thing, man. Like even with the, a bunch of these surgeries, right? People will consent to it, but I would argue they’re still doing a seriously morally wrong thing. A seriously more, and we could do a whole episode on that at some point.

I’d be glad to do it. But consent, this is where a bad philosophy, a bad moral philosophy, this type of sort of consent based ethics. Has really corrupted people’s minds. 

Mike: Something I have, you may have something. This would be, if you don’t, is something you probably you probably do, maybe you just haven’t put it down into paper.

But I recently did a, an episode, just a monologue on somebody that asked how do you increase urgency and necessity? And they just wanna hear my thoughts for me what works for me. And this is not something that I’ve read much about. For example I don’t know if what I shared, it’s gonna be interesting to some people and it maybe doesn’t work at all for others, but the answer I gave is I of laid out what I call my personal constitution.

I got this from the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. That’s where I first came across it. Yes. Good one. . Yeah. And I was like, ah, this is a good idea. Actually. I like this. Where, I think he calls it a personal mission statement in the book, but it’s using the framework of be, do, have, who you want to be and what you wanna do.

And then I think he used achievements which he lumped like principles and purposes into. I didn’t quite understand. I was like, that’s a weird, that doesn’t quite it didn’t even include actually things that. Including experiences you may wanna have, but I still liked the idea. And so over the years of working to improve myself, I’ve picked up, I think, principles that ring true to me and also produce good results that help me live better and help me produce better results in various areas of my life.

And so I’ve clung to those things, or maybe not clung is the wrong, has the wrong connotation, but I’ve certainly taken those and put them in their own special little bucket of, okay, we’re talking about values or precepts maybe would be the words. And so one of them, That is just relevant to this, that’s on my list, is be worthy of freedom.

And with a lot of these, I’ve included a quote or two that I’ve come across that is relevant, right? And so this is, I think it’s a Charlie Munger quote and he said, To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet crazy enough, not yet a crazy enough place reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.

S slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day, if you live long enough, most people get what they deserve. And a lot of people, they don’t wanna believe that, but I think there’s a lot of truth there. If nothing else, I try to live in accordance with that. I try to live in a way where that is true, and I think that’s productive, even if ultimately it’s not exactly true.

It drives me to be a better person, to be worthy of exactly what you’re saying, to be worthy of freedom. And we could look at that politically to be worthy of the right, quote unquote, to just generally do what I want to do as long as I’m not like committing explicit crimes, but, and so take something like porn.

I think if we had. Enough virtuous people. There actually would be a much smaller demand for this and Right. It wouldn’t require necessarily, maybe it always would, but it wouldn’t necessarily require, a top down ban of it. It would just go 

Pat: the way of the dodo. But it can work both ways.

So I’m not a political determinist. People will say culture is all, politics is all downstream of culture. No, I think it works both ways, right? Culture pushes on politics, but politics can certainly push back on culture. We’re seeing 

Mike: a lot of that 

Pat: right now. That’s exactly what we’re seeing.

And we know that a lot of cultural changes start from minority groups that get political control and they start changing laws around and sooner or later we do get cultural changes, right? So it’s, to me, it’s just one force working against another in both directions. But I know that was a side point to your other thing about Munger.

Yeah. And that brings up a question of like cosmic justice, right? Do people get what they deserve at the end of the day? That’s a very deep metaphysical question, right? Because some people certainly seem to live a completely horrible life, a morally horrible life, and they don’t seem to get their just desserts, at least in this life.

And other people seem to re 

Mike: see villains at the head of every industry, right? So it can be hard. It can be hard, I understand, to reconcile those ideas. It makes me think of, and you’ve spoken about this, it makes me think of the objection to Christianity that there’s so much bad in the world.

How could an all loving God create this? I believe it. I, Voltaire, I think, and was it ness is, am I pronouncing that correctly? I had a back and light liveness in. Yeah. never checked the pronunciation, but I remember the back and forth of Voltaire saying that there’s so much bad, and then also saying it really, this is the best, the omniscient, omnipresent, right? Yeah. Now omni God can do, like this motherfucker needs 

Pat: some imagination, right? This is let’s talk about this, right? Cause this, I actually have a paper under review right now on, on the problem of evil. So it’s relevant on my mind and I’m arguing against it, right?

That it’s not a good argument against God. And maybe it will tie it back into to what we’re talking about before, but, Yeah. It traces back, at least to like traditionally the Epicuren paradox, right? If God is all powerful, he can create any world he wants. If God is all good, then he would create a world without any suffering or evil that we see.

But take a look around, right? What’s going on here? And obviously there’s been fighting over both of those premises for centuries, right? I don’t find that 

Mike: very funnier to me is the thought of okay, if well 

Pat: Let’s the guy if 

Mike: Then he must have a good sense of humor because we live in a, we live in a fucking clown world.

Then let’s 

Pat: get the context of aire and liveness, right? Cuz liveness has an interesting response to the problem of evil. I think it’s wrong cuz what lightness wanna say? He had this sort of perfect world, The Odyssey, right? Where he is like, Yeah, God would create the best of all possible worlds, but this is it.

And he had his reasons for thinking this was the best of all possible worlds. And you could see, dive into that. That’s and Voltaire’s really? Come on, right? Really? Come on now. Now look, I think liveness is wrong there cuz I don’t think, I think you can have a perfect being, which is God. But I don’t think that makes sense to say you have a perfect world.

Cause you could always have a world with one more pepperoni pizza, right? Or one more tree or something like that. Like the whole concept of a perfect world I think doesn’t make sense and people before light and it’s actually argued specifically against that idea. What they would say moreover is that any world God creates will be on the whole, at the end of the day good.

Both in this part of it and it’s an entirety which would include the afterlife and stuff like that. So on the whole, God will never create an overall bad world. And over overall that’s the key. Cuz one part, like on any painting might seem very bleak. But when you, And how does that accounting 

Mike: work though?

I mean that, that. 

Pat: It’s inscrutable, right? Yeah. It’s, so you need prior independent reasons. So if you have independent reasons to think that God exists and is all good, right? And you think that’s compatible with the evil and suffering, do it. And that’s something you accept, then you import those reasons and say, this has to be the case, even if I don’t see how it’s the case.

And that’s called like a skeptical theism, right? And there’s forced there because it’s inscrutable, it’s hard for the skeptic to argue against that because you would have to see the whole picture, You would have to have the mind of God, and nobody has access to that, right? So at least it brings it to a stale mate there.

But there’s other ways now if you wanna steelman it You wanna steelman the opposite position, cuz we talk about doing that, right? Most skeptics, most atheists in the philosophy of religion have actually given up what’s called a logical problem of evil, which is like a very strong form trying to say that there’s a contradiction between God and an imperfect world.

It just, you just can’t get a contradiction outta that. So what they push is what’s called an evidential or probabil. Problem of evil, right? And the idea there is okay, maybe there’s not a contradiction, but this world just seems so clownish to use Mike Matthew’s word. It just seems so ridiculous. The stuff that goes on in this world and so horrible.

That just seems to make it very impro God. It’s like 

Mike: we are the insane asylum 

Pat: of the galaxy, basically. And that’s called the evidential problem, evil or the probabilistic problem, Evil. You tell me how long you wanna talk about this, because this is something I’ve been writing on extensively. May maybe 

Mike: we should, if it’s it’s, I’m interested in 

Pat: hearing about it, but Right.

So I’ll say two quick things. 

Mike: Response teaser might be a fun, we never got to our liberalism either, 

Pat: which is okay. I just let me drop a teaser. I did a longer episode on this, on my podcast with my buddy Dr. Jim Madden, who’s a flaw. He was on this show. So the thing I say is this.

Okay, let’s go back to hypothesis testing, right? What’s the chances or what’s the probability, or what would you expect our world to be if God exists? Think about it this way, right? If God exists and he’s omni attributed, he’s the subsistent good itself, how much would expect a world that looks like us?

Maybe you think it’s very low. Maybe you think it’s like 1%. There’s like a 1% chance that I think that if God exists and is all good, that we would get a world like this. However, if God didn’t exist and atheism were. What do you think it would be? That we would get a world like this? And what I wanna argue is that it’s impossible.

It’s impossible, right? Because, Or if it’s not impossible, it’s far lower than theism and it’s the ratio between those probabilities that matters. Now why is that? Let me just give some quick justification of people want the details they can go to. My other episode is that evil itself is contingent. It’s contingent on other factors of reality, right?

So while it’s superficially interface, a deeper analysis makes other things more clear that we need to make sense of evil for one thing, to make sense of evil, to say to something is really and truly bad, that it objectively fails in some sense, we need the idea of a moral standard. Does a skeptical worldview give us a moral standard?

Not really. Most versions of atheism and naturalism and physicalism out there, they don’t give you anything that could give you, yeah, all in relatively. Not all. There’s a few out there I wanna be charitable, but they just wildly implausible, like an atheistic moral platonism or something like that.

So what I wanna say is if you have theism, then you have a moral standard locked in. Cuz the traditional view of God is just the subsistent good itself. Like God is the perfect being. Just his nature is cuz being and goodness or convertible and traditional theism, right? So God is the fully actual good, right?

So just by logic and definition, a moral standard follows on theism. So it’s guaranteed on theism. So even if you don’t think it’s impossible on atheism, it’s at least far less probable, but there’s more than that, right? We also need to make sense of evil, rational beings. Conscious, rational beings living in moral communities that can reflect upon moral standards and make moral judgments about things being evil.

What worldview better predicts that contingent fact that goes into evil. And I would say again, it’s night and day right? God could very obviously plausibly have reasons to bring about rational agents like us, and it’s hard to make sense of how rational conscious agents could at all emerge on physicalism or atheism or something like that.

Even if you don’t think it’s impossible, which I think it is impossible, but even if you don’t think it’s impossible, it’s at least far less probable. And then you also need to make sense if you’re a moral realist of moral obligations, why am I bound? To follow the moral standard. Why am I bound to follow the moral 

Mike: law?

What and why am I penalized if I 

Pat: don’t right, Or am I penalized right? I would say, 

Mike: I would argue that we are, even going back to human flourishing and what goes into that, we can receive no penalties from society. We can make a lot of money. We can objectively outside looking in, it looks again, like we’re getting away with everyth.

But we’re dead inside. 

Pat: There seems to be a natural punishment to being evil and I’ll to grant to some extent. I think that’s true, but certainly just on a more basic level, we feel that the moral law, Cause most of us are intuitively moral realist, like we feel that there really is a binding moral structure to this world.

We’re not really ni us not in how we live and act anyways and most of us feel that there’s certain things that we really should do, that there’s a binding force in obligatory force behind that. So you not just need to explain how you get a moral standard. You don’t just need to explain how you get rational conscious agents living in moral communities, what the connection is between those.

How we ever come to reflect about the moral standard, how we ever come to know it, right? That’s a huge problem. But then how there’s a binding force on that between us and my general argument is that all that is far better explained and predicted on theism than it is any type of skeptical, naturalistic, atheistic worldview that maybe even if you think.

The amount of evil and suffering have in this world is an initially low probability on God’s existence. It’s so much lower on atheism and naturalism. That evil itself actually better confirms the theistic hypothesis on a deeper analysis than it does the atheistic one. It’s only on a superficial analysis, is what my argument is that you think evil counts against God.

But when you analyze evil and you analyze all the things that evil is contingent upon, and what worldview better makes sense of all the data, the total understanding, it actually flips it. And I argue that evil is better. Explained by, and therefore confirmatory of the theistic hypothe. So that’s my general sketch of a much more extended argument of how to begin to work through even the more advanced problems of evil as far as 

Mike: morality goes.

Again, this may be a completely soic idea, but I’m just gonna say it. Could you not argue or do people argue that this is merely a matter of survival of group survival, and we learned that certain things they just don’t really work out that well. And we do these things and, where there is no connection to a divine order.

It’s just do these things and your tribe withers away and dies, and you’re all on. Yes. 

Pat: Yeah. There’s two ways you can take this. This is just the evolutionary objection, and the first thing you say is so what presumably we evolve to discover and discern real aspects of reality.

Like I evolved to be able to detect Mike Matthews, that Mike Matthews is really there. So what’s wrong with saying that I evolved to discern a moral aspect of reality and that it also just happens to have great. Function, useful function, right? There’s nothing incompatible with that claim. And in fact, I think that’s true

I think that’s how God did it, right? You need divine right to no, you need to divine to secure everything else, is what I’m saying. So what you’re asking there is a question of moral epistemology. How do we come to know of this moral realm? I think it’s a combination of things, right? I think it’s a combination of evolution, but I also think it’s, of course, at the end of the day, God’s grand design, right?

So there’s just different levels of explanation, the way I think about it. However, it could be hardwiring in it, right? Or you could take. The evolution plus naturalism, which then says that we didn’t evolve to discover a moral structure. We evolved to invent a moral structure. And that’s what you’re hinting at.

And that last one I think is just completely false. I just think it’s absolutely false. And there’s no reason to prefer that explanation over the other one unless you have independent reasons to think that atheism is true instead of theism. You see what I’m saying? But the other one has other issues too, cuz if biology tricked us into thinking that there’s a moral standard when there isn’t, then maybe biology also tricked us into, tricking us into thinking that there’s a moral standard when there isn’t.

So it starts to invent invite a more radical skepticism. And if this cognitive faculty at this power could be wrong, that I’m completely diluted morally, why should I think that any of my other. Kind of cognitive powers are reliable. My sense perceptions, my reasoning powers any of this stuff, right?

So there’s a another argument that I’ve written on before, which is like this, I call it the kind of the package deal of cognitive powers. That if somebody wants to take a sort of evolutionary stab at morality, they wanna try and undermine an objective morality with calls to evolution.

There’s two things they’re gonna have to do that I think are gonna be problematic. One is they’re gonna have to independently establish atheism, which evolution is neutral on, right? Both of those world views can accommodate evolution easily, right? I actually think theism accommodates a lot better cuz evolution is contingent on things, right?

It’s contingent on a finely tuned universe. It’s contingent on anything existing rather than nothing. So we can put that aside, but they’ll also have to try and then establish how. By breaking the reliability of one of our cognitive powers, our moral power, how this doesn’t cast out on the reliability of our other cognitive powers that presumably evolve as well.

And I don’t think there’s any principled reason to do that. And that’s going to include reason. And as soon as you cast out on the reliability of reason, you’re going to lose any basis you have for making arguments at all, right? So then you can kinda have this self defeat problem where you start to solve the branch off that you’re sitting on.

So it’s a subtle distinction what you brought up. And the first thing I wanna say is that the question is, did we evolve to discover? Did we evolve to invent? And I’m gonna say the former. There’s no reason to prefer the latter over the former, independent of other worldview considerations or arguments.

And I think the latter actually invites a host of just irredeemable difficulties and it should be rejected. Yep. Yep. Interesting. 

Mike: Yeah, and to the point of discovery, I this would be another discussion, but you go from people listening to me wondering, Okay, so how do you go from there though to this is the one explanation of why we discover these things, where there could be many other possible explanations that are not naturalistic in nature.

You know what I mean? But I know that this is something you’ve gone through in detail as 

Pat: well. Yeah. Clarify what you mean because I’m not sure I, Okay. 

Mike: That you have the Christian or could just be the symmetric of this idea that you have a soul and right here’s what happens when you die.

It goes over here, it goes over here and these are the rules and this is the game. But of course there are many other ideas that are. What would be the word? I guess that there are various terms, but that would acknowledge a spiritual realm of some kind. Something beyond, It’s called 

Pat: supernaturalism.

Yeah, sure. 

Mike: Yeah. But it’s a different game. It’s a different system. And that could also accommodate this idea of discovering. The morality for 

Pat: example, and yeah. So this is good, right? Cuz you have different hypotheses and they both to explain, seem to explain at least one data point equally well.

But could they explain all the data points equally well, so that’s where, So take the moral experience we have and say you wanna take something that isn’t Christian? Say it’s some form of Hinduism that believes in reincarnation in karma, right? Because presumably karma is something that might explain the problem of evil.

Why do people suffer? It’s because they misbehaved in a past life, right? And so they’ve come back and now they are getting their just desserts, right? So it’s this appeal that sense is 

Mike: almost like evil serves a useful 

Pat: function on yeah, but here’s one issue with that, right? Is it seems to rebel against other more intuitions.

Like it seems like if a child is suffering, I don’t wanna walk away from that child and be like you’re just getting what you deserve. Seems like that’s morally. Completely unacceptable. But if the Karma proposal were true, then that’s exactly what I should do. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Like it, it’s almost oh, this is the experience, this being needs 

Pat: to get to the next higher level of being.

So I think 

Mike: that, So why should I, In fact, it would be evil to 

Pat: interrupt this, right? So it doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, it makes it worse. So I think there’s internal inconsistencies with the Carmic worldview, just from a moral perspective alone. And I think that there’s other metaphysical considerations of why you have to pick which one you wanna evaluate, right?

Sure. Because Hinduism itself is a plurality of many different beliefs. It’s not just like one thing, right? Like some Hindus or Monotheists. And they actually would. Many of the same like metaphysical commitments I do. Others are legitimately polytheists and stuff like that. But the karma one’s just an example where it, even though it seems to at first explain a moral data point, I think at the end of the day it actually doesn’t successfully explain our moral experience and invites deeper moral issues that we actually don’t wanna accept.

Right? , 

Mike: last question for you and then we’ll wrap this one up. But we already 

Pat: know I’m looking forward. This has been one heck of a conversation and we’ve been all 

Mike: over the place. Yeah, it’s fun though. It’s fun. I like, it’s good. Yeah. I like to, I think this has happened at least half of the times we’ve done this right?

Where we think we’ll start, we’ll go on in one thing and then we find ourselves talking about other things. But, so as far as evil goes, this is something I’ve thought about that there are things that. Most people would immediately agree, yes, that’s evil. And we can all think of those obvious examples.

But I think that there’s a bit of a subjective element to evil in that there are things that it depends on evil according to whose viewpoint. So if you are trying to build your business and I’m doing things to impede your ability to build your business, you would say that maybe you’d say that’s evil.

Maybe I’m using that term not in a technically correct manner, but my point is just that evil according to who, right? . And then that for me leads to okay, so if we’re looking at our existence in terms of games, right? There’s a book, what is it? The Infinite game that Simon, I think Simons anyway, so you.

Components of a game. And these are the things that make life interesting, like random things that happen, for example. , like if in life we just decided we wanted something and let’s just say we got it immediately, that might sound cool at first, but how boring would that actually be? After about a week of it, we would be like, Okay, this is completely not fun at all.

I’m not having any fun. I need an opponent. I need, we 

Pat: Need a hero’s journey. There also 

Mike: needs to be an element of chance here, right? There need to be things that are unforeseen that give me some experience, yeah. Uhhuh. And so I’ve never been able to really reconcile myself to a world, or even in existence without quote unquote evil.

I know there’s something that just doesn’t process for me. Again, because of this point of, if we were to have no evil, and again, this becomes very subjective, how do we also. Have experience and have games to play. Sure. When something quote unquote bad happens to me, or when something happens that gets in my way, Let’s say in some way, right?

A framework that I use is, Okay, is this just part of the game? Because random things happen and is this just an obstacle for me to resolve, even if it’s an unlucky thing? Sure. Or is this something that, Is this something that where I feel like, all right, This is a bit too unlucky. Like for example, if I’m, I have all the things that I do and if in my business I’m trying to grow the business and we launch a product and it doesn’t go that well, right?

Okay. I would’ve liked for it to have gone well, but I would view that as part of the game, right? Regardless of why it didn’t do well. It is an obstacle to overcome. But if I go get in a car accident, driving to the gym, how does that serve my, like what gain? You know what I mean? That’s where I look at it as something that I don’t have even a correct term.

I don’t know what the term is, but my, just how I work. Within the latter case, and this is to be a different discussion, I at least I live with the assumption that if I live my life in a virtuous way, and particularly if I try to make decisions that are good, not just for my own interests, but I try to take other people’s interests and I try to have the greatest possible good effects.

And not everything is, you can’t all have all construction and good and no destruction and bad. But if I try to take into account my family, I try to take into account maybe even the society. If it’s depending on the decision and I really try to live that way, then I won’t receive as many.

Harmful, just random occurrences. And again, I don’t want to go off on a Totally, This might be an interesting, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. Yeah. Then if I were to live very differently and I think there’s, I’ve seen this with many people who live immoral, noble lives and who harm many people, and they certainly seem to have a lot more bad things happen to them, than people who don’t. Yeah. Uhhuh. And so with all of that, with all of that, when I’m faced with something that maybe somebody would say, Oh, it’s evil for that person to try to do what they’re doing to, and I could give some examples just in my life, but where their intention is to just harm me.

I don’t necessarily even get upset about it to where there are things where I can look at it as it’s just part of the game. And if I didn’t. Any of that, the game might not even be that fun. 

Pat: It sounds like you have a great trust in God’s providence, like Yeah. So a number of things to say.

Yeah. I, again, 

Mike: I’m just 

Pat: bouncing around. No, this is good because you’re getting at some very perennial themes and issues, and I’ll try and take a step by step. So you’re getting at hinting or dance around what’s sometimes called a the Odyssey. And a The Odyssey is more than a defense in relation to the problem of evil.

So when it comes to the problem of evil, how people wrestle with this idea of evil and suffering, especially in relationship to an all good God, a defense is what I gave previously, and a defense is just trying to block or undercut the argument of evil against God. And that’s it. That’s what a defense is.

A the Odyssey tries to go. and it tries to actually give a story or an explanation of why might God allow this evil and stuff like that. So you see the difference, right? Defense is just showing this argument doesn’t work, and here’s why. The Odyssey actually tries to give more of a narrative or a story or something like that and the Bible’s full of them.

Look at job, right? The job is people interpret it in many different ways, but there’s a reason that it’s been so perennially interest. Now real quick about evil, right? Because again, in the tradition, I know I keep throwing that out there very ambiguously. Certainly this is a big theme of Augustine.

It goes on up through Aquinas, is that evil isn’t like something that you can like actively grab onto. It’s not something that we would say has positive ontological status. Evil is a do good gone missing. So evil’s like a hole in a sock, if you will, or it’s blindness. It’s something that should have been there but is absent, right?

And when you think about this evil, there’s at least an asymmetry between good and evil cuz you can’t make sense of evil unless you already have something good that evil is attacking or decaying or pulling away from. So whatever else is more fundamental about reality, it’s gotta be goodness, right?

They’re not on the same metaphysical par. And this is one of the issues of certain eastern religions where they just think that there’s this dualism between a good God and an evil God and doesn’t really make sense that it physically, like whatever else is most fundamentally bed rocked reality. The fundamental layer, if you will, is gonna be good.

Cause evil is always a parasitic notion, if you will. Now there’s obvious counterexamples, right? 

Mike: To flip that if evil were the , you 

Pat: can’t even make sense of it. It be different. It’d be a very different ence. You can’t even make sense of it, right? If, and I would just ask people to meditate on that.

There’s a profound insight there. But people will be like, look, when somebody stabs somebody, like it seems like there’s a lot of positive elements there. And I’ll be like, Yeah, granted, like everything positive there, the muscle contractions, the knife, like that’s all. That’s all being and that’s all good.

Like a knife by itself isn’t bad. Muscle contractions by themselves aren’t bad. But on the final analysis, something’s missing. And what’s missing is a moral consideration that somebody made a judgment. But in that judgment, They failed to apprehend and apply the moral fact that you shouldn’t stab an innocent person in the neck.

So it’s the thing that’s missing that should have been there that really makes that action evil. It’s a disordering, it’s something that fell away. There’s a, when they had an urge and they just, 

Mike: they went with it. There’s a duke, Many other people have such urges and they don’t just go 

Pat: with it.

Yeah. And like evil, it’s, I use evil in a very broad sense, Like in, in a sense of a lion eating gazelle. That’s evil for the gazelle. Cuz the gazelle is being actively, 

Mike: that’s a good example of what I was trying to say. Where it depends according to 

Pat: who. But it’s good for the lion.

It’s good for the lion, right? Yeah. Now, how do you make sense of that? You make sense of it. My kind of moral framework, and I think that this is to build out some of the details. Like I don’t just punt to God from morality by any means. I’m gonna, I’m what’s called an essentialist, right? I think what is good for something depends on the kind of thing that it is, right?

Like it’s good for a lion to eat a gazelle because that’s just what it means to be a lion. You’re a meat or you’re a carnivore. And in a sense that we’re rational agents, so morality only applies to us. It isn’t like the lion. Isn’t a moral agent, cuz it’s not a rational agent like you need rationality online because it’s only rational creatures that can deliberate and go through reasoning and then either decide rightly or wrongly to pursue a good or bad course of action.

So moral agency is concomitant with rationality. If you don’t have rationality, you don’t have moral agents. That’s one thing I think it’s important to realize, but we’re rational beings, right? So what’s good for us will depend on our nature. Now I think God is the one who ultimately grants and gives nature.

So God is undergirding all of this, but we can reflect on what the good life is as Aristotle did, just by reflecting on what human nature is. And the kind of traditional definition is we’re. We’re rational animals, right? So we are animals, but we’re animals with a distinct power of rationality, right?

That goes above the sort of sensory appetites that the other animals have, right? And it would be argued that this is a power that’s different, not just in degree, but different in kind, right? Even the smartest primates, they can’t engage in mathematical reasoning. They don’t know synt tactically to difference between man bites, dog and dog bites, man.

There’s a whole new power about us that is different in degree and not just any of the other animals, right? It’s truly distinctive. The higher order ability to form concepts, to reason via the cannons of logic. Motus, polands, motus, toin, all these things like to do wick rotations or whatever.

Nobody else is doing that there. We know, like maybe aliens are doing it, but it seems pretty distinctive of us. Okay, we’re rational being, so then, you know what’s good for us will be what? What perfects our nature. Certainly because we’re rational, we’re naturally oriented towards truth.

Shunning ignorance and discovery, the truth about things is really good for us, right? So the good in traditional ethics is a very functional concept, right? It’s what perfects you as the kind of thing that you are. You actualize a certain potential that you are at a ready disposition to achieve, right?

And if you fulfill that potential, you become more intelligent. You learn the truth about things. People naturally and so would say, that’s good, right? And it’s bad to stay ignorant because then you’re intentionally malfunctioning. You’re failing to flourish as the type of thing you are Now, even before Christianity, or apart from Christianity, pagan thinkers, they link this to God and religion in a sense that well.

If we think that God is like the source and summit, right? He’s the kind of foundation of all reality. He’s the reason why anything exists rather than not. Then it seems like at the very least, like our ultimate perfection would be to know God, right? So heaven was for the philosophers in a sense, right?

Certainly that’s the Plato has this, his form in realm of the forms and stuff like that. But that’s a more philosophical link between morality, perfection and God. Like we’re oriented towards truth. And if you have reasons to think that the kind of foundation of all of that is the divine, then that’s like what we’re hunting out at the end of the day.

That’s where we’re ultimately meant to get to. And we have modern philosophers like Bernard Lein who says whatever else God is. God is the complete set of answers, is the complete set of questions. It can be coherently asked about reality. Whether we’ll ever be able to fully wrap our mind around that of course is of great contention, but that’s certainly the highest like achievement that we could try to ever get to, right?

But we’re not just. Rationality and isolation. We’re also animals, right? So there’s other animal aspects about us that are good for us. Like it’s good for us to eat nutrition, right? It’s good for us to take care of our bodies, right? It’s good for us to be healthy. It’s good for us to engage actually in exercise and keep our bodies healthy because whatever else our flourishing depends on, it’s going to be frustrated if we’re severely unhealthy, right?

So we could even say that there’s at least a general moral obligation to probably exercise and eat right and take care of yourself because that relates strongly to our embodied animal nature, right? 

Mike: And if you don’t, you also end up imposing costs on others, inevitably, 

Pat: and on society. And as not just a rational animal, but a rational social animal.

That’s another aspect of our nature. , it is good for me to get along with others, right? So this is where you can actually see like what is really good for us actually does tend to also be useful. It also tends to be pragmatically useful. Yeah, it is good for me to treat others with respect and not kill them, but that also is useful because then they probably won’t try and kill me, right?

So like it perfects me. It’s really good for me, but it’s also conducive to flourishing of society as all. So it’s a big both and it’s not an either or here. Now I forget what originally said. Oh, it was about the Theo. 

Mike: Yeah, just on evil and I was bumbling around trying to find some words 

Pat: for so suffering and evil.

Why does it happen? I mean there’s various kind of called Soul building Theos out there. I’m not a specialist in them, but the idea is that it seems like maybe there’s certain goods that would only be possible. If God created a world where people could fail, they could mess up, what would that be?

Goods like empathy, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, Maybe even the incarnation and atonement. If you’re a Christian and it’s not wrong of God to make, he wouldn’t will it directly, but he might set up an arena where that sort of stuff is possible, where we can have a hero’s journey, if you will, and really form and mold our moral character with trials and stuff like that.

So that’s a whole class of the Odyssey. People can take it or leave it if they want, but it seems to be what you were dancing around or hinting at. There’s other aspects of it too, as well as that suffering can be medicinal. This would be a theodicy of a great lady philosopher named Eleanor Stump.

She’s got a beautiful book called Wandering and Darkness, and she wants to argue that God will only allow suffering and evil to us. To the extent that it delivers some outweighing benefit primarily to the sufferer, whatever that would be, or at least the possibility of an outweighing benefit primarily to the sufferer.

Now you have to link that to a certain conception of what a benefit is to a human being. And of course she’s thinking of it from a Christian perspective, which ultimately would be justification and salvation and other things like that. So God may allow suffering and evil to bring you to a point of justification to bring you to a point of maybe even seeking God or something like that.

But even more than that, Mike, to your point, it goes further because the way kind of stump thinks about it and Christian theology is once you have faith, it’s almost like enlisting in the army. Like now you’re like, All right, let’s go. And now it’s about moral perfection. And that might actually invite even more suffering and evil in the sense that it really shapes you and really forms you.

And this is interesting in the Catholic tradition, cuz if you read the Lives with the Saints, they’re often lives of tremendous. Tremendous suffering, like agonizing type of stuff, but they take like almost a sickly error right now. Why would that be? Because there’s some type of outweighing benefit that they have in these afflictions that increases them in terms of like whole person flourishing, like how to flourish as a whole person, not just any part of a person.

So I don’t know if that’s consistent with what you said, but it wouldn’t be surprising that even if you’re pursuing the good life as you think about it, again from certain traditions, it’s certainly from Christianity. That, or just because you’re pursuing the good life doesn’t mean that you might not encounter serious suffering.

And serious hardship still. And there might actually even be reasons that you would still encounter it, but you can trust that if you deal with that and you continue to pursue the morally good life and pursue virtues that some outweighing and some greater goods will be brought out because of that in this game that might cause it.

To your kind of question that threw a bunch of things out there, I just wanted to throw a bunch of things back. So there you go. It’s, yeah. Yeah, 

Mike: that’s an interesting response for sure. And ultimately maybe one just consoling factor is we will. Experienced something that will help answer some of these questions hopefully later rather than sooner, where, you know, when we die, maybe it’s just gonna, That’s it.

That’s the end of Pat. That’s the end of Mike. It all just goes black and Right. Okay. 

Pat: There’s no cosmic justice. Yeah, whatever. Fine. 

Mike: I guess we don’t have to worry about it. We’re not gonna be around to worry about that. Or if something else happens, then something else is gonna happen. But I always enjoy the discussions.

And to that point of just that you were making regarding the evil, maybe there’s a purpose for it of things happening personally. Again, it’s one of those things that, whether it’s ultimately true or not to me, doesn’t matter so much. Again, this is, and this is just my pragmatic bent that it’s useful to live as if that were true, or at least as if that some part of that is true.

At least that you can take something that is traumatic or take something that is evil that is done to you and. Use it to further perfect yourself or use it maybe as an impetus to double down your own your efforts and flourish more because of it. And of course that, that’s an idea 

Pat: that, what’s spans the, spans, the millennia and spans?

What’s the other, what’s the other option? 

Mike: There is another option. You could just become a victim, for 

Pat: example. Yeah. Just be plain and hateful and vindictive and do you really wanna live that way? And I was doing a podcast, Maybe I should have give, I know I’ve been on your show a number of times, so I don’t wanna repeat the whole backstory, like I was an atheist for many years, I’m somebody who, by engaging in this sort of the whole, mostly the philosophy of religion world and evaluating the aist, came out on the other side, if you will. So I have a deep appreciation of a lot of the stuff of this topic from both perspectives because I’ve lived it on both sides.

And to you, Mike, regarding thees. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time there. I’ve spent a lot of time on defenses. In fact, I’ve. Like I said, I have a serious article under review right now offering one of those. What was the point? Oh yeah, the point was this, I was doing a podcast the other day and somebody came in on the live stream and said, Hey, I’m like, I’m an atheist or an agnostic, but like I’m convinced that like the Christian ethic generally is true, so like I’m just gonna live my life that way and.

Me and Jim were like, Dude, like I don’t know what more somebody could really ask to review at that point. And this is where the classic like Pascal’s wager turns in. Yep. Where it’s okay, maybe you’re like 50 50, Like maybe you’ve looked at all the arguments, right? And you’ve narrowed it down and you’re like, okay, it’s either Christianity or atheism.

Say you’ve got yourself there intellectually, but you just can’t break the Staal mate. Then what Pascal would say if you read ’em is that if you’re just completely at a Staal mate, then you weigh the pros and cons of living one way rather than the other. And of course he’s gonna argue that it’s completely asymmetric, right?

Yeah. That you should just, you should live this way, but you shouldn’t fake it, right? You don’t fake belief. What you do is you just live a life of sincere seeking. So you could, live the Christian ethic. You could go to philosophy or scripture studies and try and vet it as best as you can.

You could pray conditionally, right? You could say God, if there is a God, save by soul, if I have a soul, right? So you don’t lie to yourself, but if you’re just stuck and it seems like there’s only everything to gain from living one way and almost nothing to lose compared to the other, it then becomes rational to become a sincere seeker and to conform yourself in that direction.

That’s pascal’s wager, properly understood. It’s in, it’s after you’ve done the arguments and you’re still at a stale mate, then you do the weighing of pros and cons. And this isn’t just like in terms of the moral life, which I think is hugely important, and a potential afterlife, which is good too, but, there’s tons of sociological research on this too, that people who live a religious, spiritual life tend to be happier, less depressed, less anxious, less health problems.

So even just in the here and now life, you’re gonna probably be a lot better off from various, 

Mike: Yeah, you could make an evidence based argument that you should probably find something. I don’t think that 

Pat: research is, It wasn’t Christian specific, it was just generally religious and spiritual. Yeah. It’s an evidence 

Mike: based tip to find something beyond atheism or just materialism. I think we should probably just wrap up here before we go on 

Pat: for another hour. We didn’t even touch 

Mike: the main talk. We’ll do it on the next one. We will. 

Pat: We went all over the place. This has been a blast, man. These are always fun.

I hope people enjoy it. And again, apologies if I got anything wrong or caricatured anybody. I’m always happy to be corrected on any particular positions. We covered a lot of stuff, so I always fear that these conversations are always the most fun cuz they’re off the cuff. Like we don’t prepare anything.

But the nature these conversations is it’s off the cuff so you can be a little sloppy at times, 

Mike: I feel like the next one I’m gonna spend a little bit of time at least preparing well, I actually did. I did think about. I thought we were gonna be talking about liberalism and then we went, but hey, it was fun.

On the 

Pat: next one, this would be good groundwork because we talked about different moral theories and what the good is and, liberalism is a sort of political philosophy that is, that claims to be as we’ll Talk about next time. We won’t get into it now, generally impartial. To competing ethical theories.

It tends to have a sort of neutrality about it. And one of the biggest critiques I have of liberalism is it’s just a pseudo neutrality. It’s not neutral at all. It’s completely superficial. It ends up being bogus at the end of the day. So doing I guess the moral stage setting of these deeper discussions of morality and what human flourishing is and if there is an objective good for us, like all that will bear in to political philosophy.

And it’s interesting cuz it was, I actually started in political philosophy. I was super interested in political philosophy in high school, and I realized like you try and form a coherent system of political thought, but it always bumps up against ethical questions, right? Always. And then you gotta be like I need to do moral philosophy to make sense of political philosophy.

But then moral philosophy pushes you up against questions of philosophical anthropology and metaphysics. And it’s I need to know what and who I am and what reality is as a whole. So then you just get sucked down those rabbit holes. And that’s where I’ve spent most of my time is in mostly metaphysics and ethics.

And then, I like now I just like peek into political philosophy. So it’s not by no means a specialist in it, but we’ll have enough that we can, we could probably have a good jam session. I look forward to 

Mike: it. And let’s just quickly let people know where they can find you, your podcast, your work along philosophical lines, if they want to read like your book, for example, How to Think About God or if they would also like to know about fitness stuff and

Pat: Yeah, for sure. So my podcast is the Pat Flynn show. It’s on iTunes and fairly recently on YouTube. So we started putting like the video episodes up and stuff like that. So you’ll see, yeah, a lot of fitness stuff there, but also some more philosophy, some of it pretty accessible. Other times we go fairly deep.

Like recently I actually read like one of my papers. So if you need help curing your insomnia, you can tune into that. And then chronicles is my website. So you can get on my email list. Check out the ketta about workouts there and all. It’s very generalist and probably very confusing to somebody who’s never been there before, but that’s the place to go.


Mike: Thanks again, Pat. Look forward to the next one. Thank you, brother. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in.

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That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at multiple And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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