On Truth: the Tyranny of Reason – Stefan Molyneux
From a short-term, merely practical standpoint, you really do not
want to read this book. This book will mess up your life, as you
know it. This book will change every single one of your
relationships – most importantly, your relationship with yourself. This
book will change your life even if you never implement a single one of
the proposals it contains. This book will change you even if you disagree
with every single idea it puts forward. Even if you put it down right now,
this book will have changed your life, because now you know that you
are afraid of change.
This book is radioactive and painful – it is only incidentally the kind of
radiation and pain that will cure you.
Note: this is the free version from Molyneux’s website. I highly recommend purchasing his books to support his work.
Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics
In many fairy tales, there lives a terrible beast of stupendous power, a dragon or a basilisk, which tyrannizes the surrounding lands. The local villagers tremble before this monster; they sacrifice their animals, pay money and blood in the hopes of appeasing its murderous impulses.
Most people cower under the shadow of this beast, calling their fear “prudence,” but a few – drunk perhaps on courage or foolhardiness – decide to fight. Year after year, decade after decade, wave after wave of hopeful champions try to match their strength, virtue and cunning against this terrible tyrant.
Try – and fail.
The beast is always immortal, so the villagers cannot hope for time to rid them of their despot. The beast is never rational, and has no desire to trade, and so no negotiations are possible. The desperate villagers’ only hope is for a man to appear who can defeat the beast.
Inevitably, a man steps forward who strikes everyone as utterly incongruous. He is a stable boy, a shoemaker’s son, a baker’s apprentice – or sometimes, just a vagabond.
This book is the story of my personal assault on just such a beast.
This “beast” is the belief that it is impossible to define an objective, rational, secular and scientific ethical system. This “beast” is the illusion that morality must forever be lost in the irrational swamps of gods and governments, enforced for merely pragmatic reasons, but forever lacking logical justification and clear definition. This “beast” is the fantasy that virtue, our greatest joy, our deepest happiness, must be cast aside by secular grown-ups, and left in the dust to be pawed at, paraded and exploited by politicians and priests – and parents. This “beast” is the superstition that, without the tirades of parents, the bullying of gods or the guns of governments, we cannot be both rational and good.
Real-Time Relationships: The Logic of Love
Our relationship with virtue brings us happiness – our relationships with others bring us joy!
Philosophy brings us closer to the truth – and to virtue – but its greatest gift is bringing us closer to each other.
“Real Time Relationships” helps you bring the virtue of real honesty into your relationships with your friends, family, colleagues and lovers. Filled with practical examples of how to achieve true intimacy, this book will open your heart to the beauty of love without endless conflicts, resentments and misunderstandings.
Don’t spend another day mired in the misery of inconsistent, fractious or disappointing relationships – use the power of “Real Time Relationships” to bring the peace and joy of relaxed intimacy to all aspects of your life!
Take the red pill… Read this book.
It’s hard to know whether a word can ever be rehabilitated – or whether the attempt should even be made…
Some words can never be rehabilitated – and neither should they be. Nazi, evil, incest, abuse, rape, murder – these are all words which describe the blackest impulses of the human soul, and can never be turned to a good end. Edmund may say in King Lear, “Evil, be thou my good!” but we know that he is not speaking paradoxically; he is merely saying “that which others call evil – my self-interest – is good for me.”
The word “anarchy” may be almost beyond redemption – any attempt to find goodness in it could well be utterly futile – or worse; the philosophical equivalent of the cliched scene in hospital dramas where the surgeon blindly refuses to give up on a clearly dead patient.
Perhaps I’m engaged in just such a fool’s quest in this little book. Perhaps the word “anarchy” has been so abused throughout its long history, so thrown into the pit of incontestable human iniquity that it can never be untangled from the evils that supposedly surround it.
What images spring to mind when you hear the word “anarchy”? Surely it evokes mad riots of violence and lawlessness – a post-apocalyptic Darwinian free-for-all where the strong and evil dominate the meek and reasonable. Or perhaps you view it as a mad political agenda, a thin ideological cover for murderous desires and cravings for assassinations, where wild-eyed, mustachioed men with thick hair and thicker accents roll cartoon bombs under the ornate carriages of slowly-waving monarchs. Or perhaps you view “anarchy” as more of a philosophical specter; the haunted and angry mutterings of over-caffeinated and seemingly-eternal grad students; a nihilistic surrender to all that is seductive and evil in human nature, a hurling off the cliff of self-restraint, and a savage plunge into the mad magic of the moment, without rules, without plans, without a future…
All this may be true, of course – I may be thumping the chest of a broken patient long since destined for the morgue, but certain. insights, you could say, or perhaps correlations, continue to trouble me immensely, and I cannot shake the fear that it is not anarchy that lies on the table, clinging to life – but rather, the truth…
Any author who gives his work away faces the unique challenge of convincing people who have not invested their money in buying it that it is worth investing their time to read it.
Samuel Johnson once wrote: “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money,” which makes my task even harder, since either Mr. Johnson was a blockhead, or I am.
I do think that there are some circumstances under which releasing a work for free does not necessarily imply that it is worth exactly what readers pay for it. Those proposing radical new approaches to age-old problems – the addition of new thought to the human canon – will not find it particularly easy to get people to pay good money for such mad claims. If I am writing a book on Christianity, then I can sell it to Christians; if I am writing a book on libertarianism, then I can sell it to libertarians; if I am writing a book on politics, I can sell it to the deluded…
If I am writing a book for the future, for a truly free society that is yet to be, who do I sell it to? I cannot even tell in particular detail what this new society might look like, or be able to achieve – save that I am sure that they have not yet found a way to send gold backward through time, and deposit it on my doorstep.
Although improbable, it is not completely impossible that you might find something radical, thrilling and new in this book – despite its cover price. The best way to spread new ideas is to make them as available and accessible as possible, which is why I give everything away, and rely – not without reason – on the generosity of my readers and listeners.
Despite our universal abhorrence, evils continue to plague the world, without respite. We fear and hate war, yet war continues. Our souls revolt against unjust imprisonment and torture, yet such injustices continue. We feel powerless in the face of endless tax increases – and with good reason. We feel agonizing compassion for those who are caught up in the endless bloody nets of tribal conflicts, condemned to mute horror and blank-eyed starvation. The plight of the enslaved weighs down our hearts with the rusty chains of useless sympathy. We would do almost anything to free the world from such monstrous evils – yet we feel so helpless! We all want a free and wonderful world, and yet feel utterly paralyzed before these monsters who commit such universal crimes…
How (Not) to Achieve Freedom
For the past several hundred years – really since the late 18th century – intellectuals, priests, philosophers, academics and activists of every stripe and hue have been striving with all their considerable intellectual and moral might to place theoretical and practical limits upon the power of the state.
The original American experiment was at least intellectually founded upon the ideal of creating a government by and for the people, with the express knowledge that the state was a dangerous servant and a terrible master.
It is hard to think of other examples in history where so many checks and balances were placed upon centralized political power – and it is also impossible to think of a more dangerous and powerful government than the modern American leviathan.
The abysmal failure of such a noble experiment should give all moralists pause.
If the smallest possible government has grown into the largest conceivable government – within a few hundred years – it is hard to imagine what kind of theoretical system could conceivably control state growth in the future…