Your Love is Empty & Meaningless Without Hate

Many years ago, The Beatles taught us that all you need is love, all you need is love, all you need is love, love is all you need (as if chanting something over and over will make it true… *white male patriarchy, anyone*).

But I would like to have a rational discussion about love, and how in fact it is NOT all you need. I would like to argue that you cannot have love without an equal amount of hate, and that your love is empty and meaningless without hate.

As always, it’s good to discuss definitions first.

Most people I encounter consider LOVE to be some kind of inexplicable spiritual force, perhaps a gift from God, or a “cosmic energy”, or some other such thing that cannot be quantified or qualified, so must be left to the realm of the intangible, the spiritual, the superhuman.

Some say love is a noun – a thing you have or give – others (like John Mayer) say “love ain’t a thing, love is a verb”, and I think John is on the right track here.

We certainly can’t hold love in our hand, or measure it in the body – unless you’re of the school that believe love is purely chemical, that the mind is an illusion, and that objective reality doesn’t exist. If this description fits you, please kindly close this website right now and return to the cave in which you belong.

Love is physically, empirically intangible.

So how does it manifest? Well, it manifests in our behaviour. What we say we “love” is what we are attracted to, and what we wish to create or draw more of into our lives. For instance, I often say I love activated roasted almonds made by my good friend Sven Löwe down at ActivEarth Food. What do I love about these? Well, they are crunchy, salty, have a hint of olive oil – they’re delicious – they feel great in my guts, and they make me believe that I am making a healthier choice by snacking on these instead of chocolate or cheeseburgers. So therein lies my VALUE. Two, in fact.

I value pleasure. That pleasure is experienced when I taste delicious things, like Sven’s almonds.

I value my health.

And this can be boiled down even further to a fundamental value – I value my life! It may seem like this has little to do with eating roasted almonds, but on the contrary, it has everything to do with it. My senses of smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing all provide me data about my experience of consuming these delicious little brown parcels of pleasure: The look of them, their shape, their colour; the way they feel in my fingers, the way they collapse under the closing of my jaws; the taste, smell and texture of them as I chew and swallow. My senses provide me with data about what is pleasurable and what is repulsive. If my mind and body are well calibrated, it stands to reason that I should receive pleasure from the things that I know will offer me health, sustenance and longevity. If my mind and body are not well calibrated, then I will take pleasure in things that do me harm – like chocolate and cheeseburgers. And as a hedonist I seek to indulge in the things that give me pleasure.

But I value my health, because I value my life. I want to live as long as possible, and by fully taking ownership (thanks to philosophy) of my right to live and my right to take pleasure in living, my supreme value is now that of my life itself. So things that support, enrich, and lengthen my life give me pleasure.

And so I love Sven’s almonds. And because I love them so, I want more of them. They are virtuous little drops of pleasure and of health. I love them because they are virtuous, because they are good. The love itself is not a thing. The love is the behaviour I enact towards the almonds, because of what I perceive as their virtue.

Which brings me to the definition of love that I accept as rationally true. This one came from my favourite modern day philosopher, Stefan Molyneux from Freedomain Radio.

“Love is our involuntary response to virtue.”

– Stefan Molyneux

Love is a response. It’s a behaviour that emerges from us as an involuntary response to the things that we perceive as virtuous.

We love kindness, because we believe kindness is good. When we meet a kind person, we want to be around them more, we want to meet more people like them, because we know that kindness is good.

“But love should be unconditional!” – said many, many people in my life, and probably in yours. These words are dangerous – they are manipulative and untrue. In fact, the only people who will make this claim are afraid that they have nothing to offer other than a demand. They desire the unearned, which as my nut-activating friend has established, is The Root Of All Evil.

Love is, most emphatically, NOT unconditional. Any involuntary responsive behaviour is highly conditional. It is a response, which means that the correct conditions have to be in place for the response to occur. Therefore without virtue, there can be no love.

Many people call many things love, many relationships are described as “loving”, but this is not true in so many instances. If you want to know if you really love someone, look within and be honest with yourself – what is the feeling when you see that person’s name appear on your phone screen as they call you. Is it joy? Excitement? Attraction? Or is it repulsion, fear, anxiety, or lethargy? Our emotions are the body’s way of telling us what we need to know about the people, objects and situations around us. They help us find the correct things to love, based on their virtue – and virtue (as I established earlier in my discussion on nuts) is nothing more than qualities that further our values.

If we value trust, we will love people who are trustworthy.

If we value honesty, we will love people who are honest – even when it hurts.

If we value our very life, we will love people who enrich our life-force, not diminish it.

So what of hate?

I would argue that hate is the equal opposite of love. For everything we love, we must logically hate its opposite. For example:

  • I love virtue, so I hate vice.
  • I love honesty, so I hate lies.
  • I love freedom, so I hate tyranny.
  • I love my wife, so I hate the idea of her non-existence.
  • I love integrity, so I hate flakiness (except in a good activated muesli!)
  • I love winning, so I hate losing.

The last one there is worth unpacking a little, so as to illustrate the ever-so-important function of hate. I hate losing, but that doesn’t mean that when I lose at something I collapse in a puddle and ask others to throw money, time, labour, or unearned compliments at me to prop me up again. I hate losing, so when I lose it hurts, and I want to return to the feeling of winning again – the pleasure of winning. It’s important to lose though, and to fail. In losing and failing we are able to identify and viscerally connect with the feelings that we want to avoid, and in doing so we take ACTIONS to prevent future failure. We get BETTER at what we do. This is evolution, this is self-knowledge, this is the very essence of LIFE.

But isn’t love all you need? Wouldn’t life be better without the hate?

So many people I know revert to “#LoveIsAll” or “just spread love” as the catch-all answers to any discomfort they feel in the wake of a terrorist attack, a personal relationship conflict, or a loss at some competitive venture. It’s a convenient irrational null zone in which to fall, where by depending on the “spiritual power” of love and rejecting everything else, you can effectively strip all virtue, vice, success, and failure of any distinct consistent meaning. In a world where nothing is concrete and “truth is relative”, people can check out as it were, and feel good again that they do not have to hold consistent standards.

And that’s what love and hate are all about – STANDARDS. When we are self-aware enough to understand the true nature of love, to experience it fully, and to lean into it with pleasure and pride, we are setting standards for ourselves. In order to maintain these standards, we need to also be aware of their equal opposites (the things we hate) and be prepared to say NO to them, or if necessary, to fight them.

Of course, nobody wants to fill their lives with things and people that they hate – but the whole point of hate is to discriminate (i.e. use your rational judgment) and determine the difference between what is good and what is bad.

A number of years ago I wrote a song called “Hate Won’t Bring Us Together”. I was quite a staunch leftist, moral relativist, and otherwise irrational and unhappy person in those days. I had not yet discovered philosophy and while I had a good sense of the general notion of the Non-Aggression Principle, innately, I had not yet honed my understanding of such principles and why they are so essential. I often look back now at my songs from those days and cringe a little, at how much I was missing the mark in some ways, philosophically speaking. This song, however, I think I got right.

As the song’s very title suggests, hate won’t bring us together – hate is a divider. And this is true.

The song is about the barbarity of war, about governments sending young men off to kill or be killed. The truth is, invading another land and killing people for a political agenda is wrong, immoral, bad and it needs to stop happening. But… there is a righteous time to kill, and that is in self-defence. When attacked, we are granted the moral right to defend ourselves. This doesn’t need to go so far as killing of course, but we have a right to take violent action to prevent any aggressor from harming us or our possessions because we each own our bodies and the products of our labour. We own our things, and we have a right to defend them if people wish to destroy them or steal them from us.

When we meet a known thief, we do not invite them into our home, or even tell them where we live and what times of the day we tend to leave and not lock the doors. We discriminate. We hate theft, we hate the injustice of it, and so we use that hatred to help us make the choice to say NO to the things that are not aligned with our values, in order to protect the things that are.

There are so many ways this conversation can expand outward into politics, “social justice”, conservatism vs. “progressive” liberalism, but I will leave it here for now with one final thought:

Love is not all you need. All you need is rationalism. Because if you are rational, you argue with reason and evidence in response to the empirical reality of the world around you, and the emotional world within you. With your sharp blade of rationalism, you can defend that which you love from that which you hate. You can create your world in the image of beauty, truth, integrity, virtue and pleasure, and keep at bay the beggars, thieves, looters and moochers who wish to take from you what you have earned.

Love virtue, hate vice.

Defend that which you love, speak up against that which you hate, and you will find yourself surrounded by more beauty, virtue, joy and pleasure than you ever imagined possible.

Take it from me, I’m doing it right now. *bites down into a handful of delicious almonds*

How to fight Social Justice Warriors

After some internal debate over what to write about first (I had wanted my journalistic revival to be a comfortable wade into familiar waters) the dour proceedings of this weeks Federal Election in Australia – if nothing else – inspired me to leave Politics on the table for another day and write about the online death-cult that has reached plague-like status in recent times.

If you’re like me you’ve probably tried to engage one in a rational debate only to be swarmed upon by their comrades and soon enough be 10 IQ points down and suffocating in a sea of Buzz-Word Slurs.

But what have the Left ever done for usI!?

3Mufshj

ISLAMOPHOBIA!

CHILDHOOD GENDER NONCONFORMITY!

MICRO AGRESSIONS!!

OK fine! But surely their most expendable contribution to society would have to be… Ladies & Gentlemen, without any further ado:

The Wardens of The Safe Space, the Left’s proudest & loudest Daughters and Non-White Non-Cisgendered Sons – The Social Justice Warrior (SJW).

BOOOOO! HISSSS! *Needle on vinyl scratch FX

Now before this thing gets too messy and starts to read like a BuzzFeed article I’ll push on.

AHEM!…

So what do they do?

To take the Urban Dictionary Definition:

A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation.

This I find to be a sound definition as it highlights the cornerstone of SJW enterprise: Virtue Signalling.

Why are people so in need of validation from their peers that they completely forego rational thinking and empirical evidence for the chance to be perceived only as morally right or ‘good’?

Is it purely out of fear of retribution from the other so very ‘virtuous’ SJW’s in the first place?

The SJW is the Gender-fluid bastard child of Political Correctness, Third Wave Feminism and the protection that social media allows its users.

That protection and freedom from consequence does not translate in the real-world, where face-to face discussions and the art of persuasion relies on body language, communication skills, confidence and most importantly the empirical evidence from which one can form an opinion.

SJW’s are ne’er to be seen in this arena as most of their real-world time is spent rigorously acclimatising their eyes to their phones and computer screens where they can opt-in and opt-out of consequential discourse at their leisure.

An example of commonplace SJW activity: 

  • SJW reads article on MamaMia about why Brexit is all about racism! Then see’s a friends meme posted on Facebook comparing Pauline Hanson to Donald Trump.
  • SJW puts two and two together to get five and jumps into a political thread online, ‘I am honestly in SHOCK about Pauline Hanson, so many DISGUSTING RACIST BIGOTS in this country! Australia was FOUNDED on IMMIGRANTS YOU IDIOTS!’*.
  • Fellow SJW’S proceed to express their congruent sadness and/or anger at the current state of affairs, ready to dogpile anyone offering anything bordering on FACTUAL INQUISITION, let alone an OPPOSING position!

* Australia certainly does have something to show for the positive contributions to society made by peaceful immigrants: that is, immigrants seeking to better their life by giving themselves the most opportunities available to them and being tolerant and peaceful to their neighbours.

Australia certainly does NOT however, have any obligation to mass Muslim immigration nor is there any foundation to the claims that ALL immigration = cultural diversity and cultural diversity = ‘good’.

Most Immigration discussions at present are centered around the outcomes of mass Muslim immigration into western secular society which has been unquestionably ‘bad’, thus far as seen in the EU and felt by all as a result of the ongoing violent ideological war waged by Islamists on the West.

We understand that SJW’s value the moral high ground over the factual evidence. So is it worth ever engaging one? And how should you most effectively deal with them when confronted?

In a recent podcast I listened to with Sam Harris, he states that most people stick to their views more steadfastly when questioned. One of the reasons for that is the strong emotional connection to our beliefs.

In recent neurological research (conducted by the University of Southern California) it has been found that our decisions and beliefs are firstly engineered by our emotions and then justified, if at all, by us rationalising them.

The main problem with this is that most people do not go through the process of rationalising their beliefs and when they do, often use questionable and incompatible evidence and reasons to do so.

The outcome of this process results in people who vehemently defend their irrational position with arguments based on emotions where the evidence is factually incorrect or unchecked.

This emotional connection also leads to confirmation bias, whereby people seek out information or anecdotal evidence they can use to prove pre-existing beliefs or arguments.

It’s safe to describe most SJWs as the above and there is further evidence of the lack of rational thinking in favour of rhetoric used by SJWs in Vox Day’s book, SJWs Always Lie – Taking down the thought police:

Drawing from Aristotle’s Rhetoric, which studies the use of language as a persuasive tool, in highlighting the difference between Dialectic (seeking truth through reason and logic) and Rhetoric (language designed to be persuasive or impressive, exploiting of figures of speech but lacking in sincerity or meaningful content), when countering SJW’s, Vox Day says, “The correct strategy, is to fight dialectic with dialectic, expose pseudo-dialectic with dialectic, and fight rhetoric with rhetoric.”

If you found that a little hard to follow, it means to fight them at their own game but outsmart them if you can: “Rhetoric is all about what emotions you trigger in the other person.”

Be sure to challenge pseudo-dialectic (dialectic arguments founded in a lie) with real facts and evidence and when they inevitably revert back to rhetoric your best option is to do the same or to get out.

Depending where you are in the world, it could be argued that the tide is turning for SJWs, that they have overplayed their hand and will die out in due course. I believe this to be true.

If we look at Brexit, Trump & Hanson as examples, it’s evident that people are pushing back against the punishing, depressive leftist narrative and the Political Correctness Police who have turned civil liberty into a micro-aggression.

I’ll leave you with a perfect example of fighting fire with hotter fire, i.e. destroying flimsy SJW rhetoric with better, stronger rhetoric. This is how you beat them.

fight_rhetoric_with_better_rhetoric

The Root of all Evil?

It is said that money is the root of all evil. The implication being that, if we somehow managed to do away with money, we could banish evil from the world and all live in peace and harmony. But do you really think that before the advent of money there was no murder, theft, or rape?

So what is money? Why do we need it?

Though twisted almost beyond recognition by the state and central banking cartels, in its essence money is nothing more than a universal means of exchange.

Because unless you’ve somehow attained the perfect Platonic ideal of self-sufficiency, we’re all reliant in some way on other people to meet even our most basic needs of food and shelter. And should you, like us here at The Rational Rise, accept that the initiation of force is immoral (aka the Non-Aggression Principle [NAP]), and have thus chosen to take force and coercion off the table, some form of voluntary exchange is your only moral alternative to acquire the things you need to live.

And while there is certainly a case to be made for barter, clearly it has only limited utility. Sure, you may have some chickens, but if the person who has what you want doesn’t want eggs, what are you to do? If the baker doesn’t want eggs, you ain’t gettin’ no bread! You could try to find some chain of intermediaries, but in practical terms, this would quickly become unfeasible.

So long as people create things of value, a truly universal means of exchange will always become necessary. Money is such a powerful tool because with it all goods and services may be converted and exchanged. In a sense money is the true Philosopher’s Stone.

Recognize also that money has no inherent value, it is merely a representation of the value one person creates, as determined by those that want it… Put another way, your creative labours have objective value only to the extent that others are willing to exchange their own labor for them. This is the essence of the market place.

Sadly what we have today isn’t actually money, it’s fiat currency, money by government decree. Which would actually be fine if we weren’t forced to use it, or were free to create our own currencies. Money today is a tool used by governments to extract wealth from the masses, they use it to buy votes (by promising people “free” stuff) in order to maintain their power. But currencies have collapsed many times before in history, the difference today is that, thanks to alternative digital currencies like Bitcoin (block-chain technology), there are secure, anonymous, open-source alternatives waiting in the wings…

It is trade that has given rise to civilisation as we know it, and the historically unprecedented levels of wealth, health and prosperity we now enjoy.

And while it’s certainly true that poverty exists today, it’s important to consider the historical context and recognize how relative the term “poverty” truly is. Today you can be considered below the poverty line, and might yet have running water, plumbing, electricity, “free” health-care/education, etc. You may even have a car, or a smartphone from which you have instantaneous access to essentially the sum-total of human knowledge. These are the kinds of luxuries that Louis XIV, king of 17th century France, wealthiest man in his world, could scarcely have dreamed of…

The market place creates the incentive for people to create technology, to create useful, and beautiful things. The basic things that we want, and make our lives better.

And the truly beautiful thing about voluntary trade, by definition, is that it’s a win-win interaction.

We’re all familiar with the process of course, but to spell it out, it works like this: let’s say I am a producer of epic, next-level muesli, and a customer comes to my factory to buy some of said muesli. This customer has 20$, and I have a bag of muesli. They want my bag of muesli more than their 20$, I want their 20$ more than my bag of muesli. We both voluntarily agree to exchange, no force involved. Hey, presto: win-win interaction! And both of us better off than we were before.

Nothing in the concept of money is inherently evil, so what, then, is the root of all evil?

I submit that the root of all evil is the desire for the unearned.

The Desire for the Unearned

The expectation that you can get something or are entitled to something without effort on your part, undeserved, unearned, for “free”… is immoral, and, I will argue, ignores the very fundamentals of reality itself.

Robert Heinlein famously said TANSTAAFL, ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’. He was right, nothing is free.

And what, you might ask, of the apple on the tree, or the fish in the lake? But if you truly think these things are free, I can only assume you’ve never actually tried to grow your own food, or consistently tried to catch fish—these things take immense effort, time and indeed specialized (and hard-won) knowledge! These things are most emphatically not free…

The air we breathe? Of course it only takes a moment’s thought, after all, what is it we’re breathing out? Every breath we take is, in fact, a beautifully evolved and elegant exchange, a trade in fact: we exhale CO2, which nourishes plant-life, for which they provide the oxygen which nourishes us. A perfect symbiosis, nature’s most fundamental and life-sustaining win-win interaction…

To go even further, every action you take, no matter how trivial, has a cost, because every action you take means you’re not doing any of the other things you could have been doing instead. Economists call this opportunity cost.

Perhaps most fundamentally, accepting that there’s no such thing as free is to acknowledge the basic laws of thermodynamics, by recognizing that every transformation/transaction requires some form of energy in exchange.

And yet seemingly all around us are people and organizations desperately trying to convince us that we can get something for free. And worse, that we should

Most people understand that when an online store is offering “free delivery”, the actual cost of delivery is already covered by the cost of the product. But what about when your government offers free healthcare, free education, free roads, the whole massive edifice of the welfare state—FREE MONEY!

But how many people, while collecting their weekly welfare-system-distributed “free” money, give any thought to where that money is actually coming from?

Make no mistake, if you’re being told that something is “free”, in truth, someone is paying. It may not be you, it may not be today, but someone has, or someone will… Nothing is free.

And economics is the art of seeing the hidden costs.

But the most damaging effect of “free” is that people learn helplessness. We grow only with resistance.

When you speak for a child, the child will always need an interpreter. When a child is taught to use words himself he can communicate his own thoughts and desires.

When you read for a child, he will forever need a reading assistant. When he is taught to read for himself, the world of knowledge is unlocked for him to earn through his own labour.

When you think for a child, he will forever be stupid. When you teach a child to think rationally, he will be truly liberated to create his life and world as he chooses.

When you tell a whole society that they are children, who, without the “parent” of a government, would be unable to make safe food, name their own prices for their own goods, build a road, plan a city, exist peacefully, defend themselves, teach their own children or manage their own desires, then yours will forever be a society of helpless children, beggars and thieves.

These leaders are thieves stealing from their own children. The example the children learn from is that of desiring the unearned, and the inept thief simply becomes a beggar. There is no room for win-win exchange, for empowerment of an individual, let alone an empowered society.

When the thief wants something for free, he simply takes it. The rapist takes sex. The murderer takes a life… All of these demand the unearned.

So don’t expect the unearned, if there’s something in life that you want, make yourself worthy of it… earn it.

This is morality. This is justice. This is true freedom…