Stefan Molyneux vs Jay Dyer Debate | Post-Debate Review

Two of the ACT realm’s philosophy heavyweights go toe-to-toe in a live debate.

In the blue corner is the lolbertarian and apparent agnostic Stefan Molyneux.

In the red corner is the orthodox Christian and philosophy post-graduate Jay Dyer.

JLB was on the scene to assess the biggest clash of minds on Youtube since Logan Paul vs KSI.

Video on Youtube


Production notes | Streamed 13-Feb-2020.


9 thoughts on “Stefan Molyneux vs Jay Dyer Debate | Post-Debate Review

  • 16-February-2020 at 7:54 am

    I listened to this after hearing your commentary JLB. Like you I both enjoyed it and was irritated by it.

    Both are smart, yes, but I absolutely have more time for Stefan’s approach. Fair enough to give philosophers credit for their ideas. But Jay’s way of using a philosopher’s name as a stand-in for the ideas that they expressed, without explaining his interpretation of the ideas, is pompous and irritating. On the other, Stefan is definitely trying to simplify things for his audience…

    And yes, doesn’t Stefan manage to do well to keep talking so well at his age!! He must be around 50. You’d have thought dementia would have set in by now! And he lasted the whole interview without his teeth falling out.

    Seriously though, you do bring up age a bit… Do you think the over 40s should be befuddled and hazy? Certainly, if you spend all your days watching tv or failing to question things perhaps over time your brain could turn mushier. But I wouldn’t characterise Stefan as elderly or infirm, nor was I surprised that he was a fairly good debater. Frankly, if there are age generalisations to be made, I look up to the self-reliant, practical abilities of many in the older generations with envy, and I’m glad not to have the self-entitled, self-censoring, millennial outlook.

    • 16-February-2020 at 4:22 pm

      Jay’s way of using a philosopher’s name as a stand-in for the ideas that they expressed, without explaining his interpretation of the ideas, is pompous and irritating.

      Indeed. As I said during the stream, and I tried to be diplomatic / tactful about it (largely because I know how many fans Jay has out there), Jay appears to use this tactic / technique to more or less befuddle his own listeners, to give himself an appearance of insight which might not actually be there. It is not all that different from an appeal to authority, except rather than claiming that he is correct because X or Y said something or other, Jay seems to be attempting to elevate his position in the discussion by virtue of knowing the names of prominent people who said things.

      If you were to put myself and Jay Dyer in a debate about ‘philosophy’ tomorrow, he could run rings around me with technical terminology and references to various philophers and authors and schools of thoughts and so forth. It would impress the hell out of his audience, the vast majority of whom have never studied academic philosophy and don’t know 95% of what Jay is talking about. Also sprinkled among Jay’s audience are fellow philosophy students/grads, who have conflated rote memorisation of technical terminology and prominent philosophers with wisdom / insight.

      During my uni days, I studied philosophy at one university (in Melbourne) and later mixed with philosophy students at a different university (in Queensland). No word of a lie, this is how a lot of them are: they memorise stuff, and that is all they can do: parrot names and terms. Ask them for their opinion on a topic or issue, and they will be quick tell you what somebody else said about it. If they have their own opinion or take, you will have to wait some time to hear it. And I mean ‘if’.

      I was fortunate that the school of philosophy where I studied emphasised the opposite of this. In fact, we didn’t even have to provide citations or references in our essays unless we actually were citing or referencing previous writers, which we were not expected to do. This is in contract to the rest of the humanities, where undergrads are often given a minimum number of citations / references per essay i.e. ‘you must make reference to at least ten sources in this 3,000 word essay’.

      We were told: be concise, make the structure of your argument clear, hand it in by the due date. If you use somebody else’s idea, cite them. If not, no biggie, just answer the question concisely and clearly.

      Looking back, I am endlessly grateful that my instruction in philosophy was so different to what appears to be the norm elsewhere. Whereas we were told to think for ourselves and present our own arguments and approaches to questions, it seems as though in other schools of philosophy, there is either an implicit or explicit direction to memorise and cite the ideas and opinions of others. This seems crazy to me, but I’m sure that what was going on in my philosophy school must seem crazy to those who have spent years memorising names like Wittgenstein, Hegel, and Hume.

      In the case of Dyer, I am certain that he is more than intelligent enough to formulate his own ideas and approaches to questions without any need for reference to others. Unlike the parrots I met in my uni days, Dyer doesn’t need to rely on the work of others; I suspect he does this for a different reason i.e. to add weight to his own philosophical gravitas, to bolster his appearance of knowledge about the topics at hand. Basically to seem smart to people who don’t see through it.

      If this is the case, I can’t blame him: it works. Just look at the comments left by Dyer’s fans underneath his debate with Molyneux. Comment after comment amounting to ‘haha Stefan doesn’t know as many technical terms as we do, he lost’.

      Dyer is giving his audience what they want, and they love it. I see no inherent problem with this (especially from an entertainment standpoint).

      It is like when Dyer falls back on his Alex Jones impersonations: they work. I find his impersonations very amusing. So what if he is trotting out the same impersonations over and over? To people like me, they are funny, almost every time. It is entertaining. I don’t find his ‘this guy said this’ schtick entertaining, but his fans do, and that’s what matters.

      And yes, doesn’t Stefan manage to do well to keep talking so well at his age!! He must be around 50. You’d have thought dementia would have set in by now! And he lasted the whole interview without his teeth falling out.

      Lol. Point taken.

      I guess for me I am cognizant of how much damage I may have potentially done to my brain over the past few years with alcoholism and other poor lifestyle choices / habits, and I know that it is possible that I’ll pay a price later in life. There’s no reason why people ‘have to’ lose mental agility by age 50, it isn’t that old after all. When I say ‘I hope I’m that sharp when I reach 50’, I am legitimately speaking from my own perspective.

      With that said, are you up for a black pill on this fine Sunday afternoon? Rather than give you a bump myself, I’ll tell you where you can find a good black pill dealer. Look into the ages of chess world champions over the past few decades. Pay close attention to the age they were when their careers peaked. It makes for sobering reading…

      • 29-February-2020 at 10:47 am

        In a rational society, where people ate the proper diet, most people who die simply die of accidents, not of any physical diseases and illnesses, since all those are created by the wrong ideas. I say this because I truthfully see myself getting younger every day, getting more agile every day, having less pain of any kind every day, as long as I stay away from all ‘normie’ poisons, including unexamined language and symbology itself, the English language itself. All this, even AFTER many decades of eating and consuming complete junk. So imagine how much better it would be if a kid was raised this way from day one.

        Hell isn’t other people, hell is living in a colony of brainwashed drones and thinking that they are somehow normal, even calling then ‘normies’ and then having these unfortunate dupes create endless problems for you through the collective pressures of idiocy and ignorance. It’s self-perpetuating and ego-driven because useful idiots and egos, once manufactured, are self-perpetuating, no longer needing any catalyzing but just re-assurance through the media that THEY are on the right track (over the cliff) and not those nutty conspiracy guys over there. It’s all been anticipated and labeled for prejudice rather than post-judice.

        We are programmed to self-destruct. Our terrible physical diets and our intellectual brainwashing go together. There are limited hangout traps to catch people in both directions. Anybody that fear-mongers unnecessarily in the conspiracy realm plus vegetarianism and veganism as a reaction to the standard diets, since it detoxes people and gives a false impression of health through fasting and weight loss. Ask yourself why Raw Milk is illegal in so many places and you have your answer.

        P.S. High quality music is very important carrier of eternal truths. I recommend listening always in combination, a well balanced diet of sound metaphors. Make sure it’s on as decent a stereo as you can afford so you can distinguish textures and timbres. And once you find a quality or ‘classic’ album, it’s best to listen to the whole thing in one sitting. Then you can take your favorite songs and make another compilation disc from them, which I’ve done hundreds of times for as long as I can remember. Here’s what I listened to last week:

        Rolf Lislevand – Nuove Musiche
        Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata (no 29) – Maurizio Pollini
        Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky – Rite of Spring
        Pierre Boulez – Le Marteau sans maître (the Hammer without a Master)
        Genesis – Trespass
        Rick Wakeman – the Six Wives of Henry VIII
        King Crimson – Islands
        Tomita – Bermuda Triangle
        Tomita – The Planets
        David Torn – Cloud About Mercury
        Gabor Szabo – Jazz Raga
        Vangelis – China
        The Mothers of Invention – Weasels Ripped My Flesh
        Roxy Music – Avalon
        Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygene

  • 16-February-2020 at 5:01 pm

    “Whereas we were told to think for ourselves and present our own arguments and approaches to questions, it seems as though in other schools of philosophy, there is either an implicit or explicit direction to memorise and cite the ideas and opinions of others.”
    That, for me, is the problem of education as a whole. It’s an exercise in de-clawing. I think you were exceptionally lucky to have the experience you did. I wonder if any of your alumni also travel along such interesting lines as yourself?

    It’s not just philosophy, IMO its the same in all subjects. Personal contributions may be tolerated on occasion, but to pass the tests you would do better with citations. Eg, would a trainee doctor do well if he made the points you have re ‘ultrasound’? Or daipb’s incubator hoax?

    The point of education is to train up a bunch of deferential hero worshippers, that aren’t likely to stir up the honey pot with reasoned, independent thought that cuts across revenue streams.

    I am into practical philosophy, that can help me evaluate and live the best sort of life. I think many philosophy and psychology graduates are looking for similar answers too when they apply for those degrees – they are searching for meaning in their lives. Instead, they have to swallow 3 years of dusty citations and regurgitate the arguments of their betters. That’ll teach them!

    “I guess for me I am cognizant of how much damage I may have potentially done to my brain over the past few years with alcoholism and other poor lifestyle choices / habits, and I know that it is possible that I’ll pay a price later in life.”
    You and me both. But, I think the body is pretty remarkable and has great powers of recovery. Just ask Neg! I think the intermittent fasting is a fantastic habit to have adopted.

    “Look into the age of chess champions over the past few decades.”
    I’ll take a look.

    • 29-February-2020 at 12:02 pm

      The kingdom of heaven is inside not outside and you cannot reach that without the sort of relaxation that maintains all your energy. When you have all the nutrients you need in reserve and more reserve and you’ve taught your body, through high intensity intervals to produce natural testosterone or HGH, (the same thing Sylvester Stallone got busted for having the synthetic version of in Australia), you will feel better than you’ve ever felt because you’ll restore the natural inner equilibrium of hormones and impulses to movement you’ve been deliberately kept away from all your life.

      It’s not that hard. Cut out refined sugars and breads and 90% of all vegetables. Eat Wild Raw Salmon completely raw like Sashimi, about a pound, three times a week (the skin part you can cut into pieces, marinate in some coconut aminos and sear for 30 seconds on the skin side to make soft). Drink raw kefir, a whole bottle of it, the other 4 days (if it’s illegal in your area, which it’s likely to be, make friends with a farmer and pay him cash).

      If you maintain this discipline for about a year, you will have complete control over your body, all the gradients of every aspect of movement you engage in all the time, plus all the impulses inside yourself, the chi energy. You will become catlike in your movements. You can stop them all in midstream and reverse them. This is the definition of being a ‘badass’ if there is any such thing. Something only accomplished athletes (at elites, at the elite level) can claim and that only in their youth. You can have this all the way in your 50s for sure and probably much longer beyond. I’ll have to live through it to know for sure.

      Read the book “The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power” by Vernon Howard and it’ll put you on the right track without any complex jargon. No need to read any dense philosophy volumes of Schopenhauer or Heidegger, although those are great to tackle in small and intense doses just for fun.

      • 01-March-2020 at 8:17 pm

        Hey Negentropic,

        Have you thought about writing a Members Creation piece on diet/exercise? I find your perspective fascinating and a lot of the information you have dropped is spread over a lot of comments.

        I would be very interested to read a piece where you combine your insights on diet and exercise. I appreciate that you may not have the time nor inclination to do so. But to repeat myself, if you did you would have at least one grateful reader.

        • 02-March-2020 at 11:19 am

          Sure, I’ll see if I can put maybe a 4 page article together with as much density of information as possible based on my personal discoveries of the past 2 years. Also, if John finally gets to L.A. sometime in the future, I will do Vlogs with him in my kitchen and on the trail. We’ll do uphill sprints, pull-up competitions, push-up competition. He has the psychological disadvantage, since even though I’ve been bragging constantly with my tongue in my cheek, being the young man in the contest of almost 20 years and me being old enough to be his father, if he doesn’t win, he’ll have plenty of ego to lose. lol If he makes a bad showing, he might even become depressed! lol

          Note: having an optimal physical and mental state does NOT mean that you solve your “social” problems automatically but it will certainly put you on the right path. This is because weak and sick people (most people to various degrees) will spot you and start playing one of many games, two common ones being “Crabs in a Bucket” or “Follow the Leader.” The former is born of envy (who the hell does this guy think he is? let’s cut him down to size), the latter of jealousy (who the hell does this guy think he is? Hmmm, it looks like maybe he IS what he says he is, let’s figure out how he did it and imitate it and draw the benefits).

          But rest assured that as a man who is now full of energy (and testosterone) all the time, this will have an almost magical effect on most members of the opposite sex. And I’m not talking just ‘cute’ girls or 5’s and 6’s. I’m talking 7 out of 10’s and above, the type that maybe never even noticed you before? They will notice you more and more, make eye contact and almost beg you to approach them and start a conversation. They will go out of their way to make it easy for you. This will be your motivation to continue. Others guys will notice your ‘alpha’ vibes and start fearing and respecting you more. They have to, since if their girlfriend is giving you eye contact and attention, ‘flirting’ in non-verbal ways, you’re the guy who might be able to steal their woman away from them.

          After a while, a third game might quietly make its unspoken rules clear to some: “follow the leader until you yourself are leader enough to teach your leader a few leads.” That way you save energy for the one who initially saved you energy (time) and come roundabout to paying back the debt

          Alternatively, maybe JLB can figure out how to make his comments section connected by name, kind of like Disqus but without going on that now censored platform, so that if you click my name or yours, you can read all of the comments each of us has written since joining the site. Mine go back to the very beginning of the site and will probably have more verbal density than all but maybe 2 or 3 other posters on the site.

  • 04-March-2020 at 6:05 am

    On this same idea – of a debate aftershow – did anyone catch the latest hoaxbuster’s call, where Chris debates a vegan?

    At around the 1hr mark, for about 30mins, Chris puts out a totally cringey set of arguments. Very hard to listen to but he is obtuse, misrepresents the other guy’s position, feigns stupidity, strawman’s, wastes time, ridicules, changes terms, etc. If you like cringe philosophy this might be your thing.

    PS, I know the guy he is debating is a vegan, which is something I have expressed support for in the past. The vegan chap knows his arguments and ‘the science’ , far more so than Chris knows his – all he seems to have is anecdotal info. Whatever – I’m not interested in revisiting that topic, though I know it gets passions going.. (Neg?)

    What was interesting is how one person (Chris) can be so bought in to their belief /ideas that rather than respond to a coherent argument they would rather try to derail and destroy the debate via rhetoric.

    Tbh, I haven’t listened to all of this yet, and it may all simmer down. But that section was illuminating to hear!

  • 04-March-2020 at 8:57 pm

    Fwiw, this didn’t really simmer down – at least for the next 2 hours or so (after which I gave up) and just degenerated into avoidance rhetoric with Chris unable to operate in good faith.

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