There’s a lot of modern men, especially those who frequent Red Pill and manosphere blogs, forums, and websites, that are deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. But instead of using this as an opportunity to grow, they use it as a way to let their anger percolate.

What happens to these men is they let their anger blind them from the possibilities life presents: Happiness, fulfillment, love.

There’s another, often overlooked, path if you find yourself living an unfulfilled life.

This rarely trotted path?


In today’s episode, you’ll discover how morality developed alongside our physical evolution, why it’s a key component of successful societies, and most importantly, how embracing your moral nature leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Listen now.

 Show highlights include:

  • How morality has evolved alongside human evolution (and how this helps you find a date with a high-quality partner) (3:22)
  • The single biggest masculine trait many modern men lack today (5:21)
  • The overlooked reason why you feel exhausted all the time and ashamed to be your real self around others (8:57)
  • The simple, yet difficult way to invite a sense of fulfillment and peace of mind into your life (9:58)
  • How to tell—with near certainty—whether or not you can trust someone else (12:48)
  • Why falling into the “Is-Ought Fallacy” trap sabotages your chances of finding a high-quality partner (14:31)
  • How to decrease your chances of being lied to or cheated on (18:58) 

    Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to take this quick quiz to access my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at now.

For more about David Tian, go here:

    Emotional Mastery is David Tian’s step-by-step system to transform, regulate, and control your emotions… so that you can master yourself, your interactions with others, and your relationships… and live a life worth living. Learn more here:


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Note: Scroll Below for Transcription

Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in relationships, attraction, success, and fulfillment. Now, here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.

David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology podcast. I’m David Tian, your host. In this episode, we’re tackling something fundamental, yet often overlooked, the evolution of morality, and its vital role in modern masculinity and its connection to dating, relationships, and success and happiness.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. Morality? What’s that got to do with being a man or getting ahead in life, or creating a loving relationship? Glad you asked, because that’s what I’m going to show here in this episode, because understanding morality and its connections to life is essential not just for navigating society and interpersonal relationships, but for your personal wellbeing, too. [01:01.5]

Okay, let me get into it by quoting from my adapted version of a passage that was originally from a proto-red-pill blog that’s now been deleted from the internet, long deleted. I originally stumbled onto it over a decade ago before red pill succumbed to logical fallacies, as I’ll get into in this episode, and gave into bitterness, resentment and rage.

When red pill, or proto-red-pill as I call it, was more about awakening to the fact that women enjoyed sex just as much as men do, and are just as prone to lying, cheating and deceit as men are, but that society rewards them or supports, or at least, doesn’t shame attractive young women for the same behavior that they cancel or prosecute or shame men for, when it was more about a sober reflection and how times have changed, but without the anger or rage.

Okay, so here’s the passage: [01:56.2]

Study good character. Decide which character traits are most important to you. Learn the signs of good character and study how manipulative people mimic these traits when they don’t actually possess them. Discern clearly and without apology. Recognize your own immaturity. Actively work to heal, grow and mature.

Detect, protect and celebrate people of good character, for they are exceedingly rare. Discern, reject and stay away from those of low character, for they are like vampires, predators, or parasites, driven by consumption, who will devour their victims. Above all, know that a person of character and a person of horrible morals are often indistinguishable at first glance. Only the wise and mature among us who are committed to attaining the experience and knowledge to discern one from the other stands a chance of reaching his or her full potential, lasting happiness, and true fulfillment. [03:05.0]

I’ve made a video saying these exact things in a kind of inspirationally-edited video you can find on my YouTube. I read it out at the beginning of this episode in the hope of setting the stage for understanding the relevance of studying morality for men who want to live a good life.

Now, we often think of morality as a set of rules, maybe handed down by society, religion or culture. It’s like this external thing that we’re supposed to align with, right? But what if I told you that morality isn’t just a social construct? What if it’s something that’s evolved with us as a part of us? As human beings evolved, we didn’t just develop physical traits, like opposable thumbs or the ability to walk upright. We also developed social traits, and one of the key social traits that emerged was morality or what we now call morality. [03:59.5]

Okay, why? Because morality is adaptive. It’s something that helped our ancestors survive and thrive in their environments. Your chances of surviving in challenging environments goes up when you have strong alliances or helpful partnerships, or a supportive community, where trust, cooperation and looking out for each other are key. In the wild, if you couldn’t trust the guy next to you or your neighbor in the neighboring cave or tent, you were in big trouble. So, morality evolved as a way to ensure that we could work together, live together, and not be at each other’s throats all the time.

Now, I’m going to be unpacking this idea in the rest of the episode, so stay tuned, but this evolutionary trait of morality, I want to point out, isn’t just about societal wellbeing or operating well in a community. It’s also about personal wellbeing. [04:55.7]

When you act with integrity, when you’re honest, when you show compassion, how does that make you feel? When your conscience is clear, when you feel compassion, when you feel love, what are you feeling? You’re feeling love. There’s a sense of fulfillment of alignment that comes from living a moral life, and that’s not just some feel good fluff. It’s actually deeply rooted in our evolutionary psychology.

So, why is this important for masculine psychology? As men in the modern world, we’re often taught to prioritize strength, independence and competitiveness, and of course, those are important traits, but if we neglect the moral side of our natures, we’re missing out on a crucial part of what it means to be truly strong and fulfilled as men.

I’m mentioning these ideas as a kind of outline for what we’re going to be digging deeper into in this episode. We’ll be looking at how morality developed alongside our physical evolution, why it’s a key component of successful societies, and most importantly, how embracing our moral nature leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful life. [06:04.0]

Okay, so enough of setting the stage. Let’s get into the meat of it. Why did we as human beings evolve to value morality? What’s the big deal about good moral character? It’s not just about following rules or being a good boy to avoid trouble. It goes far deeper than that.

I also want to point out an aside for any kind of therapists that are listening in. In psychotherapy, morality has generally gotten a kind of bad rap. It’s reduced to the desire for people to be a good boy or good girl, and to win the approval of their parents. But when I’m using the term morality here, I don’t mean it as in the good boy, good girl type of version of morality, kind of obedience or something along those lines. I’m talking about much deeper concepts, like moral goodness, honesty, integrity, moral virtues, including courage and compassion, kindness, connectedness. For those who know IFS therapy, you’d know that those are some of the qualities of the true self in IFS therapy. [07:05.2]

For any psychotherapist who has looked down on or dismissed morality, you might want to think about what it’d be like to have been Hitler’s psychotherapist and whether you would have had any qualms about that or whether you would have just proceeded with it? My client is Hitler, so I’m going to use all of the techniques and tools, and strategies and methods, and models I’ve been taught and have worked with, to help this man achieve his goals, whatever he is aiming for. The thought experiment of being Hitler’s therapist should throw into stark relief the importance of morality, or moral or ethical considerations, not just for the practice of therapy or helping people, in general, but for life as a whole overall.

Okay, so enough of the aside, speaking to therapists. Let’s move back to our central points.

Back in our ancestral days, when we were living in small tribes and tight-knit communities, survival wasn’t just about being the strongest or the fastest. It was about being part of a group, a tribe or a family, and not just any group, of course, would actually help you survive or thrive. It would have to be a group that you could trust. [08:13.4]

In those times, if you couldn’t rely on the people around you and closest to you, your chances of making it were pretty slim. The ability to form alliances and partnerships and strengthen and grow them. were obviously adaptive, evolutionarily-adaptive skills and traits, and this is where morality comes in as an adaptive trait. If you’re living in close quarters with a bunch of other people, it helps to know who’s honest, who’s reliable, and who’s really got your back. That guy who shares his food, even when he doesn’t have much himself, who tells the truth, even when it’s hard, who helps out when someone’s in trouble, that’s the person you want in your tribe. That’s the person you can trust. [08:55.3]

Now, let’s flip this around. Imagine you’re the one everyone’s looking at to assess whether you’re trustworthy or not. Sure, you could try to fake good moral character. You could lie, cheat or pretend to be something you’re not. But let’s get real, keeping up that kind of facade is exhausting, especially over the long term. The longer you have to keep it up, the harder it is. It’s like building a house of cards. One wrong move and the whole thing comes crashing down, and once trust is broken, it’s really hard to rebuild it. It’s far better to actually have a good moral character than to have to pretend that you do and to keep that up over the years with people who are close to you.

When you’re genuinely honest, genuinely caring, genuinely reliable, you don’t have to waste energy keeping up a lie. You can just be yourself and that authenticity is what builds real lasting trust. But there’s more to it than just survival and partnerships. Living a moral life has a profound impact on your personal wellbeing. It brings a sense of fulfillment and peace of mind that you just can’t get from any kind of superficial success or temporary pleasure. [10:11.3]

Okay, so let’s dive a bit deeper into this idea, this connection between trust and morality. We often think that if someone has something to gain from us then that’s enough to trust them. But is it really? How far can you really trust them? You can really only trust them as far as the contract between you is strong and enforceable. And, really, if the only reason they’re going to do right by you is what they can get out of it, what happens when they’ve got nothing to gain and actually have a lot to gain from screwing you over?

This is where real morality comes into play. Knowing that the other person is moral gives us a deeper level of trust. It’s not just about mutual benefit. It’s about knowing they’ll do the right thing, even when there’s nothing in it for them, or even when it’s against their self-interests or to their detriment, or even when they’re giving up a potential profit in order to do the right thing. [11:08.8]

Again, it’s about being able to sleep well at night without having to keep one eye open on your neighbor, knowing that even if he could go behind your back and take advantage of you, he wouldn’t do that, because that would be the wrong thing to do, and knowing that our neighbor was a good person was what allowed us to be able to sleep soundly at night.

Now, I use the example of a neighbor, but it’s even more relevant or more pertinent or imperative when it comes to the person sleeping next to you, your wife, your partner in life. If the only thing keeping the two of you together is mutual benefit, what you can get from each other, then you can’t actually sleep soundly at night, and that really is at the root of the fear of the manosphere, the red pill, the incel, and so forth, because of the fear of being cheated on or betrayed, or being taken advantage or used, and that fear comes from the fact that like attracts like. I’ll get into that later in this episode, but I’m sort of, again, still setting the stage for the points that are coming up later. [12:06.6]

Knowing that the other person will do the right thing, even when there’s nothing in it for them or even when it goes against their self-interest, that’s the kind of trust that forms the backbone of strong, lasting relationships. Now, there’s a really great passage in the Bible of all places from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6. I’m going to quote from this because it makes a great point.

“If you do good to those who are good to you, what merit is that to you? Even sinners do that. Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies. Do good to them. Help and give without expecting a return. Overflow with mercy and compassion for others.”

Okay, now, whether you’re religious or not, there’s a powerful message here about the nature of true morality. It’s about doing the right thing, not because you’re expecting a reward or avoiding a punishment, but because it’s aligned with your moral principles. [13:02.0]

When you encounter someone who lives by morality, by this kind of morality, by the standard of morality, you know you’ve found someone trustworthy. This is someone who follows through on their word, not for personal gain, but because it’s the right thing to do, and that’s a person you can trust deeply.

This kind of trust is what allows you to sleep soundly at night, knowing your neighbor isn’t just looking out for themselves and might take advantage of you when you’re not looking, but it’s actually a genuinely good person. In a world that often seems driven by self-interest, finding and being that person of strong moral character is immeasurably valuable.

Now, at this point, and actually, even before hitting record on this episode, my philosopher parts and my intellectual parts of me, the academic parts or the parts that were trained in academia, were very nervous, because this is a really simplified version of an argument for the evolution of morality. If I had more time and someone was paying me to do it, I might actually give it the time and space that it really deserves, which would be at least a book, if not a series of graduate seminars. [14:11.7]

But for now, I’m going to take a shot at doing this as a podcast episode. Let me know if you’re interested in more of the nitty-gritty philosophical argumentation, the back and forth of the arguments and counterarguments for this social adaptation argument for the evolution of morality. But for now, I’m going to pivot to another related topic and address a fallacy that occurs in the online manosphere including the communities of like the red pill, the MGTOW and the incels, and so on. There’s a common thread in these groups where they often fall into what’s known as the is–ought fallacy, especially when it comes to evolutionary psychology.

Okay, so here’s how it often goes. They’ll take a fact from evolutionary biology, say, the idea that males have evolved to prefer females sexually with a certain hip-to-waist ratio. Then they’ll claim that this not only dictates how things will always be, but also how they ought to be. It’s as if our evolutionary past has locked us into a specific way of being with no room for change or growth. [15:13.4]

They’re confusing the descriptive of what is with the normative of what ought to be, but just because we’ve evolved to be a certain way, doesn’t mean we’re doomed to be slaves to those evolutionary patterns forever. Sure, evolution gives us a starting point, but it’s not the whole story. To say that men are bound to only be attracted to small waists and large hips, or that they should be even more is to miss the complexity of human nature and experience, and to misunderstand the way that evolution actually works.

The same goes for the idea about women preferring mates of higher status or more wealth, or a certain shoulder-to-waist ratio. Yes, these are evolutionary reasons for these preferences, but they’re merely preferences. They’re not hard-and-fast rules that always apply to the exclusion of any other preferences. [16:04.7]

Women, like men, are complex individuals with a range of preferences that can evolve and change over time. To claim that they will always or should always have these preferences is to oversimplify and misunderstand human nature and evolution, and this is where morality comes into play.

No matter their physical strength, for many men, emotions are too much for them to handle. It’s why they can’t give women the deeper levels of emotional intimacy and connection that they crave. It’s why they fail to be the man that modern women desire most: a man with inner strength, a man who has mastered his emotions.

Find out how to master your emotions through David Tian’s “Emotional Mastery” program. The Emotional Mastery program is a step-by-step system that integrates the best of empirically-verified psychotherapy methods and reveals how to master your internal state and develop the inner strength that makes you naturally attractive, happy, and fulfilled.

Learn more about this transformational program by going to

That’s D-A-V-I-D-T-I-A-N-P-H-D [dot] com [slash] emotional mastery.

Morality, in a moral sense, allows us and it proves that we can rise above our basic evolutionary programming. We’re not just animals driven by instinct. We’re thinking, feeling beings, capable of making choices that go beyond our primal urges. Our moral compass guides us to see beyond the superficial, to connect with others on a deeper level, to appreciate the full spectrum of human beauty and complexity. We’ve evolved a rationality and prefrontal cortex that allows us to rise above the more animal urges and needs. [17:55.2]

This idea that we can rise above our mere animal nature is fundamental. It’s what allows us to form meaningful relationships, to build societies based on principles, like justice, compassion, and cooperation. It’s what enables us to seek happiness, fulfillment, and mental and emotional health, in ways that go beyond basic survival and replication and reproduction.

When we hear these arguments from the manosphere for evolutionary determinism, it’s important to remember that our evolutionary history is only part of the story. It’s not a destiny carved in stone. It just lays the groundwork and it certainly doesn’t dictate how we ought to live, especially when it comes to our emotional and psychological wellbeing. Understanding our evolution is important, but it’s not the end-all and be-all. Our ability to rise above our basic instincts to live morally and meaningfully, that’s what truly defines us as human beings. [18:52.4]

Okay, so now let’s move to the more practical, assessing the moral character of others. This came up in the passage that I led with and it’s especially important in the context of the old adage, like attracts like. It’s a simple but profound truth. If you’re not concerned with being moral yourself, it’s likely you’ll attract similar people into your life. Those who lie and cheat often end up surrounded by others who do the same. Then they complain about how everyone else is dishonest, not realizing they’re mirroring their own behavior and reflecting their own set of moral values and standards.

This concept sheds light on a common sentiment in the manosphere, where many men are convinced that there are no good women, or that being mortal is somehow against female biological nature, but let’s examine this claim more closely. If we claim that women are slaves to their evolutionary drives, like hypergamy, then we must also apply the same logic to men. If that’s true, then biological males are doomed to prioritize physical attributes, youth, tits and ass over moral character or personality. [20:05.8]

But here’s the thing. Obviously, not every man is solely driven by the superficial aspects, just as not every woman is looking to trade up to the richest or most attractive guy. This narrative is not only simplistic, but also unfair. Moral people, whether men or women look beyond the superficial. They value character, integrity, compassion, qualities that truly matter in the long run.

If you’re listening, and you find yourself nodding along, thinking about how this applies to the women you meet, take a moment to reflect on your own priorities. Are you a hypocrite, condemning women for being slaves to their evolutionary instincts while you do the same? The reality is, to attract moral people into your life, the most effective strategy is to cultivate moral goodness in yourself. Like attracts like, after all. [21:02.4]

Assessing someone’s moral character isn’t just about judging them. It’s about understanding what drives them, what their values are, and whether or how they’re aligned with yours. This skill is invaluable, not just in romantic relationships, but in all social interactions, including friendships, business partnerships, community engagements. It’s about building connections, based on trust, respect, and shared values. It’s not about finding people who are perfect. None of us are. It’s about finding people who strive to be better, who value honesty, integrity, and empathy.

It’s imperative to cultivate goodness and virtue in ourselves. It’s one thing to recognize morality and others, it’s another to embody it in yourself. So, let’s look at it, how to cultivate moral goodness in yourself. Now, I’m not talking about following a set of external rules or living up to someone else’s standards. I’m talking about developing a deep sense of moral goodness that comes from within, for your mental health, your emotional fitness, happiness, fulfillment, and especially love. [22:13.5]

If you’re not true to yourself, which means living with honesty, integrity, and authenticity, you will never truly connect with another person, because what happens instead? You end up with a facade, a false self, trying to connect with another person’s false self, and let’s be real, that’s no way to build a genuine loving relationship.

Living with honesty means being real with yourself and with others about who you are, what you believe in, and what you stand for. Integrity involves standing by your values, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard, and even when no one’s watching. Compassion, that’s about understanding and caring for others and seeing beyond your own needs and desires. [22:58.0]

Cultivating moral goodness in your life and in yourself is a huge topic. It’s one that ancient Chinese philosophers have devoted themselves to. It has been the central theme in ancient Chinese, and indeed, Asian philosophy for thousands of years and it was also the focus of my own work as an academic, working in the department of philosophy as a professor.

Again, we’re really just scratching the surface here and I’m just mentioning that it’s possible and that this is an entire field of study that the wisest people in history have devoted themselves to for thousands of years around the world—and if this is something of interest to you, let me know and I can make more content about this.

But for now, I’m going to move on to the next point of answering the question, how does embodying these virtues affect my life and my relationships? It changes everything. When you live with honesty, integrity, and compassion, just to name three virtues, you attract people who value those same qualities. You build relationships based on genuine connection and mutual trust. You find that people rely on you more, trust you more, open up to you more, and you create deeper, more meaningful connections. [24:13.2]

Here’s something especially important for the single guys out there. When you embody these moral virtues, you naturally and authentically attract women who value the same principles and virtues. You’re not playing games or putting on an act to catch someone’s attention. You’re being your authentic self, and that authenticity is incredibly attractive. It means when you do connect with someone, you know it’s real. You’re connecting on a level that goes beyond superficial attraction or just shared interests. You’re connecting on a level of deeper bedrock of shared values and moral principles.

So, how do you go about cultivating these moral qualities? Again, acknowledging that a full answer to that question would take books and could easily take up multiple graduate seminars. But a quick answer here to get you started is to start with self-reflection. Take a good hard look at your own values and how they align or whether they align with your actions or behaviors. [25:14.3]

Are you living in a way that reflects what you truly believe or what you want to stand for? Are you treating others with the respect and compassion they deserve? Are you being honest with yourself about your shortcomings and working to improve them? It’s not always easy, of course, it requires a level of self-awareness and a willingness to grow and change. But of course, the rewards are immeasurable.

When you cultivate moral goodness in yourself, you’re not just improving your relationships with others. You’re improving your relationship with yourself. You’re building a foundation for life. That’s not just successful, but also deeply fulfilling. Morality is about making choices that align with a set of moral values and principles. It’s about choosing to be honest, even when lying would be easier. It’s about choosing to be compassionate, even when indifference feel safer. It’s about choosing to live with integrity, even when it feels like the world is against you. [26:11.1]

Bringing it back to evolutionary determinism and the manosphere is falling for the is–ought fallacy, when you hear these deterministic arguments, remember this: our evolutionary past informs us, but it doesn’t control us. We have the power to make choices that go against the grain that elevate us above our basic instincts. We have the agency to live moral lives, to form deep connections based on shared values, and to build a world that’s about more than just survival and replication, a world that’s about thriving, growing and finding true fulfillment.

Now let’s look at the flip side of it. The consequences of neglecting morality in our lives. This isn’t just about breaking rules or social norms. It’s about what happens to us internally and externally when we live without moral considerations. [27:03.2]

Imagine a life where compassion and integrity aren’t even on your radar. It might seem like a path to freedom, doing whatever you want, whenever you want, but what does that really lead to? Relationships become superficial. Connections are fleeting and trust is a rare commodity. You might find yourself successful in some areas, but there’s often a nagging sense of emptiness, a lack of real fulfillment.

This hits especially hard in the realm of masculine psychology. As men, we’re often taught to prioritize strength, achievement and self-reliance, and while these are important, neglecting the moral side of our nature can lead to a pretty hollow existence. We might end up winning battles, but losing the war, when it comes to things that truly matter, like deep, meaningful relationships, a deeper sense of purpose, and genuine lasting happiness. [27:54.0]

Neglecting morality can play out in various ways in a man’s life. It might mean chasing success at the expense of personal relationships or pursuing physical pleasure without considering the emotional consequences, or just cutting corners and cheating ourselves because we know deep down that we cheated and didn’t deserve it, and didn’t earn it. It can lead to a life where you’re constantly on guard, never really trusting others, because you know deep down, you’re not being trustworthy yourself.

Let’s talk about happiness. True lasting happiness is not just about what you achieve or acquire. It’s about who you are, how you treat others, and the kind of legacy you’re building. When you neglect morality, you’re essentially cutting yourself off from one of the most significant sources of happiness and fulfillment available to you.

In terms of relationships, relationships built on a lack of moral foundation are like houses built on sand. They might look good for a while, but they’re not going to withstand the storms of life. Without honesty, integrity and compassion, relationships become transactional, based merely on what each person can get from the other, rather than what they can share together. [29:04.4]

What’s the takeaway here? It’s simple but powerful. Don’t ever neglect morality in your pursuit of success, pleasure or even freedom. Embrace it as a crucial part of who you are. Let it guide your decisions, your relationships and your path in life. You’ll find that not only will you become more successful in the long run; you will also end up leading a richer, more fulfilling life.

Okay, so let’s address some potential objections as we begin to wrap up here. First up, here’s a common one. I’ll pose it as a question. Morality is subjective and culturally relative, Dave? So, why should we adhere to any specific moral standards?

Okay, fair point. Let’s say it’s true, moral systems vary across cultures and time periods, but let’s drill down a bit deeper here. Despite the diversity in moral systems, there are certain principles, like honesty and integrity, that almost universally foster trust and cooperation. These aren’t just arbitrary rules. They’re fundamental to the fabric of human society and the way that we’ve evolved. [30:06.8]

Think about it. No matter where you go in the world, a community that values honesty and integrity is a community where people can work together better, build more together, and grow together. These aren’t just nice ideas. They’re practical necessities for any group that wants to thrive. 

Okay, here’s another objection. Dave, focusing on morality restricts my personal freedom in my self-expression. Okay, so this is an interesting one. It seems like there’s a belief that morality is about restriction, about limiting what you can do. But that’s not true. True freedom, the kind that’s meaningful and fulfilling, involves the ability to form deep, genuine relationships and connections, and being able to be a functioning part of a community. And guess what? That requires a certain level of morality, of moral behavior, of moral character. [30:57.0]

Remember, embracing morality isn’t about restricting yourself. In fact, it’s about freeing yourself to live a richer, more fulfilling, meaningful life. When you live with integrity, when you treat people with respect and compassion, you’re not restricting your freedom. You’re enhancing it. You’re opening doors to deeper connections, to more meaningful experiences. Moral behavior doesn’t suffocate self-expression. It enriches it.

Okay, finally, let’s tackle one more. In the real world, Dave, people who ignore morality often seem to succeed. Okay, I totally get where this is coming from. We all see examples of people or countries, governments that cut corners, who play dirty and yet seem to get ahead. But let’s not confuse short-term gains with long-term success. Sure, you might get ahead temporarily by ignoring moral principles, but at what cost? Burned bridges, a lack of trust, a reputation that can come back to haunt you. [31:55.3]

And let’s talk about personal relationships. Can you really build something lasting, something real, on a foundation of dishonesty or selfishness? Long-term success, the kind that’s truly fulfilling, is built on a foundation of moral integrity, and even more important, your own moral conscience. When you go against it, you can’t sleep well at night. It eats away at you. It haunts you. It weighs on you. It’s this voice in the back of your mind saying, “But you’re a cheater. You’re a liar. This isn’t real.”

On this point, I heard a great little story from an evangelist and I’ll retell it here. It’s the story of a little boy who had lots of pretty marbles, but he was constantly eyeing his friend, this little girl’s bag full of candy. One day he said to her, “If you give me all your candy, I’ll give you all my marbles,” and she gave it much thought and agreed to the trade.

He took all her candy and went back to his room to get his marbles, but the more he admired his own marbles, the more reluctant he became to give them all up to her, so he hid the best of them under his pillow and then he took the rest to her. [33:01.4]

That night, she slept soundly with her new stash of marbles while he tossed and turned restlessly, unable to sleep, and thinking the whole time, I wonder if she gave me all the candy. Those who are evil or do evil, their first victim is actually themselves.

As we wrap up today, let’s recap the main points we’ve covered so far. We started by exploring the evolution of morality, understanding that it’s not just a set of rules imposed by society, but an adaptive trait that evolved to enhance our ancestors survival and social cohesion, and the ability for us to thrive through forming alliances and partnerships.

Valuing moral virtues, like integrity and compassion, helped us know who he can trust his allies, neighbors, partners, life partners and spouses, so that we can sleep soundly at night rather than having to sleep always with one eye open. This evolution underscores the importance of trust and cooperation in our communities over the span of human evolution, a principle that’s as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. [34:08.8]

We then delved into the nature of morality, tackling the is–ought fallacy and highlighting how our evolutionary history informs, but doesn’t dictate our moral choices. We have the power to make decisions that align with higher values, transcending our basic instincts.

The heart of our discussion focused on the significance of assessing the moral character of others and the imperative of cultivating our own moral goodness in ourselves. This isn’t just about making judgments. It’s about understanding what drives people and aligning ourselves with those who share our values.

Let’s not forget the importance of refuting deterministic views. Understanding evolutionary psychology is insightful, but it doesn’t mean we’re locked into a predetermined path always and forever. We possess the agency to shape our moral landscape. [34:56.6]

Okay, let’s talk about what all this means for you in your everyday life, both personally and professionally. Embracing and cultivating morality enhances all your personal and professional relationships, not just your dating interactions. In a world where trust and integrity are in short supply, being a person who embodies these qualities sets you apart and attracts others who similarly value morality, and therefore whom you can trust. It builds lasting relationships, opens doors to new opportunities, and establishes a reputation and track record that can become your greatest asset.

In your personal life, perhaps more importantly, living morally enriches your relationships. It’s a prerequisite and it kind of lays the groundwork for creating deeper connections and living a more fulfilling life. It allows you to build a legacy that goes beyond mere success to a life of deeper meaning, a life that you can look back on with pride, knowing that you stood for something more, something greater, and living a moral life is indeed the essential and necessary foundation for true and lasting happiness and fulfillment. [36:03.7]

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If this has helped you in any way, please share it with anyone else that you think could benefit from it. Hit a like or subscribe or follow on whatever platform you’re listening to this on. Let me know what you thought of this episode. It was definitely a change of pace from the usual episodes. Let me know what you thought of it. I’d love to get your feedback. I live on your constant feedback and messages, so let me know.

Thank you again so much for listening. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. Until then, David Tian, signing out.

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