Intellectual Freedom Podcast

David D. Hopkins, PhD

Intellectual freedom is not just a buzzword. It is a fundamental necessity for human civilization and your life's flourishing. It is the essence of the human spirit to question, explore, and seek answers to the most profound questions that confront us every day.

Without intellectual freedom, we are but slaves to the whims of those in power, unable to challenge authority, push boundaries, or pursue truth. In our post-modern world, ignorance and oppression weigh heavy on all of us, stifling creativity, innovation, and progress. The quest for knowledge is not a luxury. It is a basic human need. Only through intellectual freedom can we unlock the full potential of our collective intellect and build a brighter future for all.

This podcast explores topics in culture, philosophy, wisdom literature, and complex problems we all confront in life.

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Episodes

Episode #117: The Uniparty's Dirty Game: Create a Problem to Solve a Problem
27-10-2023
Episode #117: The Uniparty's Dirty Game: Create a Problem to Solve a Problem
Have you ever wondered why a government, a system of institutions specifically designed to solve problems, often preserves and worsens the problems they are supposed to solve? Buckle up as we dive into a lively discussion unraveling the Shirky Principle, which suggests governments are more prone to protect problems than solve them. We will break down a hilarious example involving the case of an Ontario-based carpooling site, PickUpPal.com, which was forced to shut down by the Canadian government not because it failed but because it was too efficient!We will dissect the costly and often inefficient mechanisms of our government. Examples abound of how our government throws billions of dollars at problems that are never solved and often create worse problems in the process. We will call out our dear politicians; however, it isn't malice or evil. Sometimes, it is mere stupidity how our politicians and bureaucrats go about solving problems. Brace yourselves as we scrutinize the colossal amount of funds funneled into sectors like the war on drugs, education, the military, and pandemic relief, with little to no palpable results. They simultaneously pledged billions to Israel for war, and Palestine for aid is called into question as we ponder who the real beneficiaries of this funding are.Closing the episode, we scrutinize the deteriorating trust of the public in their government to solve problems and their motives in taking on issues. It's a stark reality that politicians from both ends of the spectrum, the Democrats and the Republicans, often create problems only to present themselves as the solution. Can we really hope for change when the same forces that created the problems continue to wield control and claim to be the solutions? This episode promises to push you out of your comfort zone, compelling you to question the status quo and critically evaluate government actions. Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#116: Democracy is Dead While the Plutocracy and Uniparty are Thriving
20-10-2023
#116: Democracy is Dead While the Plutocracy and Uniparty are Thriving
In this episode, we delve deep into the heart of American democracy and confront a stark reality: Democracy is Dead. Join us as we explore the undeniable influence of economic elites, intellectual elites, and unelected officials in steering the course of our nation through the uniparty of Democrats and Republicans.We analyze eye-opening statistics and polls revealing how disillusioned Americans are with their elected officials. Explore the concept of a plutocracy, where the rule by wealth is not a conspiracy theory but a sobering truth.We dissect who the key players at the top of the power pyramid are, from corporate giants to tech moguls, intellectual elites, and how their interests come before those of the people. Control happens through multiple channels by the plutocracy. We will explore the world of lobbying, elite funded think tanks and academic studies, campaign financing, and the revolving door between government and industry.Learn how the plutocracy indirectly controls America and how they manipulate the political landscape to maintain their grip on power. We debunk conspiracy theory stereotypes and present clear evidence of how this influence operates in plain sight.Get ready for a wake-up call as we challenge the narrative of a government "for the people, by the people" and empower you to see through the smoke and mirrors. Discover actionable steps to navigate this new reality, from voting outside the two-party system to fostering intellectual independence.Join us in understanding the forces that shape our nation and explore a path towards a more transparent and accountable future. Democracy may be dead, but together, we can seek a renaissance of true representation.#Plutocracy #AmericanDemocracy #PoliticalInfluence #EconomicElites #WakeUpAmerica #UnipartyWebsite: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#115: Degrees of Freedom: Navigating the College Maze
17-10-2023
#115: Degrees of Freedom: Navigating the College Maze
It is past time to challenge the age-old belief in the college dream.Join us in a thought-provoking discussion on the evolving landscape of higher education. As a seasoned educator, I take a holistic approach to this important decision for high school students, college students, or adults considering returning to college. I am neither anti-college nor blindly pro-college, but rather a staunch advocate for informed choices.In a world where college is often hailed as the ultimate path to success, we explore the crucial nuances of this high-stakes game. The rising costs of tuition, burgeoning student loan debt, and a rapidly changing job market have prompted many to question the value of a degree. Through candidly examining real-life scenarios, we delve into the pitfalls and potential of higher education. We meet a student who accrued significant debt chasing an ill-suited dream only to return to college years later for a more pragmatic career choice.Is college the guaranteed ticket to financial success it once was, or is it time to consider alternative paths? We analyze how the job market has shifted and why the one-size-fits-all approach to education no longer applies.Discover practical strategies for minimizing student loan debt, exploring career options, and using the proximity principle to your advantage. Whether you're a high school student, a college-goer, a concerned parent, or someone pondering a return to academia, this episode provides essential insights into making informed, life-changing decisions. Join us as we navigate the college conundrum, separating myths from realities and helping you make the right choices for your future. Don't play with fire—educate yourself and play the game right.#HigherEducation #CollegeDecision #StudentDebt #CareerChoices #EducationMythsWebsite: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#113: Conditioned for Mediocrity: Reclaiming Your Life in a Sedated and Superficial World
03-10-2023
#113: Conditioned for Mediocrity: Reclaiming Your Life in a Sedated and Superficial World
"People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get... they're so conditioned that they practically can't help behaving as they ought to behave."  ~Aldous HuxleyThis quote from the dystopian novel Brave New World is playing itself out in the psyche of far too many in the United States of America and worldwide. Join us to explore the roots of modern society's misplaced search for superficial happiness and comfort. Are we truly living fulfilling lives in a world where conformity and complacency are encouraged? Discover how Aldous Huxley's prophetic words from "Brave New World" resonate in our world today. Are we, as a society, conditioned to seek pleasure and avoid pain at all costs? Uncover the startling parallels between Huxley's dystopian vision and our reality, where prescription medications, distrust of the education system, institutions, and societal pressures numb our senses and hinder our growth. It's time to awaken from this slumber, break free from the shackles of conformity, and embrace a path to real, meaningful happiness. Yes, this alternative path is hard, even painful, in many ways, but playing the long game is how to find fulfillment in life. Discover how.Join us in this thought-provoking podcast as we challenge the status quo, question the narratives, and rediscover the joy of a life with purpose and depth.Are you ready to step out of the shadows and into a world where fulfillment and authenticity reign supreme? Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
# 112: The Doctor of Philosophy Committed Suicide. Nobody Noticed.
29-09-2023
# 112: The Doctor of Philosophy Committed Suicide. Nobody Noticed.
It's not a secret that higher education and the academic elites far too often do not serve the nation effectively. The PhD is especially failing society in countless ways. More specifically, this podcast focuses on our philosophers and great thinkers. I'm not interested in exploring fields such as educational leadership/administration or any other silly 21st-century doctorate fields made up by administrators and self-serving faculty committees to put students in debt so they can have "a title" in this podcast. The explosion of doctorate "degree specialties" is a topic for another day.  But our Doctors of Philosophy are committing relevancy suicide. We discuss the role philosophers should play in today's complex world. The big thinkers need to stop quibbling over dead philosophers, building CVs, and publishing in journals that nobody will ever read. The great minds in our universities can bridge the gap between abstract theories and solve real-world problems if only they would step into this role with the same vigor they used to earn their degrees or publish to get tenure. We delve deep into why philosophers need to step up, engage with the public, and tackle the critical issues of our time. From critical thinking and problem-solving to effective communication, philosophers possess unique skills that can illuminate our path forward if they only step out of their tiny world of academia. It's time to call out academia, specifically the PhDs, so they can wake up before society decides they serve no purpose and discard them.  Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#105: Shared Values: Exploring the Common Ground of Abrahamic Religions
15-04-2023
#105: Shared Values: Exploring the Common Ground of Abrahamic Religions
The news headlines are admittedly ugly. War, hate, anger, and division, unfortunately, represent the interactions of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. But, if we deeply read the texts of these three great religions, there is deep wisdom to be uncovered. For many, it may be shocking to see that the shared values and common ground of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are more numerous than the differences. At the heart of these Abrahamic religions lie powerful messages of compassion, love, and justice that can guide us toward a better tomorrow.By exploring these faiths' commonalities, we can discover a unifying message that transcends the boundaries of religion, race, and culture. Join us on a journey of discovery as we delve deep into the timeless teachings of these Abrahamic religions. This week we focus heavily on Islam and the "Final Prophet," Muhammad. In the end, you will discover that in a world of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, the Abrahamic positions, together, can serve as a force for good in our world today. Also, receive more, way more, by joining the Intellectual Freedom Substack page.  It is 100% free, and you will receive additional articles, access to free resources, and engage in a community to discuss every topic more deeply. https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#104: The Tragic Loss of the Foundation for Justice and Morality
06-04-2023
#104: The Tragic Loss of the Foundation for Justice and Morality
The world is in a state of chaos, and one of the main reasons is the loss of a unifying system of justice and morality. It can be argued that long before the flowering of democracy and the idea of freedom sprung to life in the West, Thomas Aquinas' Natural Law Theory laid the foundation. However, this foundation is eroding in our post-modern era. Aquinas believed there was an immutable natural order to the world and everything in it. This natural order unified all people. Furthermore, he argued that certain moral principles were inherent in this natural order and were accessible to reason. In other words, anyone could discover natural law through rational inquiry. But today, the natural law theory is being eroded by the waves of post-modern thought crashing against Aquinas's traditional philosophical and theological views. Instead, we live in a world where morality is relative, and individual rights are constantly redefined. Unfortunately, this has led to a world where justice is often arbitrary, and people are left grasping to understand the rules of the game. Join me as I deep dive into Thomas Aquinas, his life, theories, and specifically the Natural Law Theory, and where society is and potentially where it will go if we don't carefully evaluate our trajectory in America today. FOR MORE--SUBSCRIBE TO THE SUBSTACK PAGE: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#103: Banning Tik Tok: National Security Risk or Another Big Government Power Grab?
01-04-2023
#103: Banning Tik Tok: National Security Risk or Another Big Government Power Grab?
TikTok, a seductive digital vortex, has been a source of amusement for many and terror for others. The app's algorithmic power to draw in users, particularly the impressionable young, has been a cause for deep concern as it exposes them to harmful and inappropriate content. From sexually explicit dances to harmful challenges, TikTok has created a breeding ground for toxic and hazardous trends. In addition, the app's blatant disregard for user privacy and data protection has led to several alarming breaches, putting personal information at risk. TikTok may seem like harmless fun, but beneath the surface lurks a danger that can cause irreparable damage to its users' mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Yet, the most dangerous characteristic is Chinese ownership of ByteDance, the parent company of Tik Tok. Due to Chinese ownership, BytDance must, when asked by the Communist Party of China, provide all data at any time requested, putting the data of over 140 million Americans at risk. On the surface, a ban on Tik Tok in America should happen for national security. But is this true? Is a ban really such an obvious eventuality? For every decision, there is the potential for unintended consequences. At stake in the debate over banning Tik Tok is a cornerstone of western democracies for over 200 years--freedom of speech. Safety from foreign adversaries comes with a cost to every single American whenever the government steps in to restrict or deny anything through legislation. In this case, the right of individuals to express their opinions and ideas without fear of persecution or retribution is at stake.Whether or not to limit free speech with a Tik Tok ban is contentious, with proponents on both sides arguing fiercely for their stance. Ultimately, it is up to society, and you, to decide on the delicate balance between preserving the right to free speech while ensuring that it does not lead to harm or pose a national security threat.In this episode, we explore Tik Tok, the limits of personal freedom, and the RESTRICT Act, which would potentially ban Tik Tok and other bad actors across our digital landscape. However, to say the RESTRICT Act goes far beyond banning Tik Tok is a grand understatement. Government overreach is a descriptor that aptly describes this Act, and all Americans should understand the details behind the headlines spouted by politicians in 30-second sound bytes. Join the Intellectual Freedom Substack Page for additional free resources and content!  https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#102: The Decline of Religion: Why Faith Is So Hard in the Postmodern World
25-03-2023
#102: The Decline of Religion: Why Faith Is So Hard in the Postmodern World
For an atheist, faith seems to be an impossibility. For a practitioner of Christianity or any religion for that matter, it is hard to maintain faith. But why?We live in a superficial world. In many ways, the religious institutions of the west mirror this superficiality. It has created lukewarm Christians—the Christmas and Easter-type practitioners of Christianity are a prime example. All religions appear to be facing similar problems. A deep reverence for the immutable power of God is replaced with a mechanical and quasi-robotic going through the motions at best. Or, at worst, charlatans and deviants take advantage of their congressions sexually or monetarily. Atheists refuse even to consider anything from religious institutions. To say faith is in trouble is an understatement. In the middle of the extremes are a group of pastors and priests with self-righteousness, judgemental, and hypocritical lifestyles, causing an entire generation of young adults to relinquish their faith. They see the actions and attitudes of the devout and simply don’t want to be a part of it. The proof is irrefutable, and Gen Z (aka the Zoomers), our youngest generation, is the least religious generation yet, with a whopping 34% entirely unaffiliated with any church or religion. (1)The Medieval Mystical TraditionOur modern calamity in the death of faith, in many ways, could be reversed or at least minimized by understanding and implementing the wisdom from the great mystical traditions of the Christian church. In this episode, we evaluate the fantastical and metaphysical when mystics in the Christian tradition left the baby pool of spirituality and dove into the deep water of Christianity to emerge with insights and ideas for revival at the personal and institutional levels. We will evaluate their teaching and incredible stories of other-worldly experiences. There is a hunger by so many for profound and meaningful messages of hope, love, and community that requires a perspective closer to the medieval mystics than the mega-church pastor with polished white teeth and a 10,000-seat church with rock music playing in the background. This episode helps shine a light on why humanity is losing faith in religion and those metaphysical aspects of religion beyond the typical culprits of science and materialism. A profound yearning for more is still embedded inside the psyche of us all. The medieval mystics can illuminate ways to tap into it. SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST SUBSTACK PAGE!https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#101: What the **Bleep** was I Thinking!?! Using Medieval Wisdom to Revolutionize Your Decision-Making in Three Simple Steps
17-03-2023
#101: What the **Bleep** was I Thinking!?! Using Medieval Wisdom to Revolutionize Your Decision-Making in Three Simple Steps
We have all been there—bad decisions. Making bad decisions triggers negative consequences, such as financial loss, relationship damage, or missed opportunities. As we go through life and accumulate lousy decision after lousy decision, the baggage we carry around gets heavy—embarrassment, regret, anxiety, loss of self-confidence, and even fear that can paralyze us from stepping out of our comfort zone emerge. We really only have two choices. Make bad mistakes, curl up in a ball, and give up. Or, we can challenge ourselves to leave the past in the past and have the discipline and determination to tap into our minds and learn to make better decisions. I choose the latter, and I hope you do too. This episode explores a three-step process to avoid bad decisions and hopefully make high-quality decisions. We will get through analyzing a medieval intellectual and theologian that lived a life of high drama, bitter confrontations, and more than his share of bad decisions. From these very difficult life experiences, he grew exponentially and became one of the most respected and influential figures of the medieval era. His name is Peter Abelard, and his view on sin, thinking, individualism, and personal responsibility was centuries ahead of the traditional mindset of the time. As we always do, we will attempt to connect the dots from a set of wisdom literature and philosophy to the postmodern world we live in today. I hope you will listen in and study as we explore Peter Abelard and how to make more effective decisions in life. JOIN THE INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM COMMUNITY!  It's free and gives you access to much, much more content and material to further your journey.  https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#100: The American Dream Isn't Just Dead--It Was the Wrong Dream to Begin With
12-03-2023
#100: The American Dream Isn't Just Dead--It Was the Wrong Dream to Begin With
A recent YouGov survey found that only 30% of Americans overall believe in the American dream and see it as very or somewhat attainable for themselves. It is cliche now to say the American Dream is dead. You can read innumerable articles on the topic. The surface reasons for the death of the American Dream are obvious, too—rocketing inflation, student loan debt, housing costs, medical costs, income inequality, and endless wars are apparent culprits. But what if the American Dream wasn’t just an illusion that emerged in the 1930s, but rather the concept is even more sinister? What if the American Dream was designed to enslave, not elevate, and provide a lifetime of happiness? Could it be that the American Dream, as conceived during the Industrial Revolution, was the wrong dream, to begin with? In fact, it could be argued that the American Dream is a nightmare that everyone, ultimately, is guaranteed to fail.In many ways, this idea is like going to Las Vegas to gamble and expecting to get back on your plane for home with a healthy bag full of money. It rarely happens. It is time to look at the American Dream differently. In this episode, we study the life and teaching of St. Augustine. We will connect the dots of his philosophy and theology from the 4th century CE to the American Dream. In our wisdom literature of the week, we will review The Confessions and City of God and St. Augustine’s doctrine of why the materialistic strivings of humankind, such as the American Dream, are doomed to fail every time. We all need to reimagine a new dream, a more concrete dream, that can lead us to a life of purpose and fulfillment.  St. Augustine will be our guide on this journey. The reasons for our current discontent and disillusionment with life in our post-modern world will become apparent by looking back at the teaching of this great and influential teacher. Afer listening, go deeper!  Subscribe to the Intellectual Freedom Podcast Substack page for free resources to take your understanding of this topic and more to a deeper level: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#99: Ignorance is NOT Bliss! Why Civilizations Degrade Towards Evil & Division.
05-03-2023
#99: Ignorance is NOT Bliss! Why Civilizations Degrade Towards Evil & Division.
Subscribe for Free: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/Examples are everywhere—social media, political soundbites, and cable TV demonstrate that ignorance is trending globally. We have all seen it. It is scary to watch. Politicians boast, “I’m not a scientist,” or that people are “sick of the so-called experts.” Rather than expertise, lack of experience is explained as a positive thing, better than any credential. Healthy skepticism is important—but denying basic facts of the obvious sort is dangerous and breeds extremism. In this climate, misinformation or fake news is on the rise, and flagrant lies by those in positions of authority are accepted and spread without question by both sides of the ideological divide- these lies shape beliefs, foster mistrust, and breed anger among the population.The irony is that although we live in the information age, we do not appear well-informed at the minimum, or at worst, society is becoming downright ignorant. For all the benefits the information age has given to society, it surely has some unintended negative consequences. But there is a solution to combatting society's rising tide of ignorance. Ignorance is dangerous. When we lack knowledge or understanding but, with arrogance and bluster, claim to possess knowledge, bad things happen—division happens. Evil happens. In this podcast, we look back to a great theologian, philosopher, medical doctor and writer for a clear answer to combat ignorance in any era. His wisdom transcends generations, and we should all consider his teachings. His name is Moses Maimonides. Join me for a deep dive into his life, works, and practical knowledge we can all use to become more intelligent and wise in our lives. Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins
#98: How Protestant Prosperity Gospel Pastors are Killing Christianity
27-02-2023
#98: How Protestant Prosperity Gospel Pastors are Killing Christianity
Just twenty-two percent of the youngest adults describe themselves as Protestant  –  a more than fifty percent decline from the 1950s and 60s.  A cataclysmic decline if things do not change.  Gen Z is the most likely generation yet to say they don’t believe in God. They are also the least religiously affiliated and the least likely to attend church.Meantime, their rates of depression and anxiety are soaring. The Centers for Disease Control recently published a report stating that “almost 60% of female students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year, and nearly 25% made a suicide plan.”This is a stunning collapse. Any way a Christian may slice it, the current theology and institution are not working. Period. In this episode, we contrast maybe the most corrosive element of Christianity—prosperity gospel preachers against some very stoic and hardcore followers of Christian theology often referred to as the desert fathers and mothers. What a stark contrast and the disparity shines a bright light on the differences between a postmodern world of ease versus a life of pain, suffering, and ultimately one of deep fulfillment outside the umbrella of materialism. In this podcast, we primarily focus on St. Anthony, an incredible individual who shunned all material and personal wealth and fame for a life in the deep, mystical desert, hoping to live out his best life as close to the teachings of Christ as possible. Whether you are a Christian, Jew, or of any faith, the hard-fought lessons learned by the desert fathers and mothers illuminate shortcomings in our lives that we can work on to become a better version of ourselves. Join the conversation & get more free resources by subscribing to the podcast substack newsletter! https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Website: https://www.daviddhopkins.com/Newsletter: https://intellectualfreedom.substack.com/ Follow Dr. Hopkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidDHopkins