Jordan Peterson vs. Susan Blackmore

skeptoid's picture

Jordan Peterson vs Susan Blackmore • Do we need God to make sense of life?

I have covered Blackmore  before - she is the quintessential example of a Dawkins acolyte who thinks she's arrived at the ultimate rational belief system by adopting his doctrine (which is, btw, different from that espoused by Harris).

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skeptoid's picture

Oh wow a BONUS video from that awesome channel tmcleanful where Peterson and Blackmore discuss Dawkins and memes (in case you'd like to just start with a clip):

 

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danmanjones's picture

"Are atheists fundamentally religious, deep down?"

Of course they are, they're human beans.

 

I like this lady. She has a background in psychology so can actually speak on the subject & she doesn't show an underlying contempt for religion.

 

Religion is not really something that public figures can speak about. There's too much political dogma. It's a topic that involves an objective look at history - something very few people are willing to do.

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Fullauto223cal's picture

"human beans"

 

???

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Fullauto223cal's picture

It's a topic that involves an objective look at history - something very few people are willing to do.

 

And if you're on the side of religion, the willingness to completely abandon all reason and just accept as true, without evidence, that all sorts of silly magical shit really happened and that some invisible dude made the entire cosmos just for your ass.

 

 

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danmanjones's picture

Filling the void in knowledge, eg. how was the universe created, is just a human trait. Silly magical shit is everywhere in our traditions. I don't mind people finding humility beneath a 'creator'. That part of a religion is fine with me because it's just a personal philosophy. It can start to get dodgy when we give people authority over these philosophical ideas. Since our culture is based on Christianity, as we throw out religion there will be a void & it'll be filled with other stuff. There's a debate I think you'll be interested in watching about this and a few other things.... it's not public just yet. It tackles political stuff like war & centers around amoral v 'leftist' priciples & reminds me of some of our arguments.

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backdraft's picture
Beta Tester

Good talk. I remember listening to Blackmores talks something like 10 years ago and how she was a really spiteful atheist. It's amazing how mellow she is in this. I guess all those years of meditation paid off. 

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daftcunt's picture

Aaaaah, JP, the saviour of his religious lobsters.

 

Probably the religious need advice how to live their lives and be told what their purpouse is, AND of course they need to be told how to interpret scripture and what to take as "good" advice and what to dismiss. 

 

JP's dismissal to answer questions about his personal belief I find cowardly and shallow (but that's how the lobsters like it, I guess: "My belief [system] is way too complex to explain in a few minutes, HOW DARE YOU ASK!").  

 

Modern christians (and others I guess) way overthink their belief system and modify it in order to give it credibility, or better: to widen the little gap in which their deity exists or "reigns". The funny thing is the "essence" of the argument remains the same, whether they are creationists or do actually believe in evolution, it can be summed up in a few words although some are able to make a lecture of it: "Can't exlain it? There you are, god did it!"

 

If you ask me anybody can believe whatever they like as long as it does not interfere with others or government (or even become an agenda, too late for that in the US and even parts of Germany). 

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skeptoid's picture

LOL - none of what you have written relates at all to the phenomenological approach to Christianity. It is the approach that was adopted by the early church and it's an approach that's been sustained throughout all of the shallow dogmatic manipulations of human beings that you note in your comment over the many centuries.  I tried to introduce you to the phenomenological approach before but you ran away. Refused to even take a look.

 

In fact I would be willing to bet that you didn't watch even a portion of this video.

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daftcunt's picture

What I have written relates to the video, and yes I have seen a part of it, I lost interest when they started the promotion for his book. 

 

Typical for coward that you are you do not address what I wrote but happily divert to non related shoit and 20hrs of religious video. 

 

I don't care where your or anybodies belief comes from. It is what it is, a belief. In the past you were even too scared to commit to your belief even when directly asked. Only JP gave you the courage to say "I am a christian" only now you add "if you want to know about it, it is what HE says"

 

Jesus loves you, though, and he died for your sins, you really should stop masturbating.

 

 

Peace

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skeptoid's picture

I've been saying I'm a Christian, and having had to qualify that ad-nauseum because of shallow folks like you, since I became active on this site in 2011, long  before I or most anyone else heard of Jordan Peterson. I have spent years on this channel promoting a phenomenological interpretation as that which is most true and useful when it comes to the Bible and Christianity. I have promoted thinkers that reflect my view, which was formed at about age 12. I have argued repeatedly and consistently that the Gospel of Christ was specifically about taking the steps to transcend a MINDLESS adherence to some rigid system of laws or a hierarchical pecking order produced by men as the source of one's righteousness. It was inevitable that we would graft parasitic ideological notions (memes) to the archetypal substructures that undergird religion, and the Christian church is no exception because it was organized and created by men, and as Matt Dillahunty says making laws that attempt to explain and manage the world around us is "What humans do." I have academics like Dallas Willard and Jordan Peterson to thank for providing me with additional academic reference points to refine the language I use to describe my belief while simutaneously providing me with additional angles from which to approach the argument. 

 

The common denominator that has defined my worldview has been the rejection of the absolutist doctrines that characterize fanatical belief systems, whether those systems are theist or atheist. One of the most striking features of the fanatical atheist materialist is the bizarre belief that he or she doesn't actually subscribe to a doctrinal belief system that rigidly characterizes their worldview. That would be you Daftcunt - at least the fundies know that they're fundies, and will readily admit why they shut their eyes against knowledge that would challenge their totalitarian worldview. You lack even that level of awareness, which in my opinion puts you lower on the pole in terms of ethical integrity, although in terms of the damage you can actually inflict you're rather harmless. 

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backdraft's picture
Beta Tester

"One of the most striking features of the fanatical atheist materialist is the bizarre belief that he or she doesn't actually subscribe to a doctrinal belief system that rigidly characterizes their worldview. "

 

This.

 

The fact that atheist movement wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for religion is kinda telling.

It's not just a "lack of belief", it's a response to religious ideas. 

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daftcunt's picture

"It's not just a "lack of belief", it's a response to religious ideas."

 

What are you talking about? Some have the idea there is a supernatural being or force at work (most even insist that they actually purpousfully created humans as the superiort being in the universe) without proof or evidence, without even the slightest HINT pointing towards their existance and expect others to take them seriously?

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backdraft's picture
Beta Tester

You're missing the point. I'm not saying you should take their word for it, what I'm saying is atheism forms a worldview because it actively denies god. It opposes religion. How this manifests depends on how fanatical you are about your atheism. Some may be ok with "there probably isn't a god" and some take it to the other extreme trying to eradicate religion by force. 

 

As with any philosophy / idea you take on, you tend to view the world through those ideas and atheism isn't an exception.  

 

   

 

 

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daftcunt's picture

"....atheism forms a worldview because it actively denies god."

 

No, sorry you got the wrong end of the stick.

I wouldn't even call it a world view, it is just what it is "not believing".

Neither does any atheist "actively deny god(s)"*, they simply say there is no reason to believe in one. 

 

Look at it this way: the believer actively "promotes" god(s), the atheist does not sign up for this. Just because the concept of (a) god(s) exists is not reason enough for the atheist to believe it.

 

EDIT:

* in order to "actively deny something" there would have to be at least some sort of indicator of its existance somewhere. Take the climate change "deniers" for example, some of the red herrings they pull out at least make sense at first and (very) superficial glance.

 

 

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backdraft's picture
Beta Tester

I think what you described would better fit an agnostic.

It's almost like your saying there is no push against the idea of god in the atheist community. Of course there is. That's how atheism got started in the first place, it's a response to religion. The root idea of atheism is that there is a low / nill probability for god's existence. Thats why people become atheists because they have reached this conclusion.

This is the active denial for the possibility of god's existence, but of course, the fact remains that we do not know the answer.

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daftcunt's picture

Again you have the wrong end of the stick.

 

  • The atheist does not have the idea "there IS NO god".
  • The theist has the idea "there IS a god" (which actually should be prefixed by "I have a hunch"). The atheist simply does not sign up for this.
  • The theist may make this their "world view". Usually the atheist has more important things to care about.

 

The atheist may "fight" some religions as will certain theists.

The theist will also in general require "praise" or "credibility" or similar for being a theist, which the atheist will deny.

 

Many theists will claim outrageous things on behalf of their religion that may hurt or harm others, that is where the atheist usually gets passionate.   

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backdraft's picture
Beta Tester

"The atheist does not have the idea "there IS NO god".

 

So you don't think it is fair to say that most atheists think there is a low / nill possibility of god's existence? Is it really a stretch to say this is why people become atheists?

 

Would you categorize yourself as an atheist or an agnostic and why?

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daftcunt's picture

Again: the theist has the idea but no proof or even a pointer to support it, they simply have a hunch. 

 

The atheist does not see a reason to follow the theists beliefs.

 

Looking at the universe there is no indication for existance of (a) god(s), the probability is impossible to calculate. 

 

Whatever you want to call me, I don't fit into the category "believer".

 

" Is it really a stretch to say this is why people become atheists?"

 

People were born atheists, then many were "educated" to become believers (regardless of whether or not we are genetically pre-programmed to be believers) usually from very young age. Some of them get out of this again by further educating themselves.

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daftcunt's picture

Aaaah, again the typical reply of a believer: Atheism is a belief system. Go and find a new argument please. 
And start to be honest with yourself: You don't know, I don't know, nobody knows, although some claim they do.

 

Unless you do know you have to believe. Some have their reasons to do so (like you), others don't (like myself).  
Just because some took their belief and constructed a sort of philosophical web around it does not make it reality or even likely, still they want, no demand actually, undeserved credibility for it.  "Look, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOK, there is something, there must be something, it's the gaaaawwwwd." 

 

What strikes me most is the arrogance of the believer (irrespective of whether they are christians, muslim or whatever) to think they are part of something bigger, purpously built by a "creator", thus making them (us actually) something special. Part of this is of course to feel superior to people that have another belief and of course to those that don't see a reason to believe. 

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skeptoid's picture

Who are you talking to? The mirror beckons Daftcunt:

 

"And start to be honest with yourself: You don't know, I don't know, nobody knows, although some claim they do.

Unless you do know you have to believe. Some have their reasons to do so (like you), others don't (like myself).

 

Daftcunt you have have your reasons for your beliefs, which are based on your evaluation of a concept you can't know the true nature of, as you say above. I have never claimed to know the nature of God - even fundies deny they know his nature (they tend to focus on the Church and its dogma as an authoritative institution). Neil Degrasse Tyson claims to have captured the essential nature of God - he'll tell you about it. I have always focused on the material aspects of the evolution of our understanding of God, first. That's called being honest with yourself and with what science shows us to be true with a high degree of certainty.

 

I wonder if you realize that you defined yourself as a believer and then proceeded to attack yourself as arrogant.

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daftcunt's picture

The believing brain sees it like you do. 

You cannot understand that "not believing" is exactly that: not a belief. You do not realize the bias you have towards "there must be something" rather than letting go and THEN see where it takes you. For those that have been impregnated with this "god concept" early in life it is very hard to take a step back and look at things from another angle, even for rather intelligent people like Peterson.

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skeptoid's picture

Peterson's argument, into which Dawkins' argument folds, is that belief in God is in our DNA. If you took 100 people, raised them with no explicit notion of God, told them the universe is here just cuz so stop asking, educated them with a traditional post-enlightenment scientific education, and then deposited them on an isolated island, I think the evidence is very strong that within a few generations all or some portion of the population would develop a religious tradition that includes a belief in God. In which case there goes your argument, sort of. Another way to look at it would be to say that seeing this develop coupled with Peterson's argument about biologically-embedded archetypes would complete your argument. Do you get what I'm saying?

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daftcunt's picture

Possibly, (the island thing) although there is no way to prove it. Michael Shermer wrote an interesting book about the believing brain. Believing is very likely to have genetic roots but due to the limited information that can be passed on through genes it will be linked to other (related and/or unrelated) traits.

To me it is very likely also linked to idolising Rock or sport personalities or politicians.

 

 

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danmanjones's picture

@Skeptoid - I don't think I agree that we'd come up with a god given the current education standard. It's a branch (or 2) of philosophy along the lines of the initiation of the universe &/or whether we have secret aliens watching over us & guiding us. People these days are swamped with information and tend not to bother themselves with additional questions so much (when was the last time you lay there staring at the stars for hours just thinking?)

 

You also assumed a belief in God, as if the society would automatically be monotheistic. Most cultures throughout history that have worshipped deities have been polytheistic. In my imagination, if the universe was sparked into existence by a conscious entity, I'd assume there was more than one of these 'gods' and they would interact, otherwise it wouln't be anything like a god at all... like it wouldn't interact with anything, ya know what I mean?

 

That said, I think there's plenty of reason to believe that some kind of religion (like ritualistic superstition / meditation) would get spawned. I figure that's because people like to do things in groups, including trance-like things.... praying is kind of like dancing in a sense.

 

hope it doesn't sound too stupid ;p

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skeptoid's picture

Well I think if you set it up with the EXACT conditions I specified it would be monotheistic because, and perhaps this assumption is false, it seems to me that an isolated population educated in a post-enlightenment fashion would not begin at the baseline we see in our past - the many gods, then the king of the many gods, then the one God, and so on. If Peterson is right, then similar to how breeding of wolves (and other wild species) by humans with a laser-like focus on domestication rapidly produced dogs, tame foxes, etc., we've been doing this exact thing to ourselves as we've evolved our understanding of God and that evolution is now embedded in our genetics due to the behaviors of men and the selective pressures of women over generations. We may have produced dogs in as little as a 1000 years - think about that. What have we done to ourselves over the past 2000 years as we've continued to work through the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions? Have we been directing the course of our own evolution in a very immutable sense since the beginning? And, if so - if this is the natural direction of a conscious species, then it seems to suggest an active drive coming from outside pushing all of this up into higher states of awareness, of reality, of what Peterson calls hyper-reality - the reality of the phenomenological.

 

Everyone knows about my interest in UFOs, and of course one of the theories is that they are actual aliens from other worlds? If so, have they come here to monitor us at this time because we are nearing some kind of tipping point that interests or even significantly affects them? If they experience reality over tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of years (reduced or non-existent mortality), then are we approaching a "point of graduation" where a larger community is monitoring and evaluating our suitability to join a much larger community? When we test a nuke do we shatter other realities - do we hurt these things? Are they asking themselves "Do we want to live with these human things for the next million years, in our space, graduated to our reality?" All fun to speculate about - wish there was less noise and more certainty.

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danmanjones's picture

I think you're conflating a few things here. The evolution of the human mind is not that fast. I didn't mention it but my basis for assuming we'd not invent any gods is the trend of our society away from theism. We're stil just as religious as ever but the way I see it we're inventing new religions all the time. I think I told you on another thread that there's a concept that I think has merit that one of the strongest religions in the West at this point is Holocaustianity - where Hitler takes the place of Satan and the Holocaust is the ultimate evil. The good guys are supposedly us, regardless of the evidence to the contrary, this is the dogma being pumped into us every day in the media/movies/political spokespeople etc.

 

If you're interested in the Abrahamic religions, as I've suggested once before, I think you should go back further & notice the similarities between the legends in the bible & that of Zaroastrianism & that of the Sumerians. It probably marries up with JP's work well but goes beyond this & shows that a lot of the Torah was plageurised from other religions... these same themes go back a lot longer than 2,000 years & yeah probably have impacted our psychological evolution a wee bit by now.

 

Religion, or more specifically, superstition is much older than this though. If you read the ffamous book Guns Germs & Steel it has a very interesting take on how our tendency towards superstition has helped us survive over the ages. It's hard to explain but it makes a lot of sense & considering our species is at least 200,000 years old it pays to look back beyond 10,000 years ago (when the earliest religions we know of came about) to really understand our brain IMO. ;D

 

Note: "traditional post-enlightenment scientific education" - I'm interpreting that as a 2018 education, with internet - youtube, snapchat etc etc ... or are you talking about an 18th Century Western European education?

 

As for our evolution through theh Abrahamic religions - they're all the same thing really. In a nutshell, these religions are an enslavement of the mind in one form or another. They all demand subserviance to God via human authorities. Protestantism is slightly different but in only on the surface. Look at Pastor Hagee for example. He's doing a real number on those Evangelicals, all in the name of God.

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skeptoid's picture

I'm not disputing the history of the evolution of human religions, and I was just going to add (and saw you had replied) that for example Tulsi Gabbard is a Hindu but she's a strict constitutionalist and those principles were derived form the Judeo-Christian tradition and then secularized. So when I talk about the continued development of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions I'm including everything, including all of the secular systems that have been derived from the archetypal ideas embedded in those religious traditions. You're not addressing the point I made about breeding animals for domestication - have we been "breading ourselves for galactic domestication" or something like that, the success or failure of which remains unclear, not least because we don't have a perspective to see if we're going in the right direction or not.

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