Truth in Myth
Posted: 11 May 2018 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m copying and pasting some of this from the Jordan Peterson thread, hopefully, I don’t get spam filtered

https://youtu.be/4LjYovTo4uc

This is Matt’s follow up to the debate to his debate with Jordan Peterson. I think it’s accurate. He talks about the time he got really annoyed at the end of this. And he slams the guy a few times, with good reason.

In between 23 and 25 minute marks, he talks about the value of story. I argued with him a lot about this, and now he’s too busy to answer my emails, so I’m glad he’s saying stuff like this that I agree with. Peterson talks about the importance of keeping religion, he calls it the “metaphoric substrate”, but doesn’t define that term. Matt says, either gods exist or they don’t. It’s a separate question from whether or not god stories have value. If a god story has value, maybe it’s showing that any myth could have value, and that facts and observation about what it is to be human also has value. He says, the things that these stories point to that are true are things about us. The mythological characters are not true. That’s what I think is meant by, “the Bible isn’t true, but there is truth in it.”

In a different interview, more friendly to him, something called EconTalk, Peterson defines “God” as “the future of the community”. I don’t think he even says ” a metaphor for”. I’m sure Matt would have found some fault that, as I did.

Later, around 30 minutes, Matt says the commonality of these stories doesn’t point to some supernatural influence, we tell the same stories because we are the same. This isn’t just some philosophy of myth, it points to how we can see, in our cultures and histories, that we are more alike than different. If we would stop arguing about the name of the thing we are pointing at, we could see that.

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Posted: 11 May 2018 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Peterson never even implied supernatural sources. He calls Axioms “god” so in his world is everyone religious about his own conviction.

I am currently reading God Delusion, and the part about “Einsteinian view” on religion strikes me as the closest example as it fits “Deeply religious unbeliever”. I am almost sure that Peterson read this book as well, and adapted his worldview.

The thing is I also perceive professor Dawkins’s admiration for nature to be very similar to admiration of more common “metaphorical personification of human attributes” which are usually described as “god(s)”. Now… most gods have human appearance, but all gods have human attributes, and when asking “what differs them from humans” there is sprinkled some supernatural nonsense about immortality, infallibility, omnipresence and similar.

I think that what Peterson is trying to do is ... convince everyone that everyone believes in a “personal god” whatever or whoever it might be - regardless if he is aware, unaware, accepting it or denying it. He attempts to archieve this by changing the definition of the word everytime he can, in attempt to “fit the audience”. But he makes a big mistake, because in case of self-proclaimed atheists he believe he speak with “literalists” or “plain materialists” who have not thought about definitions of god before.

When his argument fails, he laughts and then start to mention a lot of “accepted facts” to reinforce his position, he again says something convoluted, and untrue, and if challenged with a question or openly denied, he repeats this process. In this manner, he acts exactly like a street preacher, or a jehova witness who is still enthusiastic about his mission.

To me its plainly brainwashing. Yet… because he is not part of religious group (at least i am not aware of) it might be just a personal pursue for being understood.

[ Edited: 11 May 2018 11:31 PM by Offler ]
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Posted: 12 May 2018 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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§
Offler, I think you’re missing the point.  Seems to me Peterson is so in love with the breath of his knowledge and himself, that he never actually distills it.  I mean that thing about needing 12 (or whatever hours) to define God - my lord that’s ‘If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance (short concise summary of the essence), baffle them with bullshit.”

Back to Matt Dillahunty, here’s what I heard:

23:40 Mark:  “you look at Grimm’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes we tell kids these are morality plays but largely people don’t think that they point to something true, like they’re not the characters in a true story, the thing that they’re pointing to is true and is something about us …

… if somebody comes to you and tells you that they believe they’re George Washington and your view of truth is that it’s true if it benefits you - then you how do you diagnose him?  How do you determine that they’re not George Washington? 
Do you just say oh it doesn’t matter they’re get benefit out of it? 

Without having a sound foundation on the reality we supposedly share an experience I don’t know how you could do your job as a psychologist to me it’s almost as if a good understanding which I think he (Peterson) has of human psychology has led him down a road where the narratives that make up our lives and the interactions we have are almost more of a sociological level trump anything about reality and I don’t know how you can really do psychology well that way but I’m not a psychologist… ”

I wonder if Peterson ever addresses homo evolution - religious development vs. “deep time” and what that has to tell we ourselves about these Gods that many of us believe in.

Offler - 11 May 2018 11:27 PM

The thing is I also perceive professor Dawkins’s admiration for nature to be very similar to admiration of more common “metaphorical personification of human attributes” which are usually described as “god(s)”.

admiration for nature = “metaphorical personification of human attributes”

First thing that comes to my mind is admiration for some girlie magazine in bed, as opposed to being in bed with a real girlie.

( I do like Mike, he comes across as a mensch, whereas Jordan comes across all showman.)
“Admiration”,  hmmm, I like “appreciation”  Appreciating nature requires escaping our self-centeredness, finding human metaphors in nature and believing that reflects on the world around us, is . . .  isn’t going to get anyone anywhere.  (Thus we destroy our one and only home.)

Truly perceiving “nature” takes us beyond human metaphors - a step beyond, into a world of fractals and simple truths translated into an infinite variety of realities.  Perceiving nature is about appreciating items such as the intimate connections between life and rocks, understanding the long history of DNA, and the connection between your skeleton and a lamprey.  And how an infinity of such truths came together to create this constantly changing body that you inhabit, and this world that we inhabit, and so on and so forth.

To begin appreciating nature, one must be able to understand this Earth and her fantastical atmosphere and biosphere totally independent of me, myself and I, ego, societal needs and such. How many have achieved that?  Instead, it’s postcards, all the way down.

Appreciating ‘nature’ as something independent of us, but that we are totally dependent on.
Rather than having no notion, beyond someone saying we’re supposed to consume all of it as f’n fast as possible. 
Or to fancy our varied perceptions of it, define it.

Just say’n.

[ Edited: 12 May 2018 02:23 PM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 12 May 2018 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Excellent analysis Offler!

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Posted: 13 May 2018 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 12 May 2018 02:19 PM

§
admiration for nature = “metaphorical personification of human attributes”

I am actually telling exact opposite. Dawkins is not religious because of his “almost exstatic speeches” about nature.

( I do like Mike, he comes across as a mensch, whereas Jordan comes across all showman.)
“Admiration”,  hmmm, I like “appreciation”  Appreciating nature requires escaping our self-centeredness,)[/i

I meant something like this. The ususal religious twist was presented by Hitchens in “Putting it mildly”.

“Children, now look around how is the nature beautiful and perfect. Now imagine the dude who created all this, how awesome he has to be”.

And thats the part I always have and will always have the problem with. I will put some extreme example…
a) I like work of Kevin Spacey.
But i never met with him, so I dont know what kind of person he is.

b) He had a sexual scandal.
Now I know something bad about him as a person, but I still like his work as an actor.

Religious people still like “work” of the omnipotent creator, regardless his genocidal tendencies in Old Testament. The difference between common idea of “god” and Kevin Spacey is that I can be absolutely sure who was acting in House of Cards and American Beauty, while I am not sure about origin of nature.

Being a “creator” is a human attribute since mankind started to make tools and shape the world around.

I would agree with Peterson that we have axioms, but i would not agree that there is any sort of admiration or worshippipng going towards them. In this case Peterson can bring up any formulation of god, he might think i admire or worship, but there is nothing i could simply deny.

And your point therefore is right. Leaving nature without a creator is about leaving behind our self-centeredness.

[ Edited: 13 May 2018 02:02 AM by Offler ]
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Posted: 13 May 2018 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Well said Offler, thanks.

I started listening to another video last night, hope i can finish it sometime today.
It’s nice hearing an actual discussion rather than one-sided presentation.

An Evening With Matt Dillahunty & Jordan Peterson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmH7JUeVQb8

Nice to see my first impressions of Matt, reconfirmed.  I like the guy and definitely side with his rational,
Jordon also reinforced my first impressions of him, but ...

I mean equating a personal spiritual/mystical experience with super-natural experience,
in order to entertain (justify) the notion that super-natural exists
seems way below the belt to me.

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Posted: 13 May 2018 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I would say that Peterson’s approach in judging personal mystical or spiritual experience is something you would not find when confronting members of catholic church. They would deny any sort of “supernatural” - they usually speak about such experiences as those are equal to events which are completely natural. Its a social effect because you speak with people who had exactly same experience, there is no reason to add any special label on it.

Peterson with his personal approach to ... literally anything ... really put an equation between using certain drugs and visitation to church when individual become overwhelmed by it. I am partially on his side ...

The thing is, that everyone has to judge his own senses with care, and healthy level of skepticisim. If you experience drugs, if you experience something visually stunning, or you simply did not slept well for 2 days, it might leave its mark on your emotional state. Once it wears off people use to say “i know what I have seen” yet they actually speak about emotional state. So its sort of logical fallacy.

Those two fallacies mix-up in case of first-hand religious or mystical experience and become part of social identity. Its stunning that Peterson DOES NOT recognize this.

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Posted: 13 May 2018 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well I managed to listen to all of that discussion and the Q/A now.  Fun talk, I very much agree with Matt’s perspective and loved how he exposed Peterson’s unnecessary reaching for an ultimate God.  The last question was specially on point, regarding evolution of animals containing the underpinnings of morality thus dispensing with the need for that ultimate supernatural God that Jordan seems to cling to.

  Guess I’ll have to listen to the other video of the two of them when I can.

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Posted: 14 May 2018 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 12 May 2018 02:19 PM

I wonder if Peterson ever addresses homo evolution - religious development vs. “deep time” and what that has to tell we ourselves about these Gods that many of us believe in.

Not that I have ever seen. He sticks to the classics in literature, the Bible and the great philosophers. Those are good choices, but what he does with them is questionable. And, leaving out evolution is a big problem for me.

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Posted: 14 May 2018 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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He did earlier in a different occasion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khkTVt9X1z4

And its actually briliant explanation. There is nothing i would correct, there is nothing i would add and he seems to perfeclty understand the principle of natural selection. His world dont need god in a sense like Bible thumpers or creationists would like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfvVu7__vy0

Here he is absolutely right that “do you believe in god” is not “yes or no” question. We have to narrow it down to “belief”. In his case it would be “yes, but in completely different sense as you might understand”, so if asked by a christian he would understand it as “no”, and if asked by atheists those will understand it as “yes”, but you could not put him into theist, deist, pantheist, nor personal god box.

But even when does he asks “what do you mean by god”, He does not ask “which god”. He asks “what do you mean by divine”. But then again he gets into his own philosophical ideas. To me he is a very special case of agnostic.

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Posted: 14 May 2018 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Offler - 14 May 2018 03:08 PM

Here he is absolutely right that “do you believe in god” is not “yes or no” question. We have to narrow it down to “belief”. In his case it would be “yes, but in completely different sense as you might understand”, so if asked by a christian he would understand it as “no”, and if asked by atheists those will understand it as “yes”, but you could not put him into theist, deist, pantheist, nor personal god box.

But even when does he asks “what do you mean by god”, He does not ask “which god”. He asks “what do you mean by divine”. But then again he gets into his own philosophical ideas. To me he is a very special case of agnostic.

Thanks for the evolution one. He looks younger in that one.

I think he used the answer “act as if” god exists in the Dillahunty event. I don’t care for his “what do you mean by” response, it’s evasive. He gets pretty specific when he thinks for a second about Jesus bodily resurrecting (I find it hard to believe he hadn’t thought about this before). He says, he doesn’t know what could happen if someone “mastered the world”. This is his trick. He never shows how any evidence of Jesus shows that he mastered anything, but now he has a theory about a man doing something supernatural because he achieved this mastery. What mastery? Later, he proclaims, “Magical things happen as the logos manifests itself”, this time as a rehearsed statement. He even follows up with “that’s self evidently true”. In other words, he doesn’t need to give evidence for that. You should know it. If you don’t know it, there’s something wrong with you. It’s the equivalent of, “go back, read your Bible and pray, then you’ll understand me”. This guy is going to end up abusing young women and maybe building a compound.

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Posted: 14 May 2018 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I think i got him. He mentioned that consciousness is mysterious.

Whats mysterious is usually source of “divine inspiration”. He as a psychologist does a lot of work to understand it, but he seems to give divine attributes to our axioms. Principles and motivations which “simply are” and their origin cannot be explained even by the person who holds them.

God of gaps if you want to.

And there is the thing. I spent a lot of time to understand principles which define my personality and mechanisms which work behind them - to use them in a simplified form in a computer game. When I tried to explain how it works to a psychologist or a person who worked on AI previously, they did not had a way how to understand that, even when i tried to do it slowly and step by step…

To make it problematic, i cannot say “we have axioms because of evolution” - that would devolve the argument into “something because god”.

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Posted: 15 May 2018 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Offler - 14 May 2018 11:16 PM

To make it problematic, i cannot say “we have axioms because of evolution” - that would devolve the argument into “something because god”.

I think I get what you’re saying. We could say, “we have axioms because of evolution”, and we might even be right, but we need to have a whole lot of science behind that statement to back it up. “Because god” does not have anything behind it. It is meant to be the end of the discussion.

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Posted: 15 May 2018 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Lausten - 15 May 2018 08:36 AM
Offler - 14 May 2018 11:16 PM

To make it problematic, i cannot say “we have axioms because of evolution” - that would devolve the argument into “something because god”.

I think I get what you’re saying. We could say, “we have axioms because of evolution”, and we might even be right, but we need to have a whole lot of science behind that statement to back it up. “Because god” does not have anything behind it. It is meant to be the end of the discussion.

We clearly have some reflexes and some types of behavior from the evolution. Mammals suck and i mean it literally :D. Other such kind is described in the book “The selfish gene”.

However not all kinds of human behavior can be attributed to evolution. We can be sure that Peterson does not mean that “axioms are god-made”, and he does not ask the stupid question “where does evil comes from”. We have to speak about culture, known recorded history, education, morals and similar ideas, which are not just concepts.

This is the “substrate’ which Peterson speks about. Those axioms which are not innate, but learned over course of life appear to us mysterious, because we forgot when, how and why we learned them.

Why am I shaking when i am on a step higher like 40cm? I remember when i did not had vertigo, i was three, i have fallen from the table. I consider myself lucky to remember that, becaue most people with vertigo have trouble to recall it. An this is just one negative axiom which affects my behavior and i have to fight it.

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