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Thread: The Jordan Peterson thread

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    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    The Jordan Peterson thread

    [e: moving this entire line of posts to the jordan peterson thread ~spark]

    Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris have had some really good discussions about religion, god and science organised by Pangburn Philosophy, moderated by Brett Weinstein and Charles Murray:

    01 Harris/Weinstein/Peterson Discussion: Vancouver
    02 Harris/Weinstein/Peterson Discussion: Vancouver
    03 Harris/Murray/Peterson Discussion: Dublin
    04 Harris/Murray/Peterson Discussion: London

    I think Sam did well in posing interesting questions but ultimately he is too interested in trying to win a debate rather than actually delving into these ideas deeply and because of that his superficial understanding of Peterson's arguments expose him quite a bit - he's only half-listening. Especially when he is repeating Peterson's own reasonings on religion to back up his empiricism based logic. Anyway, it's illuminating for those with an open mind and you'll see why Peterson is probably the most popular intellectual in the world right now.
    Last edited by Spark; 23-09-2018 at 11:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris have had some really good discussions about religion, god and science organised by Pangburn Philosophy, moderated by Brett Weinstein and Charles Murray:

    01 Harris/Weinstein/Peterson Discussion: Vancouver
    02 Harris/Weinstein/Peterson Discussion: Vancouver
    03 Harris/Murray/Peterson Discussion: Dublin
    04 Harris/Murray/Peterson Discussion: London

    I think Sam did well in posing interesting questions but ultimately he is too interested in trying to win a debate rather than actually delving into these ideas deeply and because of that his superficial understanding of Peterson's arguments expose him quite a bit - he's only half-listening. Especially when he is repeating Peterson's own reasonings on religion to back up his empiricism based logic. Anyway, it's illuminating for those with an open mind and you'll see why Peterson is probably the most popular intellectual in the world right now.
    Good watch.

    Sam claims that there's a universal set of values that is distinct from divinity, is able to be discerned and would be both factually true and of great utility. However whenever I hear them speak I cant help but notice that Peterson is actually much closer to defining a functioning framework for such values and religion was his starting point. Sam's playbook tends to be limited to low hanging criticisms of specific components of texts that both Peterson and almost anyone who'd ever listen to him would agree constitute values that have no place in what anyone would call a good moral code. It rarely seems like he has any interest in actually exploring, let alone codifying what such a moral framework would entail, let alone how such a task would be undertaken without succumbing to the tendency for dogma that he (correctly) identifies as the most easily identifiable problems with pathological ideologies. When Peterson actually engages with the complexity of such a problem the claim becomes that he's acting as a postmodernist who's deriving meaning in something that's not actually there. I enjoy listening to him at times but I always find that approach to the problem as fundamentally lacking whereas while Peterson isn't perfect, I feel like he at least approaches the problem in the direction you need to.
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    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Yes, Peterson seems really engaged with solving the problem (whoever brings it up, as long as it is legitimate) whereas Sam is trying to win a connect 4 level game of intellectual debate. Ultimately, even though Sam would logically agree that there is no proof that god exists - a tenable position whether you're an atheist or not - he tends to argue from the perspective of it being an impossibility. And when you do that, you restrict your perspective and interpretation. So much of what Peterson says goes over his head it's quite funny to see such a smart man repeatedly miss the point. It just goes to show you that the way you are open to ideas - a perspective in itself - is as important, if not more important, than whether you are smart enough to understand the ideas. Because Sam is intelligent enough to get it, his bias for his argument almost makes him obtuse and takes him into a pedantry that folds in on itself to the point that he starts using Peterson's own arguments - the very arguments 2 minutes earlier he was arguing against.
    Last edited by Ikki; 23-09-2018 at 03:46 AM.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Sam's playbook tends to be limited to low hanging criticisms of specific components of texts
    That has been Harris's MO for a long time imo, even while he was more popular in left wing atheist circles.


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    That's a fair approach. Why will these "perfect texts" have easy to attack parts? Clearly a good way to show they are not perfect and not divine. What's wrong with that ?
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    International Coach ankitj's Avatar
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    Speaking of change in religious views, I came across this great quote somewhere – "I was an atheist until the plane started falling. Then I suddenly stopped supporting gay rights"

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    Cricketer Of The Year Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ankitj View Post
    That's a fair approach. Why will these "perfect texts" have easy to attack parts? Clearly a good way to show they are not perfect and not divine. What's wrong with that ?
    Nothing wrong with that if you're talking to someone making that claim. Peterson is not and (to my knowledge) has never made the claim that Christian text is perfect.

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    Sam Harris does not have the inclination to educate himself on philosophy or morality to the point where he'd be useful in such a debate. I could tolerate that if he were still an actual research scientist and was too busy with actual science to upskill himself in those regards, but given he's knowingly taking on this role as some type of public voice for new rationalism or whatever, it's pretty unforgivable.

    As someone else said, his MO seems to be picking on low hanging fruit. It's sad. Leave that sort of stuff to youtubers not people who have PhDs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ankitj View Post
    That's a fair approach. Why will these "perfect texts" have easy to attack parts? Clearly a good way to show they are not perfect and not divine. What's wrong with that ?
    Fun fact: Judeo-Christian scripture was not written by God. I suspect similar things are true about that of other religions, but don't want to make unqualified statements.
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    Well, the believers would say that it is the direct, and inerrant, word of their God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ankitj View Post
    That's a fair approach. Why will these "perfect texts" have easy to attack parts? Clearly a good way to show they are not perfect and not divine. What's wrong with that ?
    I tend to just find it a boring line of attack because pointing out that mainstream religions are elaborate scams doesn't really get us closer to the answer to whether there's a God or not. I wonder how Sam Harris would go about debating some sort of gnostic deist, or even a theist who rejects mainstream religions. I suspect half the contributors to this thread would do a better job of it.
    Last edited by Prince EWS; 23-09-2018 at 09:57 PM.
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    Yeah recycling the same tired 'gotcha' moments coming straight out of decontextualised Leviticus or Deuteronomy really don't add a whole lot to any meaningful conversation. It does get the smug 'lol sky fairy' atheists of the world to give you shitloads of money on Patreon though so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Also a good screening tool if you ever get caught up in a religious debate. If they're a Harris fan, it's a rough indicator that the discussion ain't going to have much good faith about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    I tend to just find it a boring line of attack because pointing out that mainstream religions are elaborate scams doesn't really get us closer to the answer to whether there's a God or not. I wonder how Sam Harris would go about debating some sort of gnostic deist, or even a theist who rejects mainstream religions. I suspect half the contributors to this thread would do a better job of it.
    What does though?
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    It does get the smug 'lol sky fairy' atheists of the world to give you shitloads of money on Patreon though so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    this here is the crux of it. also all the "religion is the root of all evil" people
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