Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
binocular
Posts: 5468
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by binocular » Wed May 23, 2018 7:08 pm

ieee23 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 1:40 pm
In other places where I have seen these aspects of Jordan Peterson brought up, he is usually STRONGLY defended by people who have an emotional investment in his self help material, but who are unaware of Peterson's political talks.
I actually have no idea who he is, I just watched the video in the OP.

binocular
Posts: 5468
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by binocular » Wed May 23, 2018 7:23 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 11:44 am
So transcendent morality is the inherent (sabhava) Law of Nature (Dhamma Niyama; Kamma Niyama) or Law of God, described below?
I don't know.
There's no shortage of people who will say that their particular version of morality is the Law of Nature, or the Law of God, etc. My point is that _I_ don't know what this Law of Nature etc., what this transcendent morality is. I only know what other people claim that it is.
Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands — this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality. The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, makes it plain, & says, 'Look.'

SN 12.2 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In the beginning the Word (Logos) already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=GNT
And as far as I'm concerned, these are simply some other people's claims. Whether they are also The Truth or not, that I do not know, nor do I see a way to know that.
(I had a similar conversation once with a Catholic, and I said the same thing as above. He claimed I was irrational and not worth talking to.)
OK. Since the lawfulness of how suffering & happiness arise in the human heart is pre-determined according to the Law of Dependent Origination (per SN 12.2 quoted above); to divorce "rationality" from natural law/design I suppose is illogical. "Rationality" was obviously created by Nature rather than by the individual person. Rationality is "not-self"/"anatta". Therefore, Dawkins and Harris by asserting there is only rational phenomenology (rather than the human mind existing dependently as a small component within a broader ontology) are imputing the individual person is a "God"? Therefore, Dawkins and Harris believe the "small self" is "God? So these New Atheists are actually New Theists? Each New Theist creates a New God in their own Image? Are Dawkins & Harris claiming there is Free-Will? Am I on the right track here or still confused?

I think this is a bit idiosyncratic. :smile:

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 2503
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by DooDoot » Wed May 23, 2018 8:24 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:23 pm
I think this is a bit idiosyncratic. :smile:
OK. Thanks. But I still don't know what the term "transcendent morality" means? However, I sense it means a nature created objective morality that inherently exists within the cellular genetics of people and animals, such, as:
129. All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

130. All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

Dhammapada
Furthermore, a noble disciple reflects: ‘If someone were to steal from me, I wouldn’t like that. But if I were to steal from someone else, they wouldn’t like that either. The thing that is disliked by me is also disliked by others. Since I dislike this thing, how can I inflict it on someone else?’ Reflecting in this way, they give up stealing themselves. And they encourage others to give up stealing, praising the giving up of stealing. So their bodily behavior is purified in three points.

https://suttacentral.net/sn55.7/en/sujato
For example, it is common for serial killers on death row to fight to prolong their life. Even serial killers do not want to die.
binocular wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:23 pm
. My point is that _I_ don't know what this Law of Nature etc.,.. is
In Buddhism, the Law of Nature is "Dhamma Niyama", as follows:
Whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles....

Uppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā .

SN 12.20 Dependent Origination https://suttacentral.net/sn12.20/en/sujato

AN 3.136 Three Characteristics https://suttacentral.net/an3.136/en/sujato

binocular
Posts: 5468
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by binocular » Wed May 23, 2018 8:42 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:24 pm
binocular wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:23 pm
I think this is a bit idiosyncratic. :smile:
OK. Thanks. But I still don't know what the term "transcendent morality" means? However, I sense it means a nature created objective morality that inherently exists within the cellular genetics of people and animals, such, as:
That's in roundabout what it means for a (particular type of) materialist atheist. For a monotheist, it means the morality instated by God.
binocular wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:23 pm
. My point is that _I_ don't know what this Law of Nature etc.,.. is
In Buddhism, the Law of Nature is "Dhamma Niyama", as follows: /.../
But I still don't know whether this is The Truth or not. It's what Buddhism says. I'm not a Buddhist.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 2503
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by DooDoot » Wed May 23, 2018 9:02 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:42 pm
But I still don't know whether this is The Truth or not. It's what Buddhism says. I'm not a Buddhist.
Sure. But this is what Buddhism asserts. Therefore, if Sam Harris does not adhere to what Buddhism asserts, Sam cannot be enlightened according to Buddhism. Note: Since Sam appeared to support the nuclear genocide of all Muslims, which probably excluded enlightenment regardless.

User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Wed May 23, 2018 9:13 pm

On Jordan Peterson's objections to atheism:

Perheps the best way to understand his objections is to mention his own fundamental view of morality: every human being should be treated as an individual whose consciousness is a spark of the divine. Treating people as individuals is a standard moral and political position of (classical) liberals. If it becomes common to treat people as primarily members of a group, then we can rapidly descend into tribalist violence.

The relevant part to atheism is the part where we should treat individuals as having something fundamentally divine in them, such as their consciousness. It's similar to seeing the "Buddha nature" in everyone as a reminder for compassion. If it becomes common not to see the divine part of human beings, then it becomes easy to demonize people, or to treat human beings as expendable lumps of meat and bones.

Now, of course, in our daily lives, this is not an eminent danger. The materialistic atheist view of the world can become a terrible problem in times of generalised dispair, such as in times of war. It is when the despair of war comes that we will rationalize all kinds of athrocities, like Raskolnikov rationalized murder. And it's a lot easier to rationalize athrocities against expendable organic matter, than against beings with something divine in them.

The last component of his objections is a very common theme in the history of philosophy: were the values of enlightenment a revolution against the norms of christianity, or a regeneration of the norms that came with the judeo-christian tradition? Peterson thinks it's the latter. And this is important because if we remove the "transcendental ground" of our morality, it's not obvious how the values of the enlightenment can be self sustained, as opposed to other more nihilistic, self interested, or even psychopathic values, that can be rationally justified, even though they transgress something deeper in us than rationality.

On "journalists" who describe Jordan Peterson as associated with the alt right:

They're simply lying, something I've unfortunately become very accostumed to witness from "journalists" who were supposed to be reputable. There is extensive evidence to the contrary on his youtube channel published prior to his rise to prominence. His magnum opus, "Maps of Meaning", was the result of a deep and prolongued reflection on how human beings can avoid becoming sadistic Awschwitz guards, or yes-men to communist genocides (no one thinks they will, if they haven't heard of the Milgram Experiment). The articles accusing him of being similar to the alt right are simply (attempts at) character assassination. They ignore that his life work was oriented to the exact contrary of what they claim.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 2503
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 24, 2018 3:09 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 9:13 pm
On Jordan Peterson's objections to atheism... The materialistic atheist view of the world can become a terrible problem in times of generalised dispair, such as in times of war. It is when the despair of war comes that we will rationalize all kinds of athrocities,
Simply sounds like an apologist for Protestant invention of 'Judeo-Christianity'; particularly in suggesting the European Enlightenment was somehow 'Judeo-Christian'. Does not history tell us the European Enlightenment was mostly influenced by Ancient Greek & Roman philosophy & politics? Both Judaism & Christianity are doctrines of rigid conformity, the former being quite Totalitarian and later being unrelated to Classical Liberalism (which appeared rooted in Laizee Faire Capitalism or "love of money"); from which the brutality of the Industrial Revolution & French Revolution were born. My impression is the only "Jewish" connection to "democracy" was for the purpose of certain European Capitalist Jews to obtain political power in Europe; just as the Protestant revolution was largely based in political & economic aspirations. My impression is Jewish life in the European ghettos created by the Rabbis was totalitarian; based on the Jewish Torah & Talmud. I would say it is easier to rationalize war in the name of the Divine (as the Israelis, Jihadists, Crusaders & countless others do) rather than rationalize war under the premise of atheism. To get personal, I probably disagree with all of Jordan Peterson's rhetoric. The idea of Classical Liberal individual rights seemed to be something that suited the privileged individuals and that is contrary to the social dependence of individuals. It is contrary to Buddhism, which states social individualism is a wrong view.

User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu May 24, 2018 11:33 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:09 am
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 9:13 pm
On Jordan Peterson's objections to atheism... The materialistic atheist view of the world can become a terrible problem in times of generalised dispair, such as in times of war. It is when the despair of war comes that we will rationalize all kinds of athrocities,
Simply sounds like an apologist for Protestant invention of 'Judeo-Christianity'; particularly in suggesting the European Enlightenment was somehow 'Judeo-Christian'. Does not history tell us the European Enlightenment was mostly influenced by Ancient Greek & Roman philosophy & politics? Both Judaism & Christianity are doctrines of rigid conformity, the former being quite Totalitarian and later being unrelated to Classical Liberalism (which appeared rooted in Laizee Faire Capitalism or "love of money"); from which the brutality of the Industrial Revolution & French Revolution were born. My impression is the only "Jewish" connection to "democracy" was for the purpose of certain European Capitalist Jews to obtain political power in Europe; just as the Protestant revolution was largely based in political & economic aspirations. My impression is Jewish life in the European ghettos created by the Rabbis was totalitarian; based on the Jewish Torah & Talmud. I would say it is easier to rationalize war in the name of the Divine (as the Israelis, Jihadists, Crusaders & countless others do) rather than rationalize war under the premise of atheism. To get personal, I probably disagree with all of Jordan Peterson's rhetoric. The idea of Classical Liberal individual rights seemed to be something that suited the privileged individuals and that is contrary to the social dependence of individuals. It is contrary to Buddhism, which states social individualism is a wrong view.
:shrug:
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 2503
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by DooDoot » Sat May 26, 2018 8:18 am

LG2V wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:04 am
Here's a very provocative video of one of Jordan Peterson's lectures.
at 9:00 Peterson says he believes the fundamental religious truth that: "life is suffering".


Modus.Ponens wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 11:33 am
:shrug:
At around 13:00, without any substantive explanation, JP says the "Judeo-Christian theological" idea of "the suffering individual" and "sovereignty entity of the individual" created British Western Liberalism. While I like & agree with most of what JP is talking about in general in the video, his ideas of "Judeo-Christianity" remain weird & unBiblical to me. Whether its Judaism or Christianity, to me, these religions are about the submission of the individual.
Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:25
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need.

Acts 2:45
JP made me laugh when he said: "We did not fix the female reproductive cycle until the 1960s". Essentially, he said that Nature or God created the female organism to reproduce offspring is something inherently problematic & broken that needed to be "fixed" or "repaired". Doesn't sound like Judaism or Christianity to me. At 34:10, again, JP says the greatest thing about the 1960s was: "the birth control pill was invented". JP appears to be a full-blown atheist & materialist.
Psalm 127:3

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat May 26, 2018 2:08 pm

Hello.

Since that was reasonable, I can reply.

I've seen misinterpretations of Jordan Peterson from even brilliant people that I admire. The number 1 thing you have to do to understand Peterson is to always apply the principle of charity. Whenever you start listening with a predisposition of dislike you are certain to misinterpret him. And this is because of the second thing: his thought and world view is deep and nuanced. You have to watch (or read) quite a lot of his main work, "Maps of Meaning", to realise what he's really about. The shortest version of this is a youtube playlist of 13 lectures, 30 min each, made for TV Ontario. If you watch this with an open mind and applying the principle of charity until the end of the lectures, you will understand him, even if you disagree, and you'll realise he has his heart in the right place.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

binocular
Posts: 5468
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by binocular » Sat May 26, 2018 4:31 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 8:18 am
JP made me laugh when he said: "We did not fix the female reproductive cycle until the 1960s". Essentially, he said that Nature or God created the female organism to reproduce offspring is something inherently problematic & broken that needed to be "fixed" or "repaired". Doesn't sound like Judaism or Christianity to me. At 34:10, again, JP says the greatest thing about the 1960s was: "the birth control pill was invented".
That doesn't make me laugh.
Does he also explain how a woman is supposed to be happy about being a man's sex toilet?

User avatar
manas
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by manas » Sat May 26, 2018 7:43 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:39 am
In fact, the Western God ultimately is sourced in the Biblical Old Testament, which is a book that does not exactly exemplify a turning away from evil (despite its lip-service to moral law).
The problem with Theism:
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 ‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey,” (1 Samuel 15:2-3).
No wonder the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. praised the IDF for showing 'restraint' in only killing sixty Gaza protesters recently, since they clearly left many others still alive. (sarcasm intended.)
Last edited by manas on Sat May 26, 2018 8:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

User avatar
Modus.Ponens
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat May 26, 2018 9:14 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 4:31 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 8:18 am
JP made me laugh when he said: "We did not fix the female reproductive cycle until the 1960s". Essentially, he said that Nature or God created the female organism to reproduce offspring is something inherently problematic & broken that needed to be "fixed" or "repaired". Doesn't sound like Judaism or Christianity to me. At 34:10, again, JP says the greatest thing about the 1960s was: "the birth control pill was invented".
That doesn't make me laugh.
Does he also explain how a woman is supposed to be happy about being a man's sex toilet?
He doesn't. He is being egregiously misrepresented in the media.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

ieee23
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 12:40 am

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by ieee23 » Sat May 26, 2018 9:41 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 9:14 pm
He doesn't. He is being egregiously misrepresented in the media.
The New York Times recently did a piece about him.

Who is more credible? An institution and a professional journalist whose reputations and livliehoods depend on getting the facts right and who have the time to look into things....OR anonymous fans on the Internet who suffer nothing by being wrong, who likely have not had the time to look at everything he said, and who are likely emotionally invested in his self help stuff?
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 2503
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jordan Peterson - The Problem With Atheism

Post by DooDoot » Sat May 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 2:08 pm
even if you disagree, and you'll realise he has his heart in the right place.
I agree with most of what JP said in the video, including his well-intentioned "heart" (although I doubt birth control brings Nirvana). However I simply strongly disagree with his assertions about Judaism, Christianity & Atheism. To me, as I said, JP sounds like an Atheist because there is little Christian & Judaic about his ideas; apart from them mirroring Neo-Liberal-Economic-Protestantism (which is unBiblical). He might do better to study Buddhism in his seeking of a "Transcendent Morality" to justify his personal moral vision of life.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 62 guests