sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

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sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:08 pm

Prompted by the points raised here -- viewtopic.php?f=2&t=147018&p=2760014#p2760014 -- I googled jordan peterson and sam harris. Among the links was this one:

My Analysis of the Disconnect Between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson
How two great thinkers continue to miss each other, and how they can fix it
By DANIEL MIESSLER in PHILOSOPHY


The first thing noted is something that also happens all the time here. An exchange between two or more intelligent and articulate ILP members goes on and on and on and on. Yet try as we might, we are not successful in communicating ideas about things and relationships that seem really, really clear to us. How can they not get it? For me of course they revolve around dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. For you, your interests. For others, theirs.

But the fact that others don't grasp my points doesn't surprise me. After all, it took me years of new experiences and new relationships and access to new ideas to reconfigure "I" from a moral/political objectivist to a moral/political nihilist.

Why?

Because those points revolve subjectively and subjunctively around ever accumulating things and relationships out in the is/ought world. Interactions rooted existentially in the extremely complex reactions we have as individuals to a particular world around us.

And these worlds can be profoundly varied. The social, political and economic variables are problematic to each individual. Different indoctrination as children. Different genetic and memetic interactions. Different traumatic experiences. Different epiphanies given extraordinary circumstances that others will never be able to fully understand.

Still, because there are so many things in the either/or world that we are able to communicate objectively to each other, some don't make the distinction that I do in regard to moral and political values. For them [through one or another God or No God font] the is/ought world is just an extension of the either/or world.

And I argue as well that this is often predicated on the extent to which believing in the "real me" in sync objectively with "the right thing to do" is derived from the psychological comfort and consolation one sustains on this path. Thus:

It's not what you believe is right and wrong but that you believe that what you believe is true.

And here's the part where I insist on taking value judgments as intellectual contraptions out into the world of conflicting goods.

Out into a specific context pertaining to behaviors we are all familiar with.

All of this predicated on the assumption that we have at least some measure of free will.

In their first interaction, the big collision took place because Jordan refused to accept that facts were true on their own—instead insisting that things were only true if they were useful.


You all know me here:

What facts? In what set of circumstances? Out in what particular world historically, culturally, experientially? Useful to who and for what reason? Then: what are we able to demonstrate to others when our reaction to those facts precipitate behaviors that come into conflict?

Sam’s position is that:

Religion is clearly not true.

It’s often horrible.

Anything that is good and useful in it (which he admits there is some) can be found in other ways that don’t require belief in the supernatural.


Okay, but what if it is useful for you to believe that God becomes the transcending font for distinguishing between good and evil on this side of the grave? What if it is useful for you to believe that God becomes your passport to immortality and salvation on the other side of it?

And how on Earth is Sam Harris able to definitively demonstrate that religion is not true? That beyond all doubt there is no God?

For someone as smart as Jordan, with such a large audience, to say that he acts as if God exists, and to refuse to deny things like Jesus being reincarnated, he’s actually enabling and exalting very traditional and unsophisticated belief in religion—not the nuanced, usefulness-based scaffolding that Jordan seems to have constructed.


What difference does it really make what Peterson believes. For me, he is in the same boat with Harris and you and I...the one that embodies the gap between what we think we know about things like this and all that we would need to know about existence itself in order to demonstrate that what we think we know is in fact true.

more later...
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby promethean75 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:29 pm

the most recent podcast. in this one they're casually roasting trump throughout the bulk of it - very entertaining - but then they move briefly to kenny loggins... er, i mean jordan peterson. go to 23:40

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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby promethean75 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:39 pm

Lol how do you make Osama bin laden a better person than trumpf? Keep listening... Sam'll explain.
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby promethean75 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:43 pm

Oh shit my bad. Go to 9:00
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:36 pm

My Analysis of the Disconnect Between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson
How two great thinkers continue to miss each other, and how they can fix it
By DANIEL MIESSLER in PHILOSOPHY

While Sam is first and foremost someone who protects objective truth from the irrational, Jordan is fundamentally someone who wants to help people, and he’s willing to use various tricks to accomplish that goal.


Okay, but sooner or later accomplishing the goal of helping people is going to come down to persuading them in regard to the behaviors that they will choose in any particular context. And here things get tricky. Why? Because there are better arguments than others regarding how "in general" it is more reasonable to behave in one way rather than another, but...

...but to what extent is general thinking of this sort applicable to any one actually existing set of circumstances that will be seen by different people in different ways? And Harris is no less circumscribed -- circumvented -- in regard to making distinctions between rational and irrational assessments. When push comes to shove regarding most conflicting goods, those who embrace Harris's moral and political agenda are no more or less inherently able to present reasonable arguments than those who embrace Peterson's.

But the only way that can be explored in detail is to focus in on behaviors in conflict regarding conflicted value judgments in a particular situation.

In this sense I actually give Jordan the upper hand here, as I see the practice of providing a prescriptive meaning infrastructure to be more direct and pure than Sam’s approach of helping people discard non-truth.


See what I mean? A "prescriptive meaning infrastructure"!

But, okay, those familiar with Peterson's arguments here might then be willing to link us to something on the internet which discloses more substantively the manner in which Peterson does apply this particular intellectual contraption to a conflicting good of note.

His entire career is based on finding patterns in stories, narratives, cultures, etc., which he then uses to construct a tangible plan to improve peoples’ lives. And he literally carries out this practice as his day job as a clinical psychologist.


Same here. Cite examples of this. And, of most importance to me, how might his thinking be able to reconfigure my own thinking into something less pessimistic and grim.

Sure individuals can be helped to live lives that are more meaningful or productive or constructive. But, in regard to moral and political interactions, how would that not revolve around rejecting "might makes right" and "right makes might" in favor of "moderation, negotiation and compromise". While taking into account the realities embedded in political economy in a No God world.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby denniskane » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:16 pm

I like Sam, though he can be sort of stiff and over serious.

That is where Zizek comes in. No one can intellectually "out serious" him and no one can be more playful than him, when the situation calls for it.

Also, he absolutely destroys JP (and the rest of his [alt-]right minions).
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:49 pm

Been listening to sam and jordan, interesting stuff.
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby Tab » Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:52 am

Okay, I watched the 1 and 2 of the discussion between sam and jordan over ethics, religious dogma/stories, where they tried to find some common ground. Great vids. Both of them are great minds, though sam I think is either the more accomplished speaker, or perhaps just more experienced on the stage.

Anyway. Summary.

Both acknowledge the power of story as a tool to imprint ethical mores on a society. Both accept that dogma is bad, not always because of just what it says, but in that it is not open to discussion and adaptation as the world changes around it, and that religious dogma is particularly bad. Sam wants to kickstart a new era of ethical values based from a more modern factual starting point, but jordan is not convinced that this is possible because our brains contain deep structures which are resistant by their nature to easily assimilating non-intuitive systems of behaviour, and that the only way to circumvent this is to continue using the tool of story/dogma to imprint ethical habits.

Watching I thought there was one point jordan touched on, but failed to exploit fully. Fairly early on jordan gave an example about chimp societies commiting atrocity in the obvious absence of religion. He used it to illustrate to sam that it wasn't religion alone that drove people to commit terrible acts. There is a natural propensity in humanity to act so.

Sam's view of religion is to pretty much dump it completely, because while he acknowledges it does contain some benefits, its overall effect is negative. Stone homosexuals, cut the hands off thieves, kill non-virgin brides, slavery is ok etc. etc.

However, jordan could have pushed on to say something like "well if we consider chimp behaviour, sans religion, to be an indicator of human pre-religious behaviour, then primitive humans committed these atrocities anyway, before they were exposed to a religious narrative... so these negative effects sam attributes to religious dogma were already there, and the only new behaviours added to society by religion were the positive ones." ie. the bathwater was already there, and it was religion that added all the babies.

The net effect we face now is the same though. Much as religion added babies, it also preserved and entrenched the bathwater for posterity.

The main difference between them to me is of perspective. Sam's a dreamer. "If only we could spread a new ethic, and get rid of the old one, life would be great." But he is very evasive as to how this would be accomplished. Jordan is an engineer, "yeah ok, I agree, but how do we do that..?" Which is why jordan seems to want to preserve religion as a tried and trusted tool of ethical imprintation - it's already established, and it works. Which, much as I hate religion personally, I have come around to agreeing with over the years.

Both are scared that if religion is thrown out the window without some replacement that fulfills the same function that society will fall into nihilism, or moral relativity - "fuck this, nothing matters, I may as well do whatever I want." etc. But here I think sam let jordan off the hook a little. I think religion, by preaching that "this life doesn't matter really, it's the afterlife that is the real prize" kinda skirts very close to the same edge. Not so much for the moderately good people who can at least maintain the hope of going to heaven, but for those who've decided they've already crossed a threshold and are inevitably damned. For those people religion is nitro for the "fuck it, I'm going to hell no matter what now, may as well do whatever the fuck I like for as long as I can." worldview.

And if the world is headed toward some apocalyptic judgement day event anyway, there's not a whole lot of moral impetus to save it for future generations etc.

Overall, I think the net ethical effect of religion on early societies was to polarize two groups. Whereas before, everyone was a bit bad off and on as the situation demanded, and a bit good off and on when the situation permitted, post religion the people who had lived lives where they'd had the opportunity to behave well more often than they'd been forced to behave badly were encouraged to continue to behave virtuously for its own sake - with an eye on getting into heaven, and people who life had thrown to the dogs more often than not, were pushed towards a nihilistic orgy of resentful "I'm not gonna go to heaven so I'll make you self-satisfied fucks taste hell right now" violence.

Anyway, good talks.
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby Tab » Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:10 pm

Wow. On deezer jordan peterson has a music album. Him spoken word erm, rapping, I guess over an EDM backing track for the 12 points from his book.

I'm beginning to believe Jordan is jesus, seriously.

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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby promethean75 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:36 pm

Jordan's a lyrical assassin, you didn't know that?
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:42 pm

My Analysis of the Disconnect Between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson
How two great thinkers continue to miss each other, and how they can fix it
By DANIEL MIESSLER in PHILOSOPHY

My analysis

My frustration in watching all this is that the disconnect seems obvious and avoidable. They’re obviously both correct. And they’re obviously both wrong.


Bingo!

Here and now, this is basically my own reaction to arguments revolving around conflicted value judgments. Either relating to a God or a No God world. Either in regard to means or ends. Both sides are able to articulate reasonable assessments merely by subsuming them in their own set of assumptions about the human condition.

Neither side is then able to establish that his assumptions and only his assumptions must by default be the starting point.

All I do is to suggest that, as well, to the extent they take their intellectual contraptions down out of the general description clouds and situate them in a "particular context", the more likely it is that the actual genetic/memetic complexity of human interactions will expose all the more my own assumption that in regard to conflicting goods derived from dasein, "you're right from your side and I'm right from mine".

Jordan is wrong to hide behind his custom-built, intellectually-nuanced, and utility-based belief system that he’s constructed because it’s obvious to Sam and his audience that to most people that Jordan just looks like a religious apologist.


But: Who cares?! Let him take his own assessment of religion out into the world and note how, given an actual set of circumstances, he might succeed in bringing those at opposite ends of the moral spectrum into agreement so as to bring about a "best of all possible worlds" political consensus. What "on earth" might that look like?

Any Peterson advocates here care to explore this with me?

Instead, what does the author propose?

This:

To religious people who are looking for truth, Jordan is indistinguishable from a religious leader defending their faith.

That’s bad, because now we haven’t made the progress of getting them to decouple their understanding of reality from the belief in the supernatural—and all the negatives that come with that.

What should Jordan do about that? Simple. He should say something like this:

"I am not a believer in the supernatural, or in any God, but I do believe that there are powerful forces within us humans, instilled by evolutionary biology, that work and can be controlled in large extent by the use of narrative, ritual, and story. What I have been doing is studying the patterns for these narratives and rituals for decades, and using that knowledge to help people improve their lives."


What's missing? Of course: A context, a situation, a set of circumstances to bring these "powerful forces" to bear on the abortion wars or immigration policy or medicare for all, or the proper role of government, or a just conclusion to the war in Afghanistan.

What narrative? What ritual? What story? Mine? Yours? Ours? Theirs?

So, again: Given your own knowledge in regards to one or another moral and political conflict of note, what is to be done in order for people to "improve their lives"?

Assuming of course that, unlike myself, you are not grappling with a fractured and fragmented "I" drawn and quartered over and over and over again.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby promethean75 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:34 pm

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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby Tab » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:09 pm

I took acid a few times back in my younger days. Not sure if I miss it tbh. It was fun in a "holyjesusfuckingchristwhatishappeningrightnow" kinda way. But on the whole, netflix is the way to go.
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 11, 2020 4:39 pm

iambiguous wrote:My Analysis of the Disconnect Between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson
How two great thinkers continue to miss each other, and how they can fix it
By DANIEL MIESSLER in PHILOSOPHY

My analysis

My frustration in watching all this is that the disconnect seems obvious and avoidable. They’re obviously both correct. And they’re obviously both wrong.


Bingo!

Here and now, this is basically my own reaction to arguments revolving around conflicted value judgments. Either relating to a God or a No God world. Either in regard to means or ends. Both sides are able to articulate reasonable assessments merely by subsuming them in their own set of assumptions about the human condition.

Neither side is then able to establish that his assumptions and only his assumptions must by default be the starting point.

All I do is to suggest that, as well, to the extent they take their intellectual contraptions down out of the general description clouds and situate them in a "particular context", the more likely it is that the actual genetic/memetic complexity of human interactions will expose all the more my own assumption that in regard to conflicting goods derived from dasein, "you're right from your side and I'm right from mine".

Jordan is wrong to hide behind his custom-built, intellectually-nuanced, and utility-based belief system that he’s constructed because it’s obvious to Sam and his audience that to most people that Jordan just looks like a religious apologist.


But: Who cares?! Let him take his own assessment of religion out into the world and note how, given an actual set of circumstances, he might succeed in bringing those at opposite ends of the moral spectrum into agreement so as to bring about a "best of all possible worlds" political consensus. What "on earth" might that look like?

Any Peterson advocates here care to explore this with me?

Instead, what does the author propose?

This:

To religious people who are looking for truth, Jordan is indistinguishable from a religious leader defending their faith.

That’s bad, because now we haven’t made the progress of getting them to decouple their understanding of reality from the belief in the supernatural—and all the negatives that come with that.

What should Jordan do about that? Simple. He should say something like this:

"I am not a believer in the supernatural, or in any God, but I do believe that there are powerful forces within us humans, instilled by evolutionary biology, that work and can be controlled in large extent by the use of narrative, ritual, and story. What I have been doing is studying the patterns for these narratives and rituals for decades, and using that knowledge to help people improve their lives."


What's missing? Of course: A context, a situation, a set of circumstances to bring these "powerful forces" to bear on the abortion wars or immigration policy or medicare for all, or the proper role of government, or a just conclusion to the war in Afghanistan.

What narrative? What ritual? What story? Mine? Yours? Ours? Theirs?

So, again: Given your own knowledge in regards to one or another moral and political conflict of note, what is to be done in order for people to "improve their lives"?

Assuming of course that, unlike myself, you are not grappling with a fractured and fragmented "I" drawn and quartered over and over and over again.


Do your own homework:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Rules_for_Life
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 11, 2020 5:30 pm

felix dakat wrote:Do your own homework:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Rules_for_Life


Thanks for that, Curly.

Or, sure, thanks for nothing. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: sam harris, jordan peterson etc.

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon May 11, 2020 11:27 pm

I sent JP a FB message referring to some pages of mine where I explain VO. Since then he has been adapting to it and trying to control his rage. This was ... 3 years ago? Something like that.

You can really see how he went through a big change of temperament.

He first raged AGAINST VO and the WTP a few months and then he just became a closet-VO ist, he is in touch with the brutal engine that makes value judgments, and he is definitely not any time soon going to play that card openly, because frankly it works much better when you can use it to raise yourself out of any situation.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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