TrueScotsman

Synthetic Religion: Jordan Peterson and the Rise of the Synthetic Christians

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In the late 19th Century, Herbert Spencer who famously coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" received a substantial political following because of a new synthetic belief system he had created.  This social conservative belief system would come to be known as Social Darwinism, and from this synthetic fusion of Deism and Positivism with evolutionary ideas of human hierarchy and struggle in nature, all manner of practices and institutions were justified.  Rather than appealing to some divine Right, Spencer asserted the validity of Classical Liberalism, Imperialism and a justification for human inequality.  

 

What we are seeing today I will assert in this thread, is a resurgence of this type of synthetic religion in an era of increasingly unbelief much like the late 19th Century and this is a social conservative attempt to realign a significant portion of the population behind more traditional or conservative values.  Unlike Spencer however, who became a Deist, Peterson's view of reality is far more complex given he has over a hundred years of knowledge on top of what Spencer's now failed Deism and Positivism lack.  Peterson asserts that the most real thing is that which pertains to your survival, which means that if you live perched on the edge of chaos and order as Peterson says, be it Capitalism or navigating a moral trap these illusions become the most real things in the world for us.  His view of humanity is that we like other mammals and land animals live in social hierarchical relationships and that our mood systems interact with these systems to produce particular states.  This is why Peterson asserts, men like to climb dominance hierarchies because of the psychological security and reproductive success that achieving this brings.  He also believes in the Jungian shadow which lies in each person, a sort of psychological version of man's sinful nature that has to be negotiated with carefully because in Peterson's view mankind is very vindictive and malicious than we typically think.  

 

To me, this looks like new clothes for the social conservatives with the same old substance.  People who can't stomach Christianity anymore but need something other that Progressive ethics, are joining Peterson's synthetic religion in droves.  Much like Rand before him and Spencer before them, people who have been lost adrift are coming back to familiar territory searching for what is most real and whole heartily swallowing Peterson's moral and ethical vision for society and its Classical Liberal and Christian perspectives.  Ironic that all these people influenced by Nietzsche who make this effort to create their own systems, end up just fulfilling the same roles of control for justifying cultural authority but simply through new innovative means.  

 

God is dead, and going on pretending that he isn't as Peterson is attempting to do is an exercise in cognitive dissonance that will ultimately leave people ending up feeling confused like many here on this site do about Christianity.  The more sadly ironic part is that even though Peterson preaches a tough assertive approach of "get your life sorted out," he himself openly admits in order to overcome significant depression that he had to use SSRIs and Welbutrin in order to function at the level he normally was at.  Demonstrating that all the advice in the world can sometimes even leave you paralyzed and all that stuff which supposedly the most real, is found not to be as real as your suffering.  Peterson wants you to overcome suffering by transforming it and reframing it into an elaborate illusion, one in which the wisdom of the ages informs you about chaos and order and responsibility to act.  

 

With the decline of Secular Humanism in the West, I expect to see more synthetic religion as people attempt to recreate what was lost with the discovery of god's death.  

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I must have missed this because I wasn't going into the Lion's Den very often. Thank you for bringing this issue to everyone's attention. 

On 1/26/2018 at 5:29 PM, TrueScotsman said:

To me, this looks like new clothes for the social conservatives with the same old substance.  People who can't stomach Christianity anymore but need something other that Progressive ethics, are joining Peterson's synthetic religion in droves.  Much like Rand before him and Spencer before them, people who have been lost adrift are coming back to familiar territory searching for what is most real and whole heartily swallowing Peterson's moral and ethical vision for society and its Classical Liberal and Christian perspectives.  Ironic that all these people influenced by Nietzsche who make this effort to create their own systems, end up just fulfilling the same roles of control for justifying cultural authority but simply through new innovative means.  

 

 

One big problem I've seen arising from public debate with atheists, is that Peterson is hugging the old cosmological argument ideas which suggest that without god, there is no morality. He's gone so far as to assert that atheist's, aren't really atheist's, or else they'd be murders, rapist's, etc. Because morality is not logic or reason oriented. And all good atheist with a moral compass are only that way because of growing up in western, judeo christian culture. And he's become outspoken against Sam Harris and caused his fans to think that he's completely ravaged Harris with this nonsense. Many problems here. Of course morality exists because of human evolution, that's it. It's a social construct that makes socialization smoother and easier going between members of our species. But it doesn't matter how many times this gets pointed out, Peterson will continue acting blind to the response and go about his way as if his argument still holds weight, like any variety of christian apologists. 

 

On 1/26/2018 at 5:29 PM, TrueScotsman said:

God is dead, and going on pretending that he isn't as Peterson is attempting to do is an exercise in cognitive dissonance that will ultimately leave people ending up feeling confused like many here on this site do about Christianity.  The more sadly ironic part is that even though Peterson preaches a tough assertive approach of "get your life sorted out," he himself openly admits in order to overcome significant depression that he had to use SSRIs and Welbutrin in order to function at the level he normally was at.  Demonstrating that all the advice in the world can sometimes even leave you paralyzed and all that stuff which supposedly the most real, is found not to be as real as your suffering.  Peterson wants you to overcome suffering by transforming it and reframing it into an elaborate illusion, one in which the wisdom of the ages informs you about chaos and order and responsibility to act.  

 

It may have sounded harsh when I framed him as, "the blind leading the blind, further along into darkness," but that's exactly what's going on here. And he's not doing his conservative efforts any justice in the process. We were talking about Peterson, Shapiro and other conservative voices recently in the RR section. I like some of the points they make. But when it comes to religious views, I'm afraid they're all strapped with this theistic ball and chain that they can't very well break free from, and still appeal to their conservative bases. 

 

On 1/26/2018 at 5:29 PM, TrueScotsman said:

With the decline of Secular Humanism in the West, I expect to see more synthetic religion as people attempt to recreate what was lost with the discovery of god's death.  

 

I doubt this nonsense will get very far. It has to be much more refined than it currently stands. The arguments are really bad. And those taking up these arguments will just get mowed down by intellectual atheists over and over again. They'll have to find something better than this for a spiritual alternative. It's not quite there yet.

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Just now, Joshpantera said:

One big problem I've seen arising from public debate with atheists, is that Peterson is hugging the old cosmological argument ideas which suggest that without god, there is no morality. He's gone so far as to assert that atheist's, aren't really atheist's, or else they'd be murders, rapist's, etc.

Yes, he did this with Matt Dillahunty.  Link below for those who haven't seen this, it was almost just like a debate with a religious apologist.

 

 

 

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Because morality is not logic or reason oriented. And all good atheist with a moral compass are only that way because of growing up in western, judeo christian culture.

For someone who is a psychologist, it was alarming to see just how off he was on this matter, as if conscious human beings cannot have morality unless we appeal to useful fictional stories.  His portrayal of Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment as the most accurate atheist, to me demonstrates that he uses the same absurd that fundamentalists use that secularism and atheism leads to the gulag and the problems with the Soviet Union.  Christopher Hitchens would wipe the floor with such arguments.

 

 

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And he's become outspoken against Sam Harris and caused his fans to think that he's completely ravaged Harris with this nonsense. Many problems here. Of course morality exists because of human evolution, that's it. It's a social construct that makes socialization smoother and easier going between members of our species. But it doesn't matter how many times this gets pointed out, Peterson will continue acting blind to the response and go about his way as if his argument still holds weight, like any variety of christian apologists. 

Harris is his favorite atheist punching bag of late, his arguments against Sam's Moral Landscape are utterly weak.

 

Quote

It may have sounded harsh when I framed him as, "the blind leading the blind, further along into darkness," but that's exactly what's going on here. And he's not doing his conservative efforts any justice in the process. We were talking about Peterson, Shapiro and other conservative voices recently in the RR section. I like some of the points they make. But when it comes to religious views, I'm afraid they're all strapped with this theistic ball and chain that they can't very well break free from, and still appeal to their conservative bases. 

Indeed, there is much to be admired from some Conservative thinkers, but them tying their dogma to that of religion is an abusive conversion strategy.

 

Quote

I doubt this nonsense will get very far. It has to be much more refined than it currently stands. The arguments are really bad. And those taking up these arguments will just get mowed down by intellectual atheists over and over again. They'll have to find something better than this for a spiritual alternative. It's not quite there yet.

Atheists have pretty much moved on from JP from what I can tell, the Dillahunty fiasco was pretty enlightening for much of the community.  But his appeal to his followers and those on the far right won't require more refinement in his arguments, just go check out his reddit page to see how devoted some of these people are in their faith in the archetypal doctrines he has laid out.

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13 minutes ago, TrueScotsman said:

Atheists have pretty much moved on from JP from what I can tell, the Dillahunty fiasco was pretty enlightening for much of the community.  But his appeal to his followers and those on the far right won't require more refinement in his arguments, just go check out his reddit page to see how devoted some of these people are in their faith in the archetypal doctrines he has laid out.

 

And this is utterly ridiculous for a variety of reasons. 

 

 

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The debate was taken down on youtube. I wonder why? 

 

Here's a link to the reddit page: https://www.reddit.com/r/JordanPeterson/

 

We probably ought to keep the critical examination of Peterson here in the Den, where christians can feel free to jump in with their thoughts. No doubt, Peterson's gone over the top heretical to many of them with respect to his beliefs about jesus and what not. 

 

Here's another interesting video about Peterson on atheism: 

 

 

 

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Here's a working link of the full debate: 

 

 

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Apparently Petersen is having an interview with Steven Pinker. That should be interesting. I like what Pinker has to say. Lets keep an eye out for it.

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Oooh yeah, can’t wait for that one!  

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Yeah that should be a good one. 

 

One thing I've noticed is that there's many ways of taking what Peterson calls, "the metaphorical substrate," of western society and it's moral codes. Where Peterson is hung up, mainly, is because he's trying to interpret this "metaphorical substrate" through a theistic lens. That's why he's been reduced to an apologist and having to resort to claims like atheist's aren't really atheist's when it conflicts with his personal worldview. And also why he's stuck like a broken record on the book, "Crime and Punishment." He brings that up over and over again. It seems to be the foundation stone for his assertion that the world will crumble into moral chaos if we loose this "metaphorical substrate." 

 

First of all, I've learned about the archetypes of the unconscious, the myths of the Heroes Journey, comparative world mythology and religion, and the metaphorical substrate. And yet I see this in atheist terms, and also a larger perspective that comes from it where the idea is non-duality, going beyond the usually theist - atheist debate. But here's the thing, neither of these ways come out favoring theism. So Peterson has to twist and turn, straw man and red herring to try and maintain this theistic outlook with respect to his topic of choice. It could be handled much better. 

 

The thrust of the argument seems to be that without old myths, and hero stories, western society falls into utter chaos - murdering, raping, total self interest and self indulgence. 

 

But that's absolutely ridiculous. The secular countries of the world are lower in crime than the most religious countries, the secular being the more sophisticated and the most religious being the far less sophisticated, poor, and crime ridden. The theory doesn't add up at all. Our moral codes are expressed through our laws and policies, not so much our religions. And in fact, our religions prescribe out dated versions of morality, in many cases, which are now considered immoral! I think Peterson's bitten off way more than he can chew by several different standards of evaluation. All because he illustrates a very poor sense of handing things that conflict with his own personal worldview. 

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5 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Apparently Petersen is having an interview with Steven Pinker. That should be interesting. I like what Pinker has to say. Lets keep an eye out for it.

 

@Robert_Tulip may want to weight in on this, being a professed "christian atheist," of the cultural christian variety Matt mentioned in his discussion with Peterson. His reform ideas for christianity come from a different place than that of Peterson. I'm sure Robert understands how secular humanism is a substantial replacement for the old moral codes of the distant past.

 

The only interview I've seen so far with Pinker was Joe Rogan, which I posted in the science section. Pinker's interesting. I wonder if the discussion will include atheism or focus in on other topics? 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Yeah that should be a good one. 

 

One thing I've noticed is that there's many ways of taking what Peterson calls, "the metaphorical substrate," of western society and it's moral codes. Where Peterson is hung up, mainly, is because he's trying to interpret this "metaphorical substrate" through a theistic lens.

He looks at Western Culture and sees a lot to be admired, and even says that he sees himself somewhat as a Pragmatist, but he still is insistent that such a culture needs an absolute foundation.  This insistence on a foundation for culture is what I think leads him to a form of soft theism, where for all intents and purposes he acts and behaves like a god exists even if he is at the moment proclaiming to be confused and unsure about such.  I think in the next few years he will come out very clearly as a theist, and a Christian, which he says he is still figuring out.

 

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That's why he's been reduced to an apologist and having to resort to claims like atheist's aren't really atheist's when it conflicts with his personal worldview. And also why he's stuck like a broken record on the book, "Crime and Punishment." He brings that up over and over again. It seems to be the foundation stone for his assertion that the world will crumble into moral chaos if we loose this "metaphorical substrate." 

He thinks Dostoevsky is the most brilliant writer in history.  Besides perhaps the authors of the Bible, which he can preach about as good as any pastor I've encountered, but with his own Jungian slant.  

 

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First of all, I've learned about the archetypes of the unconscious, the myths of the Heroes Journey, comparative world mythology and religion, and the metaphorical substrate. And yet I see this in atheist terms, and also a larger perspective that comes from it where the idea is non-duality, going beyond the usually theist - atheist debate. But here's the thing, neither of these ways come out favoring theism. So Peterson has to twist and turn, straw man and red herring to try and maintain this theistic outlook with respect to his topic of choice. It could be handled much better. 

 Many people end up rebelling against what they were when they were younger, Peterson was apparently a Secularist and Socialist when he was much younger, and now has demonized Secularism and Socialism beyond recognition.  

 

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The thrust of the argument seems to be that without old myths, and hero stories, western society falls into utter chaos - murdering, raping, total self interest and self indulgence. 

And those of us atheists who don't fit into that archetype of what he thinks an atheist actually is, is really actually not an atheist.  Stalin's cult of personality and building on the subservience found in Russian culture is supposed to be the pinnacle of what atheism and secularism really produce.  Such a self-serving claim, and I have had this lodged against me by the worst of apologists.

 

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But that's absolutely ridiculous. The secular countries of the world are lower in crime than the most religious countries, the secular being the more sophisticated and the most religious being the far less sophisticated, poor, and crime ridden. The theory doesn't add up at all. 

Peterson is not a very keen observer of current events and current status of many countries, he strikes me as someone whose ideology is trapped in Cold War dualities.

 

Quote

Our moral codes are expressed through our laws and policies, not so much our religions. And in fact, our religions prescribe out dated versions of morality, in many cases, which are now considered immoral! I think Peterson's bitten off way more than he can chew by several different standards of evaluation. All because he illustrates a very poor sense of handing things that conflict with his own personal worldview. 

Do you have any content on what Peterson thinks about the Bible's position on slavery, and the ritual act of stoning idolaters.  Would love to see him defend the morality of Deuteronomy 13, which is perhaps just as bad if not worse than any text found in the Qu'ran.

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17 hours ago, TrueScotsman said:

Many people end up rebelling against what they were when they were younger, Peterson was apparently a Secularist and Socialist when he was much younger, and now has demonized Secularism and Socialism beyond recognition.  

 

And now he's taken aim on the left for critical analysis. It looks to me like he want's to fit into the narrative of right wing politics, but not exactly fitting the religious criteria he's tried developing what we've been seeing in these lectures and discussions. And then his fans just hear, "right good, left bad, religion good, atheism bad." 

 

They must not get too hung up on the heretical nature of his Jungian archetype christianity. If religion good, atheism bad, then hip, hip, hooray!!! Never mind the heretical content of interpreting the Jesus myth unorthodox. This goes back to something I've discussed in the past with @ThereAndBackAgain and others about christianity trying to evolve in order to survive the technological age. This synthetic religion wouldn't be too bad a thing, if it were not taking aim on demonizing atheism. It could show many people that the myths are not in fact literally true, and there's other ways of interpreting them. But with that, I assert, should also come the realization and understanding that everyone ought to be free to believe or not believe without falling under ridicule or persecution, simply because they don't believe that these obvious myths are true at the base of it all. Whoever can incorporate that sort of clear understanding into their synthetic religious efforts could possibly win favor and respect from the atheist community. 

 

17 hours ago, TrueScotsman said:

And those of us atheists who don't fit into that archetype of what he thinks an atheist actually is, is really actually not an atheist.  Stalin's cult of personality and building on the subservience found in Russian culture is supposed to be the pinnacle of what atheism and secularism really produce.  Such a self-serving claim, and I have had this lodged against me by the worst of apologists.

 

This is beyond embarrassing. He must have no shame, apparently, resorting to JP Holding style apologetic tactics. Is this Ken Ham, or Jordon Peterson? 

 

17 hours ago, TrueScotsman said:

Do you have any content on what Peterson thinks about the Bible's position on slavery, and the ritual act of stoning idolaters.  Would love to see him defend the morality of Deuteronomy 13, which is perhaps just as bad if not worse than any text found in the Qu'ran.

 

Not yet, but I'll look around. These are the sort of questions I'd like to pose if I were able to gain a dialogue with him online. I'd like to ask those questions and also cut right into a philosophical dialogue about archetypes of the collective unconscious, the four functions of a traditional mythology, and how his position taking on these specific subjects strikes me as untenable, at best. If Campbell were alive, I don't think he'd condone what Peterson is trying to do with Jung. I could give many examples of why I think that would be the case. 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

 

 

This Pakman guy REALLY rubs me the wrong way.  Is it not possible in America anymore to disagree with somebody on issues without getting out the flame thrower, giving them no credit for any sincerity, and trying to trash everything about them?  Evidently not.  I’ll take Matt Dillahunty’s or Sam Haris’s reasoned, respectful exchanges with Peterson over this guy’s melodramatic sneering, any day of the week.  What a jerk. He just oozes contempt and self-righteousness.  He hadn’t finished his first sentence and already I couldn’t stand him.  Is this how he generally talks?

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This is what's happening as Peterson's discussion on atheism circulates around. Unfortunately Peterson has made something of a pseudo intellectual of himself through these exchanges and his opposition have zeroed straight in on it. It looks like now it's going to under cut just about everything he has to say. This isn't too odd or surprising though, because I like what a lot of these voices like Peterson and Shapiro have to say until they reach for religion. I guess the problem is that no matter the IQ, credentials, or any platform of importance, there's no way to overcome the irrational and illogical stamp and label that comes with trying to justify religious belief. If people leave it alone and don't try to argue for it, or justify it with science or philosophy, and quietly take it on faith and keep it personal, then there's not much of a head hunt that can follow. The problem is that trying to justify or prove it entails a tremendous amount of fallacy and intellectual dishonesty that simply can not be overcome, by anyone. 

 

And the wolves and vultures will circle round like this and paint Peterson's fans as "anti and pseudo intellectuals." The kid does seem a bit of a smart ass millennial, but Peterson himself loaded the boys gun with his own words and actions. I keep checking these commentaries as they pop up...

 

 

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This is a much more well presented intellectual view of the discussion. And he's right about theist's having the ability to push back by placing atheists into their own mechanistic worldview bubble as a method of debate. Peterson alluded to this, but didn't elaborate as well as Sheldrake. This direction hits close to home with me because I've gone to the trouble of investigating panpsychism and on to conscious realism through intellectuals like Peter Russell and now Hoffman. But I've entertained these non-materialist propositions from the perspective of atheism. Sheldrake admits that some atheists have gone this way in the wake of the older dominant materialistic world view. 

 

Where this argument will brake down, if Peterson decides to take it there, is the fact that these leading non materialistic propositions do not lead to the conclusion of any greater, higher, or supernatural consciousness. It actually goes in the opposite direction. Consciousness, or rather raw awareness in the natural universe itself, gets increasingly primitive as you scale down, or up, with respect to it's presence in the material world, when not operating in the brain of a living organism. There's no end result that concludes on any all knowing, super mind operating at higher or lower levels. Hence, there's no god in the equation in the sense that theists would like to assert. Game over, again, and as usual. 

 

So by the end of this focus on consciousness there's still no good reason to make any of the assertions against atheist's that Peterson has made. And materialist verses non-materialist tactics in debate will ultimately fall flaccid if the atheist knows enough about where it leads in the end. It will always go back to neither proving nor disproving the existence of god and an agnostic atheist still holds out as the most sensible position to take, as in sensible because no one can shake it as irrational. 

 

Don't claim to know if any gods exist, but don't see any good reason to believe they do. This, even in the face of the argument about mechanistic materialisy verse the non materialistic science based propositions to do with consciousness. God is not a given in this argument. 

 

 

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Looking forward to hearing what Sheldrake has to say.  And I’ll have more to say about Peterson’s approach to theism when I have more time.  But for now, I’ll leave you with these comments from another agnostic atheist...

 

http://www.chicagonow.com/an-atheist-in-illinois/2018/04/overall-im-a-huge-fan-of-jordan-peterson/

 

 

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7 hours ago, ThereAndBackAgain said:

Looking forward to hearing what Sheldrake has to say.  And I’ll have more to say about Peterson’s approach to theism when I have more time.  But for now, I’ll leave you with these comments from another agnostic atheist...

 

http://www.chicagonow.com/an-atheist-in-illinois/2018/04/overall-im-a-huge-fan-of-jordan-peterson/

 

 

 

I find myself in agreement with the article as I read through. Peterson's platform on free speech and calling out all of the regressive-ness creeping into society is what first drew my attention. And it looked like an intellectual standing up and making a stand against all variety of evident nonsense. That's why I was both surprised and disappointed to see Peterson digress to what we've seen in these discussions on religion. These religious positions shouldn't change the validity of other positions on free speech and what not, but they have provided fuel to the fire of his opponents (some of which are regressives). And that does concern me. I'd hate to see people hand wave dismiss important positions like free speech and toss the baby (legit positions) out with the bathwater (ill legit religious positioning). 

 

I see the need for some type of personality from within the atheist community who can take these valid platforms with substance, like Peterson or Shapiro take at times, but not then digress into pseudo intellectual positions on religion. The fact that there are atheists out there who like Peterson but have to diverge on the point of religion speaks to this need for a voice from within our own community who may do a better job of tightening up the overall position taking. It would have to be someone highly credentialed like Peterson. 

 

I'm just tossing around ideas (all of which are subject to debate if any theist's care to take issue, BTW), but what I'd like to see is someone take a religious position of intellectual honesty all the way through. Who would in these discussions take a fair and balance position. The truth, as I see it, is fair and balanced in and of itself. Why not stick to a truth based movement? And the truth is that there are no philosophical or scientific arguments that prove the existence of god. Neither are there any philosophical or scientific arguments which disprove the existence of god. We fleshed that out thoroughly in the R&R section recently. Religious belief is a matter of personal choice and opinion, based on faith not settled science nor irrefutable evidence. The same is true of non-belief. It's a personal choice based on what people view as more likely or unlikely. Anyone from either side who suggest otherwise are misleading people. It's up to the individual to weigh out the options and make their decisions on whether or not belief seems like the best choice or not. Those of us who are for free speech in the country, and world at large, and other valid issues, do not deserve to be trampled over on the next breath when religion comes up. Especially not by those who part ways with intellectual honesty in order to misrepresent atheists. 

 

None of this determines a persons sense of morality, and it's intellectually dishonest to suggest that it does. There are believers who can be found as some of the most immoral people in history and at the same time there can found non-believers among some of the most moral in character. Belief or non-belief is not the determining factor of whether or not a person will conduct themselves morally. And it would do Peterson and others well to recognize this truth. He doesn't speak for us, in this regard. And it would do him some some justice to tighten up his position taking to include fans from the non-belief sector. If not, then hopefully some other intellectual voice will come along who can achieve that. 

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7 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I see the need for some type of personality from within the atheist community who can take these valid platforms with substance, like Peterson or Shapiro take at times, but not then digress into pseudo intellectual positions on religion. The fact that there are atheists out there who like Peterson but have to diverge on the point of religion speaks to this need for a voice from within our own community who may do a better job of tightening up the overall position taking. It would have to be someone highly credentialed like Peterson. 

 

 

I think the people you (and I) are looking for are some of those in the emerging phenomenon known as the Intellectual Dark Web: Sam Harris, Steven Pinker, Joe Rogan, Dave Rubin, Michael Shermer, Jerry Coyne, Peter Boghossian. These atheists are getting a large and growing audience.  None yet as much as Peterson, I concede. Yeah I’d prefer if he weren’t pushing theism. But things are moving in the right direction overall: so many of the most engaging thinkers are agnostic atheists.  It’s a good time to be alive!

 

Right now I’m reading Steven Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now” and I highly recommend it. 

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I literally just watched this Rubin Report with Steven Pinker tonight: 

 

 

I caught those comments about the IDW. I also noticed that Pinker describes himself as a "centrist." And that he grew up Jewish, but not so much believing in god. He gives credit to whatever proves to work, as in credit to successful liberal, conservative and libertarian platforms, while critical of unsuccessful platforms of each. I also enjoy Pinker's positive attitude and optimistic outlook. Unfortunately Peterson has battled depression, and you can smell it all over him and read it on his face. I'm afraid that that actually fuels a lot of his world view and thought processes. And it may have something to do with his odd position taking on society going to pot without god, morality dropping off, etc. It's a very depressive driven hypothesis. I know I'm psycho analyzing a popular psychologist, but I think it's a little glass house obvious how his depressive tendencies fuel his world view. 

 

LF has told me that Peterson and Pinker are supposed to have a discussion, so I really look forward to seeing that. 

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