Peterson and Brand discussion

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Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby BadgerJelly on February 16th, 2018, 9:11 am 

Been waiting for this for a while.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL61yQgdWeM

Interesting chat. I kind of understand why Brand is so obsessed with the idea of "power" now.

Would have liked to have this talk stick to one specific subject. It is what it is though. Next I would like to see Zizek, Pinker, Brand and Peterson going at it! That would be a good one. Zizek and Peterson I think would clash and hopefully reveal something of the faults of their positions and deal with them.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 16th, 2018, 9:28 pm 

I didn't watch this one as I have had kind of an overdose of Peterson.

I really don't see any way forward until the freewill issue is resolved. Since I thought Dennett whipped Harris pretty badly and it didn't sway many people the whole public intellectual thing seems pretty useless.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby BadgerJelly on February 16th, 2018, 10:47 pm 

Huh? What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with free will.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 17th, 2018, 12:04 am 

What I'm saying is that Peterson is being dismissed as just the latest self help guy or the stupid person's smart person. What he is offering is a repackaged and updated version of the protestant work ethic and traditional family values. He does do a good job of taking apart the post modernist and the neo marxists but those ideas seem old school in serious intellectual circles anyway. The majority of public intellectuals seem to cling to some watered down version of socialism with a few like Victor Davis Hanson remain committed to more conservatives values. In other words nothing new to see in any discussion between Zizek, Pinker, Brand and Peterson who are all quasi "liberal". What I'm additionally suggesting is that the interesting subject to discuss is freewill because Peterson as much as anyone I have seen bridges the gap between the "liberal" mindset and the traditionalist value system. Peterson message however is dependent on a vision of freewill and self determination that someone like Sam Harris denies is possible. As long as the issue of individual responsibility remains open then most of the things people are talking about is just Intellectual masturbation and does not resolve the issues that are necessary to move society forward.

Maybe I'm just depressed at the moment, who knows.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby BadgerJelly on February 17th, 2018, 4:34 am 

I posted this in "Political Theory" because the discussion as Brand tried to direct it was mostly about how "inequality" is looked at in line with hierarchies and "power."

Peterson is pushing the old adage of "tend your own garden" to some degree. The Jungian tilt, which is what attracted me to him, is what drives home the "individuation" being an important part of each person that drives the social mechanisms.

I have heard Zizek say he wants "revolution" even though he knows it will cause violence - he wants to shake up the system. As Peterson comments here throughout human history the only way we know how to cope with inequality, to level the playing field, is through war.

Orwell actually makes a relevant comment on this when he talked about how during the blitz the aristocracy and public parks quickly became part of the landscape for all people (due to iron railing being taken down to fuel the war machine); I remember distinctly his saddened attitude after the war when the fences started to go up again and the children were given less freedom to roam from park to park, and the parks were soon "closed" at a certain time of day.

Calamity brings unity. The big question we have not been able to answer is how to create unity when there is no obvious calamity on the horizon appreciated and felt by all.

What I see as the biggest problem is getting people to face their own personal calamity. Who in their right mind is going to willingly open themselves up to their darkness and most destructive inner fears? How can such a process be managed; can it be managed?

It saddens me to think that humanity is going to create another world war. It saddens me even more to think that many people think it is inevitable and are simply looking to set up a new order once the time comes - if we don't learn how to die culturally without having to literally kill millions of people, then we better try and learn quickly.

In some ways I do think the world is too "safe" right now. China seems to be the only country capable of shifting the whole of humanity in the right direction. Whether they will or not we'll have to see. Their political system can act out plans immediately without too much protest from within. No other major power seems capable of what they are right now.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby BadgerJelly on February 17th, 2018, 4:34 am 

DOUBLE POST
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 17th, 2018, 7:12 am 

Well I see your point about political science being distinct from moral philosophy.

Interesting topic so we will see if we get more participation.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby Forest_Dump on February 17th, 2018, 7:52 am 

wolfhnd wrote:Since I thought Dennett whipped Harris pretty badly and it didn't sway many people the whole public intellectual thing seems pretty useless.


wolfhnd wrote: He does do a good job of taking apart the post modernist and the neo marxists but those ideas seem old school in serious intellectual circles anyway.


I suppose possibly a bit of a tangent but I am always interested in how people balance and rationalize their thinking with politics, religion, etc. So while I was recently (re)reading Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" and specifically critiquing Gould, I was interested to note that Dennett described himseld as an ACLU liberal (as opposed to Gould and Maynard Smith being Marxist). But then politics, religion and broader philosophies almost always make strange bed fellows. Christianity began as a pretty radical, revolutionary almost communist political movement before morphing more to the right. So it goes.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby Lomax on February 17th, 2018, 12:49 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 17th, 2018, 9:34 am wrote:In some ways I do think the world is too "safe" right now. China seems to be the only country capable of shifting the whole of humanity in the right direction.

I'd put more expectation in India. It's more democratic, more pluralist, just as advanced, almost as populous, and more closely allied to the (comparatively) free world. It's much less imperialist. It's also the cultural hub of Asia in many ways - just as Hollywood has made younger Brits and Aussies sound a bit more American than their parents, so Bollywood will probably help create an image of "the Indian Dream". But it will take time, and a gradual freeing up of the Chinese media.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 17th, 2018, 3:02 pm 

Forest_Dump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:52 am wrote:
wolfhnd wrote:Since I thought Dennett whipped Harris pretty badly and it didn't sway many people the whole public intellectual thing seems pretty useless.


wolfhnd wrote: He does do a good job of taking apart the post modernist and the neo marxists but those ideas seem old school in serious intellectual circles anyway.


I suppose possibly a bit of a tangent but I am always interested in how people balance and rationalize their thinking with politics, religion, etc. So while I was recently (re)reading Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" and specifically critiquing Gould, I was interested to note that Dennett described himseld as an ACLU liberal (as opposed to Gould and Maynard Smith being Marxist). But then politics, religion and broader philosophies almost always make strange bed fellows. Christianity began as a pretty radical, revolutionary almost communist political movement before morphing more to the right. So it goes.


First I want to apologize for hijacking Badger's thread, he can have a mod split it off if he likes.

Christianity is a Jewish eschatological cult with anti imperialist overtones. After the Jewish law enforcer Paul came to dominate the Christian cult it became an almost unrecognizable version of it's former self. In many ways Buddhism suffered a similar fate morphing from a version of Hindu mysticism minus the somewhat pantheistic trappings and focused on a type of internal moral philosophy into a distinct religion. What is interesting is that stripping the more outrageous elements of the foundational religion in both cases was not sustainable. Ancestor worship and the old testament that was supposed to have been stripped returned in Christianity and the strange worship practices that were supposed to be replaced by a more secular enlightenment in Buddhism. This validates Peterson's idea that you cannot simply do away with the foundational myths.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 17th, 2018, 8:27 pm 

Peterson seems to be ok in China. Or the authorities haven't paid any attention to him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVbh1E2ICak
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby BadgerJelly on February 20th, 2018, 4:20 am 

Lomax -

Maybe, maybe not. I think we could argue cases for and against. At the moment China is leading the way in various areas of research, and they are capable of radical change due to the structure of government -

note: ref. to talk you may have seen Brand had with some guy - cannot remember forgive me if this is the wrong link! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5WxdqmAue0

Wolf -

I think it necessary to distinguish "political science" from "moral philosophy" for the purpose of my thread choice. Of course I am not suggesting that they are completely distinct from each other and I am happy for you to digress as long as you pull it back into the sphere of "political" discourse - if ya cath me drift! ;)

I do generally see the philosophical as an abstraction of the poltical world. A way to explore hypotheticals and scrutinize language and individual versus group views. For me "politics" is more about emphasis on the "whole" rather than the "individual."

In terms of the psychological and Jungian I think I'll revive an older thread I received, I felt, undue and unfounded criticism. I think I'm in a better place to outline my previously "loose' use of terminology which made some people jump to the conclusion I was somewhat away with the fairies - literally! (which I was - "literally" - but they were merely aphorisms, metaphors and analogies of Jungian ideas and an admixture of hermeneutics.)

Forest -

Should I put that one on my "to buy list"? Looks interesting. It's been a long time since I paid any attention to Dennett he annoyed the hell out of me. I guess that is a good sign that I should take a closer look if nothing else.

Can you give gist PM or post here (which ever serves us best - or not if you're too busy to pander to my demands! haha!)
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby Forest_Dump on February 20th, 2018, 10:08 am 

To be honest, Dennett annoys the he'll out of me more than Dawkins some times. The two are a matched set in many ways. Very many ways. But this was Dennett's big contribution and it was all about evolutionary theory so if you are interested in that and haven't read it yet then I would say it is a must read. But I never really like recommending either.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 20th, 2018, 4:25 pm 

Forest_Dump » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:08 pm wrote:To be honest, Dennett annoys the he'll out of me more than Dawkins some times. The two are a matched set in many ways. Very many ways. But this was Dennett's big contribution and it was all about evolutionary theory so if you are interested in that and haven't read it yet then I would say it is a must read. But I never really like recommending either.


Forest I have my own problems with Dennett especially the obsession with one potential dangerous ideological predisposition but I see religion more as an effect than a cause.

I think you may have problems with both Peterson and Dennett because they do not follow continental standards and lean towards North American pragmatism?
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby Lomax on February 20th, 2018, 6:20 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 20th, 2018, 9:20 am wrote:Lomax -

Maybe, maybe not. I think we could argue cases for and against. At the moment China is leading the way in various areas of research, and they are capable of radical change due to the structure of government

Ignore me if I'm derailing your thread, but the structure of China's government is surely the worst thing about it. Beside being a one-party state it now has a leader who has consolidated almost all the party's power for himself: he's simultaneously declared himself commander-in-chief, chairman of the military commission, general secretary and president, created new institutions under his control in order to bypass those which are not, and had the constitution rewritten to suit him. The recent - 19th - party congress passed a law which states that any company doing business in China must include a Party committee in its management structure.

It's odd to me that somebody could be a fan of both Peterson and the Chinese regime. One wonders what Peterson, who made his name by standing up to censorship, would think of the fact that Xi Jinping has had censorship written into the constitution; the fact China bans Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, the New York Times, Bloomberg, Le Monde, the Economist, and many others; the fact the Chinese government harrasses, tortures and kills Falun Gong practitioners, blows up Christian churches and arrests their leaders.

In 1693 I can imagine myself describing this kind of regime as a step forward. Currently it seems like a sprint back into a mixture of Maoism and medievalism.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 20th, 2018, 9:54 pm 

The Chinese are not just another country but a very different culture. When people compare China to European countries I think that generations of Western intellectuals having been indoctrinated into a multicultural philosophy that tends to under estimate the cultural differences. Ironically the multiculturalist in their own way are displaying a kind of cultural ascendancy because all across the East the central tenants of Multiculturalism are considered not only ridiculously naive but an underhanded way of asserting Western hegemony.

The biggest cultural difference between the East and West is that Eastern political philosophy is centered on obligations and in the West on rights. It is the difference between an Emperor who has a mandate that brings heaven to earth and a king that rules by divine right. If you believe that your leader has no personal authority that goes beyond the creation of a harmonious society then you are less likely to see a need to address the conflicting rights between the ruling class and the ruled. The eastern view encourages and makes it easier to submit to authority and the Western view leads to chaos when rights exist without corresponding obligations. What we in the West may see as backwards tyranny an eastern person my see as a necessary submission to produce harmony. The East on the other hand sees western civilization as primitive tribalism where individual rights are constantly disrupting not only societies harmony but the divine order where no hope of transcending the state of nature exists.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby Lomax on February 20th, 2018, 10:05 pm 

China managed for several decades without the level of one-man autocracy and religious persecution that Jinping has instituted in the last five years. It did not descend into chaos, and for my part I do not think the pesky Asians need to be held in an iron fist in order to function as a society. The spread or escalation of these trends would not constitute a step forward for - and remember this was the point - humanity.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby mitchellmckain on February 20th, 2018, 11:06 pm 

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote:Christianity is a Jewish eschatological cult with anti imperialist overtones.

The only anti-imperialism I see in the NT is found in the zealots which Jesus opposed and Paul did not support either.

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote: After the Jewish law enforcer Paul came to dominate the Christian cult it became an almost unrecognizable version of it's former self.

Hardly... Paul is complex largely because some of what is attributed to him probably wasn't really his at all (some of the later epistles). The biggest change we see in going from Jesus to Paul is his inclination (perhaps due to education) to present things as an intellectual argument rather than by anecdotal stories (parables).

Frankly, the biggest harm I see being done in the development of Christianity is the influence of the Gnostics and thus by Neo-Platonism. It is one thing to make an intellectual argument for a theological position and quite another to make knowledge/belief of such dogma the basis of salvation itself.

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote:In many ways Buddhism suffered a similar fate morphing from a version of Hindu mysticism minus the somewhat pantheistic trappings and focused on a type of internal moral philosophy into a distinct religion.

I see no such parallel. The only commonality I see between Buddhism and Christianity are the anti-religious elements. For Christianity (at least in Jesus and Paul) it was a rejection of the legalistic religiosity of the Pharisees (or Judaizers in case of Paul) and for Buddhism (at least in Siddhartha Gautama) it was a rejection of theism altogether.

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote: What is interesting is that stripping the more outrageous elements of the foundational religion in both cases was not sustainable. Ancestor worship and the old testament that was supposed to have been stripped returned in Christianity and the strange worship practices that were supposed to be replaced by a more secular enlightenment in Buddhism. This validates Peterson's idea that you cannot simply do away with the foundational myths.

Well in this you have point. While both have sought to discard the elements of divine appeasement from religion, we see this same idea creeping back into both religions to some degree. And yet the record of that rejection remains for those of later generations to find so they might champion this cause once again.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby wolfhnd on February 20th, 2018, 11:30 pm 

mitchellmckain » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:06 am wrote:
wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote:Christianity is a Jewish eschatological cult with anti imperialist overtones.

The only anti-imperialism I see in the NT is found in the zealots which Jesus opposed and Paul did not support either.

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote: After the Jewish law enforcer Paul came to dominate the Christian cult it became an almost unrecognizable version of it's former self.

Hardly... Paul is complex largely because some of what is attributed to him probably wasn't really his at all (some of the later epistles). The biggest change we see in going from Jesus to Paul is his inclination (perhaps due to education) to present things as an intellectual argument rather than by anecdotal stories (parables).

Frankly, the biggest harm I see being done in the development of Christianity is the influence of the Gnostics and thus by Neo-Platonism. It is one thing to make an intellectual argument for a theological position and quite another to make knowledge/belief of such dogma the basis of salvation itself.

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote:In many ways Buddhism suffered a similar fate morphing from a version of Hindu mysticism minus the somewhat pantheistic trappings and focused on a type of internal moral philosophy into a distinct religion.

I see no such parallel. The only commonality I see between Buddhism and Christianity are the anti-religious elements. For Christianity (at least in Jesus and Paul) it was a rejection of the legalistic religiosity of the Pharisees (or Judaizers in case of Paul) and for Buddhism (at least in Siddhartha Gautama) it was a rejection of theism altogether.

wolfhnd » February 17th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote: What is interesting is that stripping the more outrageous elements of the foundational religion in both cases was not sustainable. Ancestor worship and the old testament that was supposed to have been stripped returned in Christianity and the strange worship practices that were supposed to be replaced by a more secular enlightenment in Buddhism. This validates Peterson's idea that you cannot simply do away with the foundational myths.

Well in this you have point. While both have sought to discard the elements of divine appeasement from religion, we see this same idea creeping back into both religions to some degree. And yet the record of that rejection remains for those of later generations to find so they might champion this cause once again.


We need to split this to the religion forum. I will simply say that I maintain my position that Paul made a Jewish cult into a new religion. The issue of passive resistance to Roman rule is relevant because active resistance more or less ended the Jewish state which tells me that those promoting that approach were not crazies.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby mitchellmckain on February 21st, 2018, 12:56 am 

BadgerJelly » February 16th, 2018, 8:11 am wrote:Been waiting for this for a while.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL61yQgdWeM
Interesting chat. I kind of understand why Brand is so obsessed with the idea of "power" now.

I started to watch this, but while Petersen interested me, I couldn't really understand the other guy.

I started to watch Petersen's 12 rules for life, and I admit I found the biology interesting. But I found myself tiring of it after a while. Of the 12 rules I found most obvious and a couple absurd. These are the ones which bothered me (5 most of all, 10 to a lesser degree).
5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.
Really? This is nonsense and bad advise all around. Replace this with the following.
5. The only thing you should exert yourself as a parent to stop your children from doing are things which will do them harm according to objective evidence. Otherwise you should be learning to overcome your dislikes and learning to better like people who are different from yourself, because your children are all to likely to become one of such people, and it is a tragedy if that makes you dislike them.

10. Be precise in your speech.
This seems to me to be largely a matter of personality and I cannot support railroading people into a singularity of personality. Precision in speech has BOTH advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps it can be modified in the following way.
10. Maybe... endeavor to be precise in your speech to yourself, i.e. your reflections upon yourself. In fact, this might be the time to raise one of the most important thing I learned growing up as a child of two psychology majors: Self dialogue (talking to yourself) rather than being a sign of mental illness is the best guarantors of mental health. Much of mental illness arises from a failure to communicate with your self honestly -- and this is one of the most important things that a psychiatrist will help you to do.
....or perhaps the point is that you need precision when your are trying to understand other people -- and thus to seek clarification from them. That is what Peterson seemed focused on during that part of his lecture.
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Re: Peterson and Brand discussion

Postby BadgerJelly on February 21st, 2018, 2:12 am 

Mitch -

Brand is hyper, but he shone in this one. He does come across as over enthusiastic! He used to annoy the hell out of me when he first appeared on TV in the UK, but he slowly won me over because I noticed intellect behind his childish demeanor. He still acts up, but has calmed down a lot. He made himself look bad often enough by his childish acting up (see below for the rule by Peterson funnily enough!), especially in a "debate" about drug use with Peter Hitchens - he looked a damn fool and made a very serious subject out to be a matter of pure comedy even though he was, perhaps shyly, hiding a much more serious and personal view on the subject. He is often his own worst enemy.

If you want to discuss that then do so elsewhere please :)

I was interested in the political aspects of this discussion (especially regarding Brand's obsession with "power" and how during the discussion "inequality" was framed.)

note: The children rule was simply about teaching your children to behave well in public so people would be willing to engage with them. Peterson does make the point he is assuming you are not completely flawed yourself in the first instance. And it is a part of the Jungian idea here and knowing how vindictive we can be even toward, sometimes more so, the ones we love most dearly.

I should've made myself clearer in the OP. Was excited to talk about this though ... my bad!

Anyway, it is a long vid and I was hoping some people here would watch it all and comment about the structure of society and the ideas brought up within this talk. I guess if everyone is more interested in talking about the metaphysical aspects of this discussion rather than the politics fair enough :)
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