The spirit and the dogma of a religious tradition are always in conflict, because on the one hand, dogma provides structure, and the spirit provides transformation.

I’m attempting to be more mindful about the podcasts/video that I’ve been consuming by taking high-level notes. I haven’t gotten to a point where I can start deconstructing, critiquing, applying to my life, or even taking an opinion on anything just yet, but I thought I’d use this space to take down notes. I have a feeling that after a while I (you) would probably start to see some themes that resonate.

Warning, I took these notes with my speech-to-text app on my phone. Unedited notes are below. Chock full of error.

High-Level Notes

  • Atheism is without an ethos (agree) and it’s existential concept is rather hollow.
  • Can’t measure the maximization of well-being
  • Sam Harris : Benefits of meditation, better actions follow, compassion
  • Compassion alone does not work for a sophisticated Society
  • Naturalism does not explain everything.
  • Genes: are copies of chemical processes in bodies.
  • Meme: copies of imitations between people. Gives rise to culture. virus of the mind. Ideas are contagious
  • Memes are just as shallow derivation of archetypes. Archetypes of a pattern of behavior.
  • Some ideas are so contagious we’ve actually adapted to them biologically (e.g. dominance hierarchies)
  • Some religious ideas are instructions on how to optimally navigate within that dominance hierarchy.
  • Western societies work well because they act out a Judeo-Christian ethic. Sovereignty of the individual. Peterson claim that this idea is fundamentally religious
  • The more religious a society is the more dysfunctional it is. UK, Sweden, Canada
  • Two kinds of religion. Dogmatic (conservative) . Spiritual (progressive) . Tension and dialogue between the two hemispheres. (Editor’s note: I liked this explanation. It made me think of religion in a way I hadn’t before. Religion, even despite having a fundamentally conservative attitude, DOES have a tension of two hemispheres. This is why I selected the featured picture of the water-bug. It’s existence on the surface of the water is perfectly in tune with the water’s ability to push back, which makes it a sustainable creature.) 
  • People try to divide the moral substrate away from religious substrate.
  • Gratitude. Nice, but Vapid. Gratitude is something that you feel towards something. Peterson is arguing that she feels gratitude toward the thing in her mind that she doesn’t Define but he is calling it God.
  • Peterson says we don’t seek happiness we seek meaning.
  • Post-modernism says that all beliefs systems are equally valid. Peterson says that is a real problem when you try to establish a belief system on rationality.
  • Rationalist are enmeshed in a circle of modern comfort, which is protection that allows them to think what they think. The rationalists are living on resources that have been gathered painfully by their ancestors.
  • She listens to the body and does what it says “write books”
  • 41 minute mark. I feel like they get wrapped around the axle of what are atheist is and isn’t. An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in a literal God? Who cares if the rest of it is based on a judeo Christian system of values? The question why don’t we go around murdering people? Is a red herring
  • Proper mode of being is encoded into the book. “Oh I don’t believe in God” and undermines the proper mode of being
  • I don’t get the “miracle” comment at the end –render into Ceasar. seems like a cop-out answer.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Ideology, Logos, and Belief | Jordan Peterson

I came across this interview with Peterson last month, and as a year-long fan of his, this is one of the best interviews I’ve listened to. This is a good video to share with people who’ve never heard of Jordan Peterson before, because they’ll get a nice primer of his body of work. It does a good job of encapsulating the arc of Peterson’s thoughts over his career (especially recently) and the interviewer does a great job of asking timely and well-articulated questions that help Peterson explain a complicated idea to those that might not be familiar.

Continue reading “Ideology, Logos, and Belief | Jordan Peterson”

The Perks of Atheism

Religion is full of guilt, shame, brokenness, and darkness. These people have left all of that behind.

A discussion group put together a list of their favorite things about being an atheist. I really liked some of their answers, and wanted to share. Responses range from funny and inappropriate to thoughtful and poignant. Continue reading “The Perks of Atheism”