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MEDITATION TIME
MEDITATION TIME

Episode · 9 months ago

Lecture 31 THE MEANING OF LIFE

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Based on a conversation between Susan Blackmore and Jordan Peterson, this lecture opposes the secular to the religious path, as contrasted answers to the search for meaning.

Meditation Time Lecture, Thirty, one,the meaning of life. In a conversation between SusanBlackmoore and Jordan, Peterson both respected academics and publishedauthors, the interviewer and moderator Justin Brierley asked Miss Blackmore.The following question: Do we need God ae the Judeo Christianidea of God to make sense of life? Her answer decidedly brief andunsatisfying, as she was granted virtually no time to explain herselfnear the end of the conversation was an emphatic absolutely not. I shall attempt to expand on her answeragainst the relentless claim by Jordan, Peterson that the corner stone of allmeaningful and moral discourse in the...

Western world, as primarily the holybook as an alleged repository of divine truth. Let me save for a start that my viewedchimes with that of Sam Harris, another respected academic and published author,who reckons that everything in the Bible could have originated from humanobservation, introspection, inelection and imagination. I must add, however, that I remaindsomewhat critical of Sam Harris and other detractors of religion likeRichard Dowkins, Daniel Dennitt and Christopher Hitchens, regardless oftheir merit as brilliant and scholarly intellectuals who visibly delight incalling attention to the most indefensible aspects of scripturedeemed Aur cake and replete with such delusions and barbarisms as creationismtransubstantiation, genecide and slavery. I contend that Jordan Peterson at theother end of the philosophical spectrum,...

...brings a wealcome balance in the debatebetween these men and the faithful by teasing out with in sightful profundity,the many gems of wisdom that have earned scripture a special place in thedevelopment of Western culture. The concept of collective unconsciousfrom the famous psychiatrist and psychoanalist Karl Young permeates thephilosophy of Jordan Peterson. According to the latter, sucharchitypal themes as the mother, child and Father Child relationships definethe innated structure of meaning peculiar to the Human Psyche, akin tothe categories of understanding, for example, existence, nonexistence andcause effect in the philosophy of e manual cat that provide an inbornconceptual framework for apprehending reality. They are gateways of intuitiveunderstanding that God employs in the sacred texts, the culmination of whichis the New Testament through the agency...

...of select human intermediaries, dobedprofits to enlighten and edify us and therewith inspire us with a steadfastwillingness to embody the spirit of divine love. Firstly, the idea that,over time, the human brain has evolved to embed in the deepestratum of itsconstitution, basic structures of meaning and understanding that reflectequally basic structures of reality. Thus facilitating their apprehensionmakes intuitive sense, although this would suggest a form of Lamarchianevolution that can transfer acquired traits of the phenotype at the level ofexperience and knowledge into the genotype at the level of heredity andinstincts. Such a transfer has never beendemonstrated empirically and remains controversial and evolutionary biology. Secondly, if indeed such basicstructures of meaning and understanding...

Aure enate, notwithstanding thedifficulty of explaining how they came to be imprinted in our genom instead ofrelying exclusively on cultural modes of transmission, they must remainsufficiently vague to allow change and creativity. The reverse would run counter to theplasticity and adaptability of the human brain that constitute the highpoint of its evolution. Having said this, perhaps the mostpoignant aspect of Jordan, Peterson's philosophy is the criticism he levelsat post, modern relativism in the matter of belief and values. He bemoans the loss of religioustraditions, initially called into question by the Enlightenment and laterdismissed by post modernism as subjective human constructs, to theextent that they supplied an accessible archive of metaphysical and moraltruths that was intellectually grounding socially rallying andspiritually uplifting.

From this perspective, the excesses ofmaterialism and consumerism, which often operate in tandem with nihilismor cynicism, are a pathetically vain attempt at filling the gaping hole thatis now the post, modern placeholder of the soul. Likewise, through this philosophicallands, fascism and totalitarianism ofpear as forms of spiritual wastelandsthat Brandish Political Dogmatism as contemptible Arizonts of Divine Truths. What is Peterson's remedy against theseevils? contentuously attributed to the death of God, shockingly proclaimed byFriederick NITU. It is nothing short of individualheroism and carrying the burden of meaning with due diligence under a newcovenant with religious traditions, profoundly revisited and criticallyreevaluated, together with the courage to act, virtuously striking the rightbalance between human rights and social...

...duties. Now, at this time in history,when secular thought has gained enough maturity to provide rationalunderpinnings for a good life and a good society, at least in principle,while in practice humanity fumbles for these ideals with limited success, whenit doesn't simply fail because of laziness, greed, stupidity or ignorance.Why should we turn our gaze to religious traditions as staple foodsfor thought? Instead of homing it on science and Western or easternphilosophies from ancient times onwards? Examples of philosophies are those ofPlato, Aristotle and Zeno of selium. The founder of Stoicism were those ofConfucius and Buddha, together with those of John Locke or John Stuart Milland his predecessor, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism and, morerecently, those of John Rolls a...

...champion of liberalism striving toreconcile individual freedom and distributive justice and Sam Harris. It is worth noting that the latter'sessay, the moral landscape, argues against David Hume that effective factsof consciousness such as desire and aversion or joy and suffering holdimplicit values that AB normative force relative to ethics. Actually, Jordan Peterson is notopposed to any soul, searching individual parsing such a vast corpusof philosophical meanderings, quite the contrary, but his insistence onrestoring faith in the ideological relevance and narrative putency ofScriptures relates to a point made earlier, in contrast to the exceedingly dry,intricate and abstract distillations of philosophy that interest a small subgroup of sophisticated thinkers,...

...biblical stories which give expressionto archetypal maps of meeting as the subconscious bedrock of intuitiveunderstanding enjoy mass appeal. They speak directly to the heart andare therefore considerably more engaging than the brainy indulgences ofreason, often lost in convoluted and bewildering expositions. In response to such an earnest effortto rehabilitate religious traditions, Sam Harris and like intellectuals, ourAdaman in maintaining that these traditions are better tossed in thedust bin of history. By reason of the tedious necessity to separate the wheatof universal truths, they admittedly contain from their massive amount ofchaff, which here symbolizes an exasperating array of delusions andbarbarisms. While this may be too harsh a stance incomparison to a more forgiving disposition to approach theseantiquated traditions, with a mix of...

...open, mindedness and critical thinking,the question remains as follows: How can the largely unpopular weares ofscience and philosophy compete with the drawing power of creation, myths andother profoundly inspired stories as they leveraged deep seated structuresof meaning, regardless of their genetic or experiential nature, not to mentionthe concominent habits they induce truth is one thing receptiveness totruth is another. The effectiveness of honesty hinges ona clear grasp of this important distinction, and the same can be said of educationthat strives to elicit the fundamental realities of the world. So where do we go from there? My answer to this question should betaken with a grain of salt, as should any other answer for that matter. Givenour human condition of imperfection, while I have dedicated my entire adultlife of approximately forty years to...

...such philosophical investigations, Iremain an amateur, not an academic or so called expert. I offer my listeners this selfdeprecating caviat to sharpen their critical sense, but I also invite themto give my answer enough benefit of the doubt to take it seriously as anopportunity to think for themselves about the way forward and reach ananswer of their own. I am of the opinion that the scourge ofdogmatism and bigotry is the deadliest enemy of civilization. To begin with, judging from theincreasing number of atheists anagnostics, who proclaim that theyenjoy a personal form of spirituality that is distinct from religiasity andyet affords them a fulfilling sense of order and direction. Along with areliable moral compass, it appears safe. To conclude, the following: ameaningful life that is respectful of...

...others in the environment is entirelyconceivable, without God the latter understood in the context of the JudeoChristian tradition. The fact remains, however, that theexacting discourses of science and philosophy trail far behind religionand its fantastical narratives. In terms of intuitive intelligibility andseductive power, there is clearly a trend in trying tobridge this gap by creating scientific and philosophical content that isaccessible in appealing to the masses. But this effort is relatively new.Historically, there is still a long way to go beforescience and philosophy join forces and succeed in putting forth a compellingworld view that is both grounded in reality and intimately habitable, towit, ameanable to human concerns and aspirations in the end have sent any generalconsensus as to what this compelling...

...world view consists of. The onus is onUS individually to pursue our own brand of wisdom with the help of luminarieswho radiate with penetrating insights, which should be pondered at lengthquestioned at every turn and adopted or altered according to our inner sense oftruth. To that effect, social life must becharacterized by tolerance, a balanced combination of freedom for all inmutual respect that favours this individual pursuit with nothing, butthe law imposing constraints. These constraints are the necessaryrequirements of civilization as a bullwark against a jungle like ordogged dog form of Pandemonium.

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