Well, it has been quite the ride. Jordan Peterson and Christianity…quite an engaging topic. I have decided to stop responding to comments at the post – very complicated and I don’t think I could keep up. Instead, perhaps a few thoughts here.
While not surprising, it is worth noting: just in the comments here, how many different views about what it means to be a Christian, a believer, the meaning and purpose of the Bible, etc. And this audience is a mere speck in the universe of diverse Biblical interpretations.
From what is perhaps the most studied book in the history of the world, we don’t have a single answer; we have had 2000 years to figure it out, and it seems we have only become more confused.
Is it possible that God is too complicated for us to grasp fully? Certainly. Is it possible that this might be why Peterson has difficulty dealing with such questions? Maybe. Is it possible that people who get so upset about “the wrong” interpretation might be the ones with the wrong interpretation? Often. Is it possible that Sola Scriptura only served to add confusion instead of bringing clarity? I won’t touch this one with a ten foot pole.
There are a few reasons I do not allow (much) discussion of theology at this blog – talk about going down a rabbit hole! Libertarians can’t hold a candle to Biblical scholars (and especially wanna-be Biblical scholars) when it comes to endless debate.
Now that he has chosen to make himself known, I am free to mention Mr. Spock as the author of the email. Mr. Spock, clearly I misunderstood the entire direction of your thoughts. After reading some of your comments, this seems to be the case.
May I ask: what was your purpose in sending me the email and the link? Because what you were apparently looking for (given your subsequent comments) I clearly didn’t deliver.
If your primary purpose was in regards of a proper theologian to address Peterson’s theological views, you have been around here long enough to know that this is not a subject I would address; assuming that my position about discussing theology was obvious, I went in a different direction. Clearly I was wrong.
If your purpose was to use the theological argument to get me to change my views about Peterson…I don’t know. Whatever Peterson’s faults, in a world that is driven by evil he is bringing some good – or, if some in the audience prefer, I will say he is bringing less evil.
I will certainly take Peterson over just about every mainstream (i.e. warmongering, Israel-worshipping) pastor in America – I just think about the clear line set by his “no more stupid wars” comment.
Regarding his theological faults: in the land of confusion that is Christianity, in all of its sects and denominations (reasonably mainstream congregations large and small), is Peterson alone in believing wrong things regarding the Scripture? Is he the only one with more questions than answers?
My mind keeps coming to Ayn Rand – and I know this is a terrible comparison, but it is the best I can come up with in my very limited brain: she is quite clear that she is not a libertarian, yet she has brought more people to libertarianism than perhaps anyone. Sure, a few get stuck in objectivism, but perhaps these were lost to libertarians anyway.
Peterson has opened up the Bible to millions of people. Who are any of us to say that this is a bad thing? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Perhaps some of those millions who are doing the hearing might open a Bible and discover faith. Absent Peterson, who was reaching them? Certainly not the laughingstocks that make up most of Sunday morning evangelical television.
Sure, some might get stuck in some bastardized theology or philosophy, but such as these were lost anyway – and it isn’t Peterson’s doing that thousands of theologians and preachers have failed at reaching these individuals. Peterson isn’t leading sheep astray – sheep such as these were already astray.
A million sheep in the pasture of unbelievers; a million sheep who have heard the mainstream Christian message and have rejected it; a million sheep who are now paying attention to Peterson’s message. If one lost sheep of these million is found via Peterson’s introduction, it seems to me a victory.
I have found Paul VanderKlay to be a great example in this discussion. He takes value from Peterson as he finds it; he has a group of “Peterson” followers (both in the virtual world and in the physical world) who find little of value in what would traditionally be called Christianity, yet they engage with PVK on topics of Christianity.
Might there be some of these that PVK has reached who find faith due to the hearing? Could be. Would there be any to find PVK absent Jordan Peterson? To ask the question is to answer it – PVK certainly knows the answer.
Mr. Spock, I agree: trained theologians have a duty to properly address Peterson’s comments regarding Scripture. I am not qualified for this. I already write about enough topics for which I am not qualified – as I am too often reminded.
This post (which should have been an email to Spock) reads as an attempt to further justify the shaming of one who dared to pose some questions with regard to Mr Peterson's treatment of scripture.ReplyDelete
Message: Don't discuss theology especially when it comes to Peterson's possible subversion of core tenets of Christianity. Furthermore, rejoice as some unsubstantiated number of "sheep" pass through the gate of Peterson's secular Bible interpretations. Let's also not discuss the fact that both Peterson and his Protestant detractors reduce Christianity to "Bible interpretation," which is supposed to be a good thing for the sheep, like it's still supposed to have been a good thing that an unsubstantiated number of people became true libertarian believers through Ayn Rand (a fanatical anti-Christian zealot who infected an unsubstantiated number of libertarians passing through her gate).
There was an individual whose acquaintance I first made many years ago in the comments section at the Daily Bell. He then followed me here to this blog.Delete
Over the course of many years at both sites, his comments were repetitive, redundant, and, worst of all, condescending. Virtually every single comment, on every subject, every time.
One day I just decided to stop publishing his comments. After a few tries, he sent an email asking why on earth I would do that?
I don't know why this has come to my mind today, but there you go.
I quite agree with what you said and have come to think is that despite what believers in "The Book", or whichever "Book" of theirs it is that something is deeply lacking in our attempt to understand creation and its author, if in fact that's what we may call it.ReplyDelete
Instead I prefer to follow truth as best we can know it, for there is the path that leads back to the source of the ultimate reality from which there can be no argument or escape from.
It's there that our contradictions must find their resolution in unity and from that point springs the source of all that is true and real.
While I can think of no way we can ever grasp or understand this ultimate truth/reality, it seems that our best and only hope is to continually pursue it with open minds and the honesty and humility to realize just how little we really know or will be able to know.
"My mind keeps coming to Ayn Rand – and I know this is a terrible comparison"ReplyDelete
I think it's a brilliant comparison. I don't think it's a stretch to think that Peterson may bring tens of thousands - maybe millions - into the Christian fold in the same way (assuming he's not a Christian) that Ayn Rand brought perhaps more into libertarianism.
Give an atheist or an agnostic respect for the bible in language he understands (ethics, sociology, psychology, etc..), and he might just be inclined to step out of his comfort zone and experience the faith for himself.
He's certainly an ally in the fight against our most dangerous foe: totalitarian leftism.
Only an individual who believes that God is more powerful than Satan would agree with you.Delete
Count me as one of these.
In defense of myth, and, by proxy, psychology (since both Carl Jung and Peterson delved heavily into mythology), from one of the finest men the West has produced.Delete
"The heart of man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long estranged,
man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Disgraced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship one he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact,
man, sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with elves and goblins, though we dared to build
gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sow the seed of dragons, 'twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we're made."
-J.R.R. Tolkien, Mythopoeia
As you know, Tolkien was a devout traditional Catholic, who said this about his LOTR: "The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work."
His well-articulated scholarly interest in myth is a wonderful thing in its own right, but irrelevant here. The question is whether Tolkien advocated the mythical, anthropological or pseudo-psychological rendering of Christianity along Girardian/Jungian lines. Would such use of myth by Tolkien re: Christianity seem logical to you?
Of course he didn't. As you said, he was a Catholic. But he was interested in the truths of myth, the "refracted light from the single White." He viewed Christianity as the one true myth, or the myth that not only contained truths about humanity and the cosmos, but the one that actually happened, the single White.
BM: While not surprising, it is worth noting: just in the comments here, how many different views about what it means to be a Christian, a believer, the meaning and purpose of the Bible, etc.ReplyDelete
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant. "I said, "Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" He said, "Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.
Yes, there are a lot of Protestant denominations.
BM: From what is perhaps the most studied book in the history of the world, we don’t have a single answer; we have had 2000 years to figure it out, and it seems we have only become more confused.
Not really. At least I don’t think so. Let’s start with this – how many Catholics are there in Heaven? The answer is zero. It’s the same for the number of Baptists, Lutherans, etc. God doesn’t save groups, He saves individuals.
So which building you go to on Sunday (or whatever day) isn’t as important as to how you’ve answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”
Within the Church (and I mean the true body of believers, not the Catholic Church as the term “the Church” is often understood), there is a lot of variety as to how God is understood and worshipped. People have different understandings about how a local assembly is to be governed, differing interpretations of how one should be baptized (or if you even need to), different understandings about difficult passages (or even easy ones.) Different personalities, different cultures, traditions, focus, etc.
But the core beliefs of Christians are the same. There are two doctrines that are always denied by the cults (and counterfeit religions): The Deity of Christ, and salvation by grace.
That’s the quick, easy way to determine if someone’s a cultist.
All Christians are monotheistic. They believe that one God has revealed Himself in three Persons; The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. They believe Jesus is fully God and fully Man. They believe in the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus where He took away the sins of the world and offered us eternal life. They believe the Bible alone is the word of God.
“Rightly dividing the word of truth,” they understand that man is incapable of making himself acceptable to God (that’s what I call religion.) Instead, they believe that one is saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. After that, where you park your butt on Sunday morning is up to you. There’s some *real* diversity for you.
BM: May I ask: what was your purpose in sending me the email and the link? Because what you were apparently looking for (given your subsequent comments) I clearly didn’t deliver.
If you hadn’t started the other thread, I would probably have mentioned that article from creation.com in some future reference to Peterson. But I simply wanted to make you aware of a different perspective about him.
As I mentioned, people like you, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, et al, are people that I greatly respect when it comes to the political/philosophical realm (that includes politics, economics, libertarianism, anarchy vs. minarchy, etc. – not sure what the best all-encompassing term would be. Maybe world view, but not sure that’s what I’m looking for.) All of the people I listed previously (and some I didn’t) are certainly giving Peterson credit where it’s due on the issues like gender, but some of them (and their readers and fellow travelers) have let their enthusiasm for Peterson spill over into other realms (his beliefs about God, the Bible, Jesus, etc.) This concerns me, because I don’t think there’s anything Christian about the guy, and is leading people down the wrong path spiritually.ReplyDelete
So, when creation.com published that article, I simply passed it on to those people in the form of an email for (hopefully) their personal edification and an alternate look at Peterson. It wasn’t my intention to prompt anyone to write about it, although that’s ok, too. I simply wanted everyone to be aware that what he says about Christianity in general conflicts with orthodox Christianity and is not a “fresh, new look” or approach. Most of the people I sent it to are self-professed Christians or Christianish and I thought they might appreciate another perspective. Nothing beyond that, and I didn’t even expect an email response let alone a blog post or article. (But again, thanks for that.) In the future, I will probably link to that article at some of their websites if the opportunity presents itself.
BM: Peterson has opened up the Bible to millions of people. Who are any of us to say that this is a bad thing? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Perhaps some of those millions who are doing the hearing might open a Bible and discover faith.
That might include Peterson himself someday. But if they approach it from his perspective, they will probably remain lost.
BM: I have found Paul VanderKlay to be a great example in this discussion.
Thank you for that. I was completely unaware of him. I did watch one of his videos (an interview of Peterson) this morning. Unfortunately, it was a waste of 37 minutes, because nothing of real substance was talked about, but since he’s a Christian pastor and some of the videos look interesting, I’m going to watch some more.
In return, I would recommend James White. I’m not a Calvinist like White and Vander Klay, but a lot of their theology overlaps with historic Christianity and I’m sure it’s worth it to listen to their perspective. Even though you have to be discerning and spit out the Calvinism or put it in the proper perspective, I’m a pretty big fan of his.
In addition to the Vander Klay video, I also watched a video of White discussing Peterson this morning. I should have thought of him while I was trying to find some good Christian stuff on Peterson. It was excellent, and his point of view is exactly mine. He also gives Peterson due respect, but is totally objective, imo, on his analysis his theological failings. The video is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y5OdiRnZpw The first few minutes on humanzees is interesting, but you can jump ahead to 10 minutes and his discussion of Peterson ends at 55 minutes.ReplyDelete
He is critiquing one of Peterson’s videos, and I think he makes a lot of great points. (It’s kind of a “the emperor is wearing no clothes” thing. And it’s a good one for those who think Peterson is a Christian as he takes the Lord’s name in vain several times.)
Personally, I’m hoping Peterson has had his 15 minutes of fame and drops off the radar in the near future. But in the meantime, the Bible tells us to test all things and hold fast to that which is good. As I’ve said repeatedly, he’s great on gender, etc., but when it comes to spiritual issues, the historicity of Genesis, the reality of the Resurrection, etc., Peterson fails miserably in my opinion. I also meant to mention previously that not one of the people that commented in the previous thread referenced, let alone quoted, the article that I sent you (again, thanks for the link), so I bet not one of them took a look at. Sad. (That’s my Trump impersonation.)
Thanks for letting me have my say. I think I’ll follow your advice and drop this for a while. (at least I’ll try real hard).
"Personally, I’m hoping Peterson has had his 15 minutes of fame and drops off the radar in the near future."Delete
This comment jumped out at me; I was going to comment on it immediately, but I thought...no, watch the video first.
I watched it. Yes, he is very good. Much better at commenting on these points than I am. But I am really glad I watched it first, because he says (at a little after 37 minutes) what I thought when I read your comment: I hope, instead, that he comes to Jesus.
The last two minutes or so are also good - he repeats a similar sentiment, and he also says he isn't trying to dissuade people from watching Peterson - as he is very good on many things; he just cautions that we watch while keeping an eye on the Truth.
Finding something good even in someone like Peterson. A novel idea (and I know one that you share).
As to the PVK video that you chose to watch first...I think I watched that first (or very early on). I didn't really like it much either.
As to the rest, I think I prefer to leave it for now.
A small clarification.Delete
Me: Personally, I’m hoping Peterson has had his 15 minutes of fame and drops off the radar in the near future.
BM: This comment jumped out at me; I was going to comment on it immediately, but I thought...no, watch the video first.
BM: I watched it. Yes, he is very good. Much better at commenting on these points than I am. But I am really glad I watched it first, because he says (at a little after 37 minutes) what I thought when I read your comment: I hope, instead, that he comes to Jesus.
Me, too. That's always true. But in the meantime, unless/until he does, I think the less he talks about the Bible and Christianity, the less damage he does. I know you think he may be bringing people into the fold, but my opinion is he's leading people away.
"Is it possible that God is too complicated for us to grasp fully?"ReplyDelete
I think it's more likely that human language is too inaccurate to fully convey God's meaning. Personally, I get a sense of understanding reading the Bible that I don't get from other writings, even when the subject is Christ; I don't pretend to understand why that is. But my biblical interpretation is radically different from what I was taught in Sunday school.
As far as avoiding religious commentary/argument on your blog, I understand your reasons, but don't fully agree. Without faith in one's own free will, liberty is just a word. Free will is the fundamental axiom upon which liberty is defined, and belief in free will is entirely dependent on faith. I don't know if you can make libertarians of atheists and agnostics.
"I don't know if you can make libertarians of atheists and agnostics."Delete
I don't know either. But until men who preach on Sunday morning start properly doing God's work, I don't think we will ever get to test this out one way or another.
Is Jordan Peterson our new Aryan Christ?, by Dr. Joel McDurmonReplyDelete
I really appreciated the link to this article, thank you.Delete
It helped me better understand some of the skepticism surrounding Peterson's expositions on the Bible from some Christians(specifically as it relates to humanism and Jung).
I can't also but help to see it as an affirmation of the giant divide regarding free will and predestination that also seems to fall along Protestant and Catholic lines as well...rolling over to the idea of the "New Soviet Man" type ideology of humanism in general.
I'm really just an outside observer of the whole thing, but I've always been a big fan of "self improvement" while also accepting the notion of us as flawed beings. I doubt that's a tension that will ever be resolved philosophically, generally speaking.
I very much appreciated this piece, and also many of the comments. Both the writer of the piece (Dr. Joel McDurmon) and many of the feedbackers find value in Peterson’s work while also recognizing the need to approach with caution.Delete
The writer of the piece does a very good job of explaining the good and bad (from a Christian perspective), and the top-rated feedbackers called for prayer for Peterson – the man is obviously struggling with many of the implications of his own learning, and given his inherent leftist-university-psychologist bent, it is obviously a major struggle; yet Peterson seems honest about it.
One statement worth mentioning, from McDurmon’s piece, under the heading “Our happy blindness” (and forgive the lengthy cite):
“Conservatives and Christians in general, however, don’t see [Dr. Peterson’s thought as thoroughly humanist], due, I think, to a very regular historical occurrence. They have never really developed and taught their own thoroughly biblical psychology and social theory. They have a few snippets of beliefs from the Bible, and a few beliefs from Bible stories, and enough of an idea of Christ to have a lot of well-developed theories about individual salvation—at least, in the sense of answering “how do I get to heaven”? But social theory? Social dynamics? Personality, vocation, self-improvement, discipline, meaning, power versus authority, law, justice? We’re not only virtually empty here, but when even a few of us have tried, they are usually pilloried by the rest for daring to say the Bible speaks to such issues that are outside of individual ticket sales to heaven.”
Again, I am not a theology expert, and not an expert on the history of Christianity or the Church; readers here know the extent of my learning on the topic. So while I am making statements in the rest of my comments, in many ways these are questions.
The key parts from the quoted section: Christians “have never really developed…social theory, social dynamics, personality, vocation, self-improvement, discipline, meaning, power versus authority, law, justice…” Christians have not “developed and taught their own thoroughly biblical psychology and social theory.”
I don’t think this is a “regular historical occurrence,” unless by history one means since the Reformation. It seems to me that much of this was developed (or developing) during the time of Christendom, the European Middle Ages. The idea of “individual salvation” took over Christianity with the Reformation; before this, Christianity – at least in the west – was concerned with social theory, social dynamics, meaning, discipline, power versus authority, law, and justice. Very much so.
These were thrown out, to be followed with an almost singular focus on the individual’s salvation. This focus on the individual did help open the door to the absolute State – of this I am pretty sure, given my reading.
Again, from the piece: “So, [Christians] wander like sheep with no shepherd; and when the next major social, moral, or intellectual crisis hits, they have usually found themselves sidling up to the strong, unifying voice of some secular moralist who is saying some of what the church should have been saying all along.”
This has been one of my points: it isn’t Peterson’s fault that most Christian leaders are silent on the most important issues of our day; it isn’t Peterson’s fault that people, yearning for teachers on such issues, have found him.
McDurmon goes on to discuss Jung: one dangerous dude; approach with real caution.
As offered by McDurmon in conclusion:
“But for all of this problem, the main lesson Christian leaders need to take from this is to see where all the young men are flocking to gain wisdom and insight into practical living and every area of life while Christian leaders are missing the boat in virtually every way a boat can be missed: intellectually, spiritually, apologetically, culturally, as well as in terms of business, opportunity, community, dominion, etc.”
Interesting guy himself this McDurmon.Delete
"To prevent this problem, it would of course behoove us just to go ahead a develop a biblical social theory from the bottom up" - McDurmon
No need. The Catholic Church already thought of that (the Catechism).
"There is no other case of one continuous intelligent institution that has been thinking about thinking for two thousand years. Its experience naturally covers nearly all experiences; and especially nearly all errors. The result is a map in which all the blind alleys and bad roads are clearly marked, all the ways that have been shown to be worthless by the best of all evidence: the evidence of those who have gone down them." - G.K. Chesterton, 'Why I'm a Catholic'
Not knowing anything about him, I'm guessing McDurmon isn't a Catholic.
"Never mind that he [Burke] was every bit as much a humanist and natural law proponent on social theory as Robespierre himself." - McDurmon
I think here he's making a huge error in equivocating the natural law of Burke and Robespierre. That's like saying Aquinas and Rousseau meant the same thing when they talked about natural law. Again, if he's antagonistic toward natural law, he must not be a Catholic.
It turns out he is, apart from whatever else good he may be, a social justice warrior who denigrates Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard for their supposed racism. That's enough for me to discount him almost entirely.
"My point also is not to say that any and everyone associated with the secular libertarian world is supportive of such racism, or that we should abandon the writings of Rothbard and the Austrian schools, etc. By no means. I am not sure what percentage of leadership and following would be implicated. It may be small, but it is obviously large enough to come to the surface repeatedly when something so marginal as a Trump campaign stirs it." - McDurmon
Translation: any libertarian who supports Trump is a racist.
Also, according to Colby Malsbury at "Faith and Heritage," he is Gary North's son-in-law and protege. Small world.
ATL, thanks for this additional research and background on the individual. He seems far more problematic on many levels than Peterson. I guess I will leave it at this.Delete
What Chaos really means, and its only real Antidote, by Dr. Joel McDurmonReplyDelete
(This article concerns Jordan B. Peterson)
Read the 6th chapter of John. You'll understand.ReplyDelete
Jesus Christ is God, and God is not some confusing trinity. How can this be known?ReplyDelete
God has sent His prophet, Victor Hafichuk, and he teaches with authority granted by God, not authority by men or churches. See for yourselves that Jesus speaks to him, and drink the waters of Life https://www.thepathoftruth.com/teachings/here-is-the-way-it-is.htm
I don't know if "prophet of God" is Victor's claim or yours; either way, it is a surefire way to ensure I don't "see for myself."Delete
Once I read the following books religion became inconsequential:ReplyDelete
The True Believer; Eric Hoffer
The Ordeal of Change; Eric Hoffer
Forged; Bart Ehrman
The Origin of God; Laurence Gardner
Revelation of the Devil; Laurence Gardner
The Story of Christian Origins; Martin Larsen
The Hebrew Goddess; Raphael Patai
And yes, I've read the Bible numerous times, a fair selection of other topical books, and the Nag Hammadi library. I was once devout, but nagging anomalies and contradictions finally forced the issue.
As for Jordan, I consider him a pseudo success philosopher who is riding the wave of popular issues (Like Dyer, et al). Most of the time he makes sense, but there's nothing new in any of his views.
Dear Mr. Bionic,ReplyDelete
You said you’d likely be sorry in the morning. Are you? That post and the hair of the dog have been both entertaining and interesting for me. It appears that many of the commenters here are of the Catholic faith, and as such having been taught doctrine, of a sort, from an early age, are “believers.” I don’t have an argument against it, although I did as a young person wonder how anyone could believe in such fairy tales. I don’t wonder about that any more, but have come to realize that the vast majority of people do believe in a “higher authority,” and regardless of the large variety of beliefs around the world, take great comfort in them. Far be it from me to want to deprive anyone of such comfort.
I’m not a believer and never was. My mother was not a believer, and she once told me that neither was her own mother or her mother’s mother. So now I’m wondering if the religious impulse is in fact a product of our DNA. I don’t know if anyone has investigated such a possibility.
These two quotes from the Preface of Gerard Casey’s Freedom’s Progress? strike me as relevant to my question about DNA:
Most people want security in this world, not liberty. H. L. Mencken
I tell Thee that man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born. Dostoevsky
Well, if religion and belief can provide relief from the hardships of life, who can blame them? Not I.
Peg in Oregon
"It appears that many of the commenters here are of the Catholic faith"
Good to hear from you. Interesting how appearances can be different, perhaps depending on one's own point of view. From where I stand, reading both posts you mentioned gave me the distinct appearance that the majority of commenters were of one or the other Protestant denomination/cultural background.
As for the genetics angle, you provided half the background. I'd be curious to hear about your father's and his father's father ;)
Of course it's true that among many other things such as the search for freedom, people seek for security in this world, this includes both religious and non-religious believers.
It would be interesting to test the hypothesis that non-religious believers would be even more inclined to seek for security in this world, than religious believers, since the latter can be expected to also find security in the promise of a world beyond this one.
Cheers from Amsterdam,
“You said you’d likely be sorry in the morning. Are you?”
Yes…and no. Mostly no. But I knew this going in. Like many people, I don’t like dealing with conflict – although I think I deal with it fairly well. Some topics I present here are more prone to conflict than others. I know pretty much anything on Peterson would be.
But it is through this conflict that good discussion can occur, where I get to learn something.
“Well, if religion and belief can provide relief from the hardships of life, who can blame them? Not I.”
Using the term “religion,” I will not offer any dispute. But when it comes to Christianity, I don’t think anything approaching liberty on this earth is possible without it. I am quite comfortable with relying on the historical evidence that supports this statement; I am also reasonably comfortable with the theological / philosophical evidence behind it.
Dear Mr. Bionic,Delete
Bionic wrote: “Using the term ‘religion,’ I will not offer any dispute. But when it comes to Christianity, I don’t think anything approaching liberty on this earth is possible without it. I am quite comfortable with relying on the historical evidence that supports this statement; I am also reasonably comfortable with the theological / philosophical evidence behind it.”
Peg writes: These words of yours left me wondering. I don’t argue with you saying this about the “historical evidence,” or the “theological/philosophical evidence,” since I haven’t myself studied this evidence. However, where does this leave the Jews who number largely in the annals of libertarianism, e.g. are you saying Rothbard, because not a Christian was no libertarian?
You may be correct about the evidence you cite, but if you haven’t already, you might enjoy looking into some of the Confucian and Taoist writings on the topic of human liberty (there are many hundreds of somewhat different translations of the same text). Here are two from the Tao Te Ching:
Ursula LeGuin’s translation of Chapter 17:
are hardly known to their followers.
Next after them are the leaders
the people know and admire;
after them, those they fear;
after them, those they despise.
To give no trust
is to get no trust.
When the work’s done right,
with no fuss or boasting,
ordinary people say,
Oh, we did it.
The Stephen Mitchell translation of the same chapter:
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”
Peg in Oregon (but not Portland!)I promise to say no more on this post. Thank you for being there.
"... where does this leave the Jews who number largely in the annals of libertarianism, e.g. are you saying Rothbard, because not a Christian was no libertarian?"Delete
Peg, I am not saying that one must be “born again,” “saved,” “confess his sins,” “perform penance,” or anything like that.
What I wrote: “But when it comes to Christianity, I don’t think anything approaching liberty on this earth is possible without it.”
Christianity as a societal, cultural, philosophical foundation. Many non-Christians in the West inherently live within and accept this foundation – without accepting Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior or any other mantra offered by the hundreds of different denominations of Christianity.
I am also saying that unless Christian leaders act and preach and teach like Christian leaders, there is no possibility for a movement toward liberty. They support the war state, the spy state, and the Zionist state; they don’t speak out strongly against the prosecution of victimless crimes; they don’t offer proper shepherding toward a moral life; they are afraid of the culture warriors. I know I am making broad generalizations, but I also know much of this is true for many Christian leaders, some of it is true for almost all of them
As long as this remains the case, there is no hope for liberty. Because who else will lead? Politicians? Businessmen? Who else can speak with the proper moral authority – whether or not you believe in Christian faith (however you define this)? It cannot be denied that Christian leaders are well equipped to speak with moral authority…if they choose to do so.
Besides, there is that whole history thing: despite all of the great teaching in Chinese and other traditions, nothing like liberty ever took hold anywhere else.
Hello Sag, I thank you for your comment, and am happy to inform you that my father was a "believer," and was reared as a Christian, but that latter is also true of my mother and myself. As for my father's father, I don't know not having known him. It's not my claim that the urge to belief in a "higher power" rests in our DNA. For that I'd want to see evidence, which doesn't yet exist so far as I know. PegReplyDelete