An interesting reasoned examination and criticism of the JPster–there sure is a lot of the other type floating around these days.
I read that the other day and have watched a couple of the videos you’ve posted in the theist forum, have wanted to comment but really don’t know what to say. That one video where he’s interviewed by a lady who skewed his words a bit, I found kind of interesting, but since then I feel like everything I’ve seen him do or say has been somewhat of a joke.
The religion stuff in particular bugs the crap out of me. First, he wouldn’t answer whether he believes in God or not, which most would argue is a pretty big part of Christianity. Then he goes on a non-sequitur on mind-altering drugs and neither of them really talked about the studies that have been done that show brain activity when on psychotropics. Which, in my view, is probably a more sensible explanation than “you can see the supernatural!” or whatever the fuck he was on about. His over-reliance on fiction to prove his points is ridiculous, and at one point he just randomly spouts popular writers like yelling names at people should mean something.
So, really, nothing that article said surprised me because the man’s just nonsense. But he’s going to milk it for all its worth, it seems.
I’m more on the fence. He’s milking it no doubt, but he’s doing it by going out and speaking constantly on many different topics. He says a lot. Some of it makes little sense to me, some is banal, some is interesting, some I agree with, some I don’t.
As far as the religious stuff, people have a lot of different ideas about it to begin with. He’s clearly thought out what he’s saying, and I think it’s coherent.
I guess his answer was along the line of:“It depends what you mean by God”.
He’s got plenty to say that’s very much valid, which is why I was taken by him originally. (Note: I wrote more but deleted it because it really doesn’t matter). I essentially agree with you, except I probably teeter on one side of the fence. I see why he says what he does but would like to see him debate someone competent on a lot of his ideas.
Sure, but it’s still a yes or no question. You can say “yes” and lead into a greater discussion, I think. I’m an emphatic “no” to that question and my wife’s a wholehearted “yes.” I get there are varying degrees between the two of us. Whether you believe that God is a guy sitting on a cloud or something more abstract, I think anybody who’s thought it through should be able to answer it with confidence.
No, because if you ask:“Do you believe in God?” and you just admitted that the question can be interpreted in many ways, then the answer cannot be a straight yes or no, unless you specify what you mean by that. Once the question is made clear, then the answer can become a straight yes or no.
Seems like only dead people would be able to answer with confidence.
Well, sure, everybody in the world is technically agnostic, but I’m pretty confident that I don’t believe in God.
That’s perfectly OK. He believes in you man.
With his reticence to speak to it directly, I think he’s making a statement that the belief in itself isn’t what’s important. He thinks the idea of God is the important thing. That squares neatly with his myth/story/archetype based ethos. I get where he’s coming from, and it’s not totally outrageous. Belief or disbelief in something we will never know the answer to in our time ultimately isn’t an especially meaningful pursuit. From an atheist viewpoint, that profession of belief has had to be invested with such purported ultimate significance is revealing in itself. From the other direction, disbelief seems to be a badge of rationality in various contexts, which it isn’t. All that being said, I don’t think his ideas are as wild as some suggest. The things many people believe in are pretty wild if you ask me. I don’t agree that the god-idea is essential in the ways he suggests, but it’s not without power and historical and social significance either.
We spend a measly seventy or eighty years at the beginning of our existence choosing who and where we want to be for eternity. That’s the purpose of life on earth. That way nobody can say they ended up in heaven or hell against their will. God stays out of the picture so as not to influence our decision. After all, a big face floating up in the sky looking over our shoulder all the time would make it pretty hard to make a truly free, uncoerced decision. That’s it in a nutshell.
Case in point. That a powerful cosmic entity has set up life as an eternity-determining imperfect information game just for us is way more out there than anything JP says, but many people believe it, and many more who would scoff at JP accept it as a valid belief.
People who try to convince other people that God exists don’t really understand how the process works.
You’re much more eloquent than him. Nothing wrong with any of that, but I feel it’s also the most detached view of one’s own spiritual beliefs you could have. I wouldn’t argue against the concept that the “idea of God” is important. My wife’s devoutly religious and she gets a lot out of it. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Naturally, there are numerous counter-arguments that could be made but like almost all arguments where spirituality is concerned there really is no right or wrong.
Did you just assume G– oh, never mind.
Cannot predict now
Aha! You see, Gabbo?
He is on a book tour so I guess “milking it” comes with the business of selling books.
Some of his lectures aren’t bad and I’m sure that I could cherry pick some of his ideas that I agree and disagree with, but what I find interesting is that I have yet to see a real debate between him and someone who disagrees with him. It’s always straw man arguments, deflections, and reframing, or in the case of the Munk debate name calling. Very little engagement, which is one of his points. It can’t be that hard to debate him - he says the exact same thing each and every time using the exact or similar sources. If people disagree, than play his game and win.
Another interesting look at JP