October 13, 2019 100

Jordan Peterson vs Matt Dillahunty (CC: Arabic & Spanish)

Jordan Peterson vs Matt Dillahunty (CC: Arabic & Spanish)

alright ladies and gentlemen thank you for coming please put your hands together for Matt Dillahunty hey hey hi oh wow thank you guys so much clearly I know a couple people here thank you guys so much for coming out and and a huge thank you to pagan bear in philosophy who’s put this together along with a number of amazing events that I’ve been involved with some of which they probably run across the street the screen so you can be aware it’s going on for those who don’t know I’m Matt Dillahunty for 13 years I’ve hosted the Atheist Experience TV show out of Austin Texas along with lectures and debates and other stuff I’ve also been doing magic since I was about three so I put together a magic and skepticism lecture where I do some magic and I teach about skepticism and we’ve been touring across Canada it’s been great we did Victoria Vancouver Winnipeg Calgary Ottawa and tonight we’re here and I’m not doing magic or talking about skepticism because something kind of exciting came up I don’t know several months ago I was at the chance Center in Vancouver with Tracy Harrison Sarah Hader and we were doing a talk in one room and I looked in the dressing room next to mine and it just said Jordan Pederson and I wasn’t all that familiar but people had already been you know sending the information oh you and Jordan Peterson should have a conversation you should do this and despite the fact that our dressing rooms rooms were next to each other we didn’t get a chance to speak at all and I did my event with Tracy and Sarah and I went home and then Travis called he goes hey when we do your magic and skepticism thing would you like to maybe take the Toronto event and instead of getting up and doing the standard performance just sit down and have a conversation with Jordan and I said absolutely and I’ll tell you ahead of time right I’m not gonna waste a lot of your time because I want to get to the thing that you’re here for we’re basically gonna sit up here and have a conversation we met I don’t know a couple hours ago at dinner for the first time so this would be of getting to know you there’ll be some stuff we agree on some stuff we disagree on maybe who knows and then we’ll take questions I know there’s mics up there at the end a couple quick notes there’s something that was announced today that some of you may be familiar with I will not be taking any questions on American Atheists and David Silverman and that’s probably best because that has nothing to do with this event the other thing is and I told Jordan this at dinner the most frequent clip somebody sent me was BBC interview where the person interviewing him was like so what you’re saying is so what you’re saying is so what you’re saying and and even if I completely disagree with him about everything which I don’t and even if I despised him I despise that even more so I won’t be saying so what you’re saying is if I have questions I’ll say hey does that mean this things that lead to clarification instead of straw Manning somebody when you come in clearly with an agenda so on that note thank you all again for coming out tonight we’ll try to have an entertaining conversation [Music] without further ado ladies and gentlemen dr. Jordan Peterson [Applause] good going [Applause] there was they were so loud I was almost knocked over into my chair how are you ready to go alright well there were people who came in and were like oh you this is this was said and this was said and this was said and we talked a little bit about dinner I thought it would be nice if we started with something quick and easy and simple like God in particular I don’t believe there is one and I have no idea what your thoughts are on it you mean on the fact that you don’t believe there is one I mean just about the subject in general but I’m happy to hear your thoughts on about what I don’t think is well maybe well it’s a complicated problem and I don’t think that we take it with due seriousness I specifically don’t think that the celebrity atheist types who I actually have a fair bit of respect for by the way take it with due seriousness so I don’t think that they take it with due seriousness from a biological perspective or a phenomenological perspective or a literary perspective or a metaphoric perspective that’ll do for starters I become convinced that the fundamental presuppositions of our very functional cultures or Western cultures say are nested amove ibly in a metaphorical substrate and that when you enter that metaphorical substrate you’re in the domain of religious phenomenology and I think that not only can you derive that conclusion as a consequence of deep philosophical thought and literary analysis but it but that if you know enough about brain function you’ll also come to the same conclusion I think you come to the same conclusion as well if you look at the evolution of religious cognition from the perspective of an evolutionary biologist and not from the position of a evolutionary biologist whose head is addled by the belief that most of human morality was established in the 500 years since the Enlightenment so that’s a start I guess accept and so your octave here with me you know because I’m from Texas that’s okay I’m from Alberta you know it’s bigger than Texas just as bad so the curious thing for me is all of that applies seemingly if I’m understanding it too religious thought religious tradition the value of religious identity to individuals and I don’t see that any of it relates to whether or not there is a God or whether or not there’s sufficient reason to believe there’s a God which is my sticking point I am fully fine with the idea oh yeah we’ll try and get through this without like raucous applause but you know hey at least I got one you don’t never complain about raucous applause uh because it’s that’s the second point for me I have no problem acknowledging that people derive value from their beliefs whether or not they map to anything in reality that they can be inspired and motivated educated and enlightened by poetry prose prose metaphor allegory but my concern is having grown up a fundamentalist Southern Baptist the people who I know and some of the people who are working to enact legislation on behalf of their beliefs are convinced too that they have good reason to believe that there actually is a God not just that it’s useful to them well it’s not that easy to distinguish between what’s useful and what’s real so I think that that distinction can be made but it’s a lot more difficult and people generally think and I also think that there’s no doubt that there are different levels of sophistication of religious belief you know what I see happening in this sort of discussion say frequently you know and again like I said I have a fair bit of respect for the atheist types because they spend a lot of time thinking and that’s generally a good thing no I see most of the of their thinking however directed at the fundamentalist types the fundamentalist Christian types mostly of the American persuasion who suffer from the somewhat understandable illusion that the biblical corpus has the same epistemological and ontological status as a scientific theory when it clearly doesn’t right I mean if you’re okay now we’re closer to the same page okay if you’re a religious thinker let’s say if you’re a serious student of religious thought and a serious philosopher the one thing one of the things you can’t claim is that whatever story the Bible is telling is a scientific theory and that’s just self-evident first of all like when was the first scientist Descartes Bacon Newton maybe you could chase it back to the Greeks but no farther than that and so the idea that whatever the people who conjured up the Old Testament creation account were doing was something akin to scientific theorizing is a mistake that would only be made by people who don’t know how to distinguish between different kinds of truth and so the fundamentalists like I also I feel for the fundamentalists you know because what they’re trying to do to give them credit is to maintain a corpus of stories in which an ethos is based that would be the Western ethos in in in this case of Christianity because they believe that the ethos is of extreme value and I also believe that the ethos is of extreme value and that it is nested in those stories and so they don’t like to be confronted by the rationalist atheist evolutionary types because it blows the foundation of their those apart and they feel that it’s worth preserving and I think well yeah it is worth preserving now that doesn’t mean that there aren’t philosophical problems associated with the manner in which they construct their arguments but why they’re still worthy but it doesn’t address the issue there’s a deep issue here that that that we’re not contending with you know here’s an example this is maybe I’m wrong about this but I don’t think so um I just finished well I thought about it Lord you know and I do try to think about where I’m wrong because I would like to figure out where I’m wrong because then I wouldn’t have to be wrong anymore right and being wrong is actually not a good thing you fall into a pit if you’re wrong and this is what I point out in the lecture on skepticism since you didn’t get to see the show is that being wrong feels exactly like being right you don’t you know nobody runs around going oh I’m wrong but I’m gonna keep believing this we all assume that we are correct about a great many things and it is it’s not so much that being wrong is the thing we’re afraid of it’s I think that being exposed as wrong we’re also sometimes afraid of being wrong because if you’re wrong at a deep level it really hurt you oh I agree we can’t really take you apart and so people don’t like to be taken apart like if you’re wrong about your wife for example that tends to be a very painful thing and that’s that’s something that’s worth pursuing to determine that should make you popular um okay so so one of the issues that that I have and you can respond to this is that the the let’s say the celebrity atheist types cuz I actually like that phrase um they don’t seem to me to be contending with the real issues they see what are the roses Dostoyevsky he’s a real issue tall story he’s a real issue Carl Jung twenty books and maybe 15 seminars he’s a real issue for Chia le ADA but there are some serious heavy hitters in the religious phenomenology domain and my sense so far I just finished reading all of Harris’s books for example she doesn’t contend with them at all and it’s like for me that’s like being an evolutionary biologist and not being aware of Darwin it’s actually a big problem it’s not something you can hand wave away Jung was a mystic it’s like sorry I need about as smart as Friedrich Nietzsche I think this gets to do basically the same point remember before the thing that you’re objecting to it seems is that many of us don’t want to address the aspects of religion were that you find value in because we’re only focused on perhaps as I’m talking in the show from a scientific skepticism perspective of dude we are there are there valid and sound arguments that would lead one to conclude that a God exists my answer to this so far seems to be no and the the apologists the theologians they keep presenting the arguments the teleological arguments more arguments all these things they have nothing to do with the phenomenology of religion they have nothing to do with how this impacts people’s lives this is a question of is it in fact of the case is it consistent with reality that there is a God and is it consistent with reality that there is good reason to believe there’s God that is where the focus is primarily a scientific issue well it’s not so I I would never consider it a scientific issue because science can’t confirm the supernatural I mean we are blocked and tell somebody demonstrates a mechanism by which we can explore and confirm the existence of the supernatural and then confirm that it actually can impact the natural world we’re stuck which is why science relies on methodological naturalism seem to be able to do it with psychedelic drugs you seem to be able to do what with psychedelic drugs well everybody that takes them in under under reliable settings generally comes back and and claims the presence of a mystical experience yeah that seems to be duplicatable and replicable across cultures in labs with multiple different substances the chemical constituents of which are known very well like it’s part of this religious phenomenology and to me that’s just a set of facts and we know that people have been using those substances to evoke mystical and religious experiences for who knows one hundred and fifty thousand years maybe we can at least infer that and we have no no idea whatsoever how much of an effect the use of those substances has had on the metaphysical substrate of our culture like so what constitutes scientific data here is by no means clear here’s an example of this for example so well yeah as someone who’s been high as a kite I agree that people take drugs and report experiences that they describe as mystical or supernatural just like people record report other experiences as if they were religious or ghosts or whatever we have no way of confirming that this something mystical or supernatural actually can happened what this is this is about the language people from smoking well you can stop smoking without any sort of supernatural interface you can’t stop smoking without so there are really any any reliable chemical means for inducing smoking cessation you can use a drug called boo boo prayin I think that’s the one whatever wellbutrin is is that supernatural no you don’t need a supernatural effect but it doesn’t work very well but if you give people magic mushrooms psilocybin and they have a mystical experience they have about an eighty five percent chance of smoking cessation sure one treatment yeah but that’s kind of like evidence you know it’s kind of like evidence it’s evidence that you can take mushrooms and increase your chance of quitting smoking no it’s not it’s it’s indication that if you take mushrooms and you have a mystical experience you’ll you’ll stop smoking because it doesn’t work okay if you take mushrooms and you have an experience that you describe as mystical then you’ll increase your chances but that doesn’t tell me whether or not there was something to this notion that they had an experience that was supernatural in any sense well it’s not definitive evidence but not evidence at all sure it is oh sure do it a second wait a second this that’s wrong okay these evidence so because look I know he’s right you want to think skeptically okay you have a pharmacological substance it’s psilocybin you give it to people who are trying to commit to quit smoking the psilocybin doesn’t directly have an impact on the smoking behavior it has to elicit what’s described subjectively as a mystical experience and you can get physiological indicators of that mystical experience and you might say well that’s not enough to prove that it’s a mystical experience but you know you’re conscious and I accept that it’s like you accept all sorts of things without being able to demonstrate there relate their validity on every possible objective with every possible objective criteria so don’t get in too much of a hurry it’s a serious issue if you give people so assignment for example and they have a mystical experience not only are they much more likely to quit smoking which is really something but they’re also much less likely to suffer from death anxiety if they have cancer like that’s quite the thing and not only that if you test them a year later and they’ve had a mystical experience which the majority of them regard is the most significant one or two three one two or three experiences of their life including such things as getting married their personalities are permanently altered in the direction of more openness to experience and more creativity by a standard deviation like that’s walloping effects so we can’t get too much in a hurry about dispensing with all that skepticism as a repeatedly point on the show is not about cynicism it’s not about debunking and I’m not saying that there is no supernatural and that there is no mystical experience what I’m saying is the thing that people subjectively describe as I had an incredibly impactful mystical experience whether it comes from taking a pharmaceutical whether it comes from attending a revival church service or hearing a particular preacher whether it comes from having a particularly impressive sexual experience all of those things that is the subjective description of that which may be because of limitations in language that they don’t have any other this is the language that infuses culture so that we have to use that to describe it but that doesn’t in any way serve to confirm that there is any sort of supernatural realm or any sort of supernatural actor well it depends on how you define supernatural like look I get your point okay and I’m not claiming that the phenomena of psilocybin intoxication is direct proof for the existence of God I’m not saying that I am so that’d be awesome [Laughter] well people people do report personal experiences of that sort of thing so it’s not completely out of the realm of the experience but it’s also because of the the problem of the border between the subjective and the objective it’s it’s difficult to probe deeply enough to to to come up with anything definitive you know and I understand that that’s a problem but the supernatural issue that’s that’s a different issue like people are capable of entering different experiential realms where things are qualitatively different to them the perceptions are different the thoughts are different their response to the world is different they feel that they’ve died an ego death and and and and transcended their normal mode of perception like maybe that’s not part of the supernatural but then you’re starting to define the supernatural pretty narrowly I know you require miracle like here and now something that defies the laws of physics or what’s your definition of the supernatural so there is the natural world yeah and then there are people who make claims that something is not part of the natural world that it has some external supernatural origin those are the claims that I don’t see how we can make any sort of epistemological sound confirmation of I’m fine with accepting that people have these experiences I’ve been you know I was for many many years fundamentalist Southern Baptists and I remember standing in church and feeling what I would have described at the time as the Holy Ghost you know sweeping through me now many years later I look back at that I say why did I describe this particular experience this way it is a it’s a unique experience it’s of the same quality as something you might experience from a drug or I have experienced similar things from music and drugs and sex but they’re not all exactly the same and this is this is kind of the caveat that that the believers for any one of them would use is oh the thing you’re talking about you know when you had it awesome sex or you were on drugs that’s not the same as what I felt the Holy Spirit I felt all of them the reason I would have said at the time that I had been filled with the Holy Spirit is because everybody around me was saying that – it’s not like I have any sort of anyway to demonstrate a causal connection between a Holy Spirit and my experience it was I had an experience and I like everyone else around me attributed it to the experience like elation euphoria I don’t think I ever had visions but certainly it was an overwhelming sensation you know you get the goosebumps and it was and I remember fairly distinctly the first time I had a very similar experience outside a church because it was from listening to secular music that my church would not have allowed and then I began to look into things you know from for more of a psychological perspective of what type of impact specific music has on people and in a friend of mine we’ve had conversations about the cadence of particular preachers because a Southern Baptist minister will have a different cadence than a Pentecostal preacher and they’ll have a different cadence than somebody else and I won’t put on a performance to do them but we have this intense curiosity as to is are the successful preachers with those cadence in conjunction with the music are they just tapping into some sort of psychological impact in our brain in order to make us pliable in the same way that yeah elevator experiment where you have everybody face the back of the elevator if somebody walks in and they face the doors and after a while a lot of them become uncomfortable and turn around and face the back with everybody else for no reason it’s just compliance well you don’t want those backward faces to attack you you know it would be good but if we’re back to back you know I think okay so let me answer the question about that okay because I think this gets to the heart of some of these issues so let’s say that we can agree that throughout history and before people were experiencing a set of transcendent emotions that can be evoked by music and dance and other forms of ritual and in a variety of other ways but there’s a profound proclivity on the part of people for one reason or another to attribute those to some sort of supernatural agency yes okay so I want to separate that from another line of thinking okay so let’s just leave that aside so we can think of that as a theory about the origin of religious belief the experience comes first it comes along with a an implicit hypothesis about supernatural actors behind the scenes eliciting these experiences okay that’s in marked distinction two other theories of religious derivation like Freud’s theory for example that religion is a defense against death anxiety or that or Marxist theory that religion is the opiate of the masses right it’s a much more biological theory the one we’re putting forward sure okay and it sounds it seems to me to be a much more credible theory even though religious movements can be harnessed for economic purposes and for purposes of manipulation and all of that obviously yeah so I I would think that there’s any number of explanations I’ve heard for the origins of religion and I find almost all of them plausible in different forms except for the one that asserts that they come directly from a supernatural being well okay so that’s that’s the one we’re gonna gonna pursue though because that oh that was funnier than I thought it was it was I’m just being honest yeah well honesty is often funnier than people think it is so um so okay so people can have these experiences and they can be a vote in a variety of ways and people often find them very valuable at least in terms of their subjective report and and the psilocybin experiments and also the large-scale analysis of psychedelic drug users by the way also indicate that the use of such substances is generally associated with an increment in health rather than the decrement which is quite interesting right it’s not something you’d necessarily expect so here’s a question why in the world do the people who have these experiences have the proclivity to attribute them to supernatural sources like to a divine source like what what’s going on there okay so best guess and and this is this is contrary so the skepticism isn’t about pay let’s debunk this and come up with but if we were gonna go through potential plausible explanations to me this is very similar to in the 40s and 50s when people were supposedly abducted by aliens that or ran into aliens they had descriptions of aliens that pretty much were varied and often matched the various monsters that you saw in the movies then after 2001 or after sorry after Close Encounters of the Third Kind almost all descriptions of aliens became the allman headed you know this the the narrative in the culture about what an alien was converged converged yeah and people were oh this is what I experienced in the same way that people will the sometimes court cameras will catch orbs or a particular lighting effect in a house that is supposedly haunted will be perceived as a ghost as a spiritual you know humanoid form when we in some cases can show that that’s actually not the case in other cases we have no idea what they necessarily saw but because the what people understand about spirits and souls and ghosts is in like the zeitgeist of how we think it’s it enters the consciousness as a plausible explanation even if ultimately there’s no such thing as you but that that explains why they converge but it doesn’t explain why the initial impetus is the attribution of the experiences to something supernatural like just some see fairness I’m sure that then that I’m not convinced that necessarily the the natural instinct is to apply it to something supernatural I think it may be more the case that not only are we pattern recognition machines but were the descendants of people who you know you see faces and everything and so you see faces or you anticipate that there’s something in the bush out to get you and when you go and actually investigate you find there’s nothing in the bush out to get you rather than assuming that you might have been mistaken ah maybe it’s a spirit yeah the social psychologists call that the hyperactive agency detector and the fact that we can be you know before we had a good understanding we still have a good understanding of death and the mind and stuff but if I standing here talking to you and I drop over dead there’s a clear undeniable difference in me sitting here as an animated being and me laying there is no longer there and so it seems a natural inference that something that about me has left that doesn’t mean that there’s actually something about me like a soul or whatever that’s left you know we don’t tend to think the same thing when the radio stops working or the television stops working it’s not like the man and the TV has left it’s just off but it seems that those because it suggests that whatever’s in the TV is coming from an external source and you’re definitely not making that argument with regards to the soul well the TV station isn’t in my living room so there’s at least some external source sending it right there that’s exactly that’s all you make a case that consciousness isn’t exactly in your head either even though it’s localized yeah so why would I think consciousness is anywhere other than my head well how do you account for consciousness well I’m not sure that we can’t account for consciousness is definitely true but yes see and that’s another reason – that is another ond you know what the brain produces the fact that something’s mysterious doesn’t mean that well this isn’t just mysterious it’s like really mysterious it’s it’s the most mysterious thing okay well that’s not it it’s not like ordinary mysterious the fact that something is really mysterious to the point where I think you and I would agree that we don’t have an explanation for it mm-hmm okay if there was something like that we’ll say that it’s maybe consciousness we agree we don’t have an explanation or at least a complete one for consciousness or even a partial one okay sure so consciousness is brain really mysterious and you and I have no explanation for it as human beings were uncomfortable with saying I don’t know this is something I’m trying to teach people to be come more comfortable with is to say I don’t know and so when you ask me about consciousness my answer is I don’t know but for other people they’re so uncomfortable with I don’t know that they pause it an explanation that they cannot justify something is untestable and unfalsifiable and that is that there’s a ghost in the machine I can’t make that leap because there’s it is it is entirely speculation without support it seems intuitively right because of how we view the world and yet I would rather say I don’t know and then continue to explore it because I I worry that by asserting what the explanation is you stop looking for the actual act okay so you’re you made the case that part of the reason that we assume beings is because there’s a being that seems lacking in death and that was associated I had asked the question about why people attribute their mystical experiences to supernatural beings so we kind of went off on a little bit of a tangent there but it was related so we could say well your idea is something like people personified the soul for obvious reasons and they also have a hyperactive agency detector and so it’s the combination of whatever mechanisms that produce that that allow them to attribute supernatural personification to the source of mystical experiences it’s something like that yeah okay so let me let me ask you something we’ll get back to that maybe that’s fine let me ask you something about consciousness you tell me what you think about this okay all right so this is how it looks to me I mean there’s lots of ways of thinking about how people interact with the world but I think this is how we treat ourselves and other people as we see them acting in the world so I would say it’s indicative of our deepest belief because I think belief is associated with action so the way consciousness appears to me is that it’s a faculty let’s say that confronts possibility we’d call that possibility well sometimes possibility sometimes we call it potential like your potential sometimes we call it the future so I don’t see us as driven deterministically like clocks which is apparently I think although I’ve been accused of misunderstanding Sam Harris before but I think that’s the that’s the argument that he makes I see us instead as agents confronting a landscape of possibility and that what consciousness does is enable us to shape that possibility into actuality and we do that with whatever it is that allows us to make decisions I think that our legal system is basically predicated on the idea that that’s true I think that if you treat yourself that way that works I think if you treat other people as if that’s their basic characteristic and perhaps their value that you get along with them and I think that if you organize your society on that presupposition it appears to be functional so so what do you think about the idea of consciousness is confronting a landscape of possibility or potential is that so I I don’t know that I have that much of an issue with anything in particularly that you’ve said there’s a number of different ways to to frame these things so that people can have a better grasp on one of the things I know people struggle with is and we may have to get back to this in a minute I don’t necessarily dig in on it just a second but I would love to talk about it this idea that absence of God there’s no moral authority this is a fear that many people have and when you’re talking about viewing consciousness as the way the way you describe consciousness is what I would probably call our agency okay and while I don’t think that we have libertarian free will I’m on record as being a compatible as too long with Dan Dennett but I also had another discussion recently so I’m to clarify because that discussion I’m fine with the idea that we have a will that we have desires that we have that we are an agent that is also capable of self-reflection to see what are the consequences of my actions forward to me it does not matter if that is ultimately deterministic like clockwork or if there was some something that could trump determinism oh I shouldn’t have said Trump I’m so sorry movor come the deterministic view that doesn’t change to me the fact that you would be the agent responsible for your actions now when my when my lawnmower acts up I will sometimes anthropomorphic lis you know cut it out but yeah it is Touche I mean although at least I got rid of them I haven’t seen you interact with your lawnmower yet but at the end I recognize that the lawnmower is not a thinking agent that is not making decisions and so that difference between there is where I would inject the sort of ideas about moral responsibility Sam and I had a say Maris and I had an argument in Chicago about freewill and I was pointing out that he could walk over and step off the end of the stage or I could pick him up and carry him and drop him off the stage and at the end the the effect would essentially be the same but the conflict between those two is everything that I described is will whether you want to call it free or not I think that’s what that’s what we value that’s what we care about that I would be responsible for that action I would be acting in opposition to what the other agent wanted and I don’t know that you have to and there would be something hypothetically wrong about that yes okay okay good so that’s close we can we can get to the morality thing because I think then the next question I had unless you wanted to follow up on that is a lot of you know I kept saying earlier it seems that you’re talking a lot about your you haven’t addressed the issue and I’m not going to push back on it because I want to move on yes there of whether or not there is good reason to believe there actually is a God as opposed to whether there are good reasons for people to believe that there actually is a God Dan Dennett describes you know there are people who believe and then there are people who believe in belief that there’s value and and from what you said here and in some other comments which I’m not going to Sally you with I’m curious irrespective of whether there’s a god what is it that you fear we would lose if people stopped believing that there was a god or believing there was value and we’d loo we’d lose the metaphoric substrate of our ethos and we’d be lost and so I’m I think so I really want to know and I’m not I’m not yeah being a dick I won’t know what you mean by metaphorical substrate because saying we’re gonna lose it so there’s there’s the idea when I want to ask what do you think we’re gonna lose there’s two things one is there’s something that you and I would both agree we should try to keep yeah and there are other things that you and I might disagree on whether or not we should keep it because when people say to me oh you know we if we get on the road with Dostoevsky that you know if there is no God everything is permissible first of all I don’t think that’s remotely true because I haven’t he makes a pretty vicious case for it and Beyond Good and Evil despite the fact that it sounds monumentally arrogant I think I can demolish that case in about two minutes with a secular morality lecture what I think the first part of that statement is right but not the second one and we could find out but but the thing is there would be two categories of things that you and others might be fearful we would lose some of which I might agree we should definitely not lose these things yeah others I might be absolutely fine with like it that it’s wrong just throw sam harris off a stage yeah I I don’t plan on doing that my mind at one boy we both agreed that that was probably wrong yes oh okay so that’s good probably yeah say I’m a situational as assistant so there might be situations if the stage were on fire throwing sam off would be the best thing I could do for him so what do you think what do you think we’re likely to lose what bothers you when you say metaphor metaphorical substrate I probably just monumentally ignorant but I really don’t think I have a good understanding of what you mean well there’s levels of thought I mean every thought structure let’s say every belief structure is multi-level like a piece of music and there’s the word in a phrase and then there’s the phrase and then there’s the sentence then there’s the paragraph and then there’s the sequence of paragraphs within which the paragraphs are uttered and then there’s a broader context of interpretation within which all of that is interpreted and then there’s our emotional and motivational similarity and then there’s our embodiment in the world and all of those things are operative at all times when we’re understanding one another and as you move outside the realm of the linguistic like the paragraph level let’s say into the realm of the emotional and motivational and embodiment and embodied you also move into the metaphorical and the metaphorical is structured in a particular way and this is quite well documented by the way I mean if you look at how the hemispheres interact so the left hemisphere broadly speaking broadly speaking and I’m not oversimplifying this except that we don’t have much time is linguistic but the linguistic utterances are understood in the context provided more by the right hemisphere which is nonverbal and which attends to things like the music of language and so at the bottom of a linguistic structure there’s something that’s extra linguistic and it tends to take form in metaphor and narrative and drama and that sort of thing and the religious landscape is the narrative metaphor drama landscape and if you disrupt it then you blow apart the widest possible context within which the specific utterances are rendered comprehensible so I followed all that shockingly any time you were talking about signs and hemispheres and other stuff so when you’re talking about the broader context if we lose belief in a God we lose that metaphorical substrate that is the broader context in which we evaluate these narratives yeah that really that really grinds them into our bodies that makes them things we believe rather than just sure but what is it about the narrative just think that it was wrong to throw off the Stan Sam’s gonna be pissed when he went back yeah yeah yeah yeah well that’s okay what so see there’s a difference between thinking something and believing it because to believe it it has to be thought incarnated insurance it has the authority when I talk about it belief is the state of being convinced that a proposition is true or likely true it’s everything that I try to do I tend to view in the form of propositional reasoning so when we talk about the narrative yeah that’s a problem okay yeah well it’s you can’t reduce the world to set of propositions why not oh look show me something that is noburo in the world that is not a proposition they put an available proposition something that is demonstrably true that I could not put in a proposition oh that’s that’s easy sure you want to go there I’m not afraid of anything okay okay if I’m wrong I want to know I’m wrong but I I’m trying to for years I had this thing going where people would say oh and this is kind of what we’re getting at from different angle I would say they would be afraid of what we would lose if we lost religion and I basically said demonstrate to me any benefit oh you lose art and poetry and drama and narratives why worry are there are there no godless artists and poets there are artists and poets who think they’re godless so we might have crossed over into a problem area yeah I don’t actually I can’t draw for crap although I do draw during the show but one of the individuals who came to the show the other night handed me something that she had spent a great deal of time drawing she’s a wonderful artist I’m very grateful to get it and you know while I pretend to read minds onstage I constantly acknowledge that I can’t actually read mine so I can’t tell you whether or not she actually believes in a god but I can tell you that I actually don’t believe in a god and I could rent yeah coach for you huh buddy act like you do that’s why you did I say I’m off the stage no now you’re making you claim okay so I’m telling you I don’t believe there’s a god and your response to that is I really do because I have a moral sense but my moral sense is utterly without any appeal to a God explicitly or implicitly maybe the that’s not so obvious okay it’s really because these are you regard sam harris as an implicitly valuable entity as otherwise you just throw them off the stage and then the question is well just exactly why is he an implicitly valuable entity I don’t think a the physics of that I don’t think he’s implicitly valuable in the sense in the I don’t think he said I don’t think he’s implicitly valuable in the sense that the universe has in there’s something explicit about it for me morality is far simpler than some people you know that maybe you’re the mind reader well you well maybe because you’ve already you’ve already suggested that despite me sitting here and having talked about this for decades that I don’t believe in God that I actually do because I have a moral code but my moral code which I was because off the stage yes but you didn’t you didn’t even attempt to ask me why I didn’t throw Sam off the stage instead you went to why do you think has Sam has implicit value because that’s the only justification well maybe you were afraid of being punished I think you know oh I think you can have a perfectly acceptable foundation for secular morality even if it fundamentally centers around selfishness I’d rather not be thrown off the stage it’s in my best interest to encourage that sort of understanding at others and therefore I will not throw him off the stage I would rather not have my stuff stolen and it’s in my best interest to encourage others not to do that so I will not steal stuff and I will work with others to ensure that the people who steal stuff are punished it is in virtually pragmatic you think it’s not in your best interest to have stuff stolen from you or to be thrown off the stage why is it not in my best interest yeah no no you know you know you don’t get to think oh that’s self-evident it’s like nothing’s self-evident to the skeptic let’s keep that in mind well so because if we’re gonna get sceptical here we might for for Sam and I the foundations and we’re not the only ones but I tend to reference Sam just because if I say this then somebody will say loads exactly would sam harris says except that you know I was given this lecture before he wrote his book but but his book is better than my lecture so read his book when I talk about this I’m talking about well-being is the language that Sam uses no I don’t I don’t add I don’t care whether or not somebody else considers that morality that I would think at a minimum would you and I agree that that whole well-being thing man as a basis for a metaphysics that’s just a North facing metaphysics on it if Sam is no he’s not yes he yes cuz he’s a might as well yeah take it up with Sam well ok sorry do you think you think I’m wrong about that claim right that’s what I understood I don’t think Sam saying anything metaphysical about it I think so here’s the thing we are physical beings his fundamental claim so it’s sort of at the basis of his ethic and so he says well we should work to maximize people’s well-being or at least to more it does a bit more than suffering he’s not maximized minimize in this sense of sense simple consequentialism let me do this ok we’re physical beings in a physical universe and the laws that dictate how things work in the universe they are the ultimate arbiters of what is or isn’t in our best interest whether we know it or not so for example so far as I can tell then why do you need freewill I don’t I don’t why do you believe why do you why do you tribute agency two things if the laws of the universe can get to that one point well but there was a contradiction free will isn’t free will isn’t relevant to this it is if the laws of the universe are what are dictating what’s good for us no because if you chop off my head that is clearly not good for me and it doesn’t matter whether it was an act of free will or if it was my lawnmower it’s clearly not good for you because you think you’re valuable and worth preserving yes okay that’s the issue why do you think you’re valuable and worth preserving because I am the descendants of people who thought they were valuable and worth is worth preserving and the ones who didn’t think that if killed themselves but this is not a statement about this is not a statement about intrinsic value I don’t know yes yes they knows okay okay but I think it is okay the reason that we talk about this in terms of well-being is because irrespective of whether or not I care about well-being there are facts about well-being sure let’s hear a man like those suckers up if you chop off my head it’s in contradiction to my well-being I mean that ok I’m saying that’s a metaphysical presupposition you’re just saying I have to accept that no I’m not I’m not doing you at all whatsoever you’re so trying I’m trying to explain what my position is okay but but you said that that wouldn’t be in accordance with your well-being okay that’s a metaphysical statement or philosophical statement it’s not an obvious fact the dropping off some head is contrary to their well-being depends on how you define well-being they sure yeah but it matter if you define well-being as this glass of water we’re no longer talking about the same thing well you can define well-being that’s fine that’s what I’m waiting for this is so this is what I’m it’s you can’t do it you can’t define well-being well then why should I try I certainly can’t do it if you keep telling me I can’t do okay sorry okay I’ll back off I’ll back off there’s a go ahead I’m I’m I’m all ears so the primary objection to – Ann’s position that keeps coming back is why should anybody care about well-being and we both will acknowledge that this is and in fact a subjective preference there are people who are going to care about well-being there are people who aren’t the second objection is that well-being is not clearly defined both of us have acknowledged this it’s not as if we’re saying we have all the answers to how to go about living a better life we’re just saying that however we’re going to define well-being which is I say you can start with a couple of foundations you can start with death is preferable to life but you don’t get very far that way and so suffering well no I’m saying you could start with death is preferable to life but you don’t get very far that way because yeah you do you stop suffering you just die yes mm-hmm right so you can start with the presupposition except that when you’re dead you’re not being so there’s no well being well it’s not if we’re looking for the best things about our life you can’t say death is better yeah you can well I know that you can say it will do all the time they do know will look like an express their preference but their preference can be wrong how can it possibly be better for your life if you’re dead what if you like our terminal burn victim with cancer I am this is the point that I was getting to I am perfectly fine with the idea that for certain instances there may be occasions that death is preferable to an individual over life but when we’re speaking in broader terms if we’re talking about let’s create the best society we can let’s create the best quality of life we can for people death is not that across the board that doesn’t mean that there aren’t individual exceptions so the foundations that I started with you could start with death is better than life but blah blah if you start with life is generally preferable death health is generally preferable to sickness happiness is generally preferable to sadness none of these are absolute locked in stone rules from those things so if you start with them yes if you see we’re not skeptical about those claims Wow well I’m asked you know I came out and said that I wasn’t gonna be trying to strawman you left and right and now every time I say something you’re like oh so you’re not skeptical about that well I’m trying to happen I’m not trying to attack you I’m trying to understand where your argument begins well it seems odd that you would come out with so you’re not skeptical about that well that’s it well I’m on my skepticism tour while I’m in mid-sentence to describe that these are the general foundations that you start with okay that’s why I was asking those are okay so but what you’re saying if you’re saying correct me if I’m wrong I’m not trying to be difficult you’re saying that those are your starting positions those are the things that you accept I’m saying I’m faith no oh you have a rationale for them yes let’s hear it a your to have life is generally preferable to death because we’re talking about our life and death is generally not in the interest of the living it can be on exception this is the point that I was getting to so you could start with those pendant you could start with any three that you found you could pick three arbitrary foundations and the one aspect that makes a secular moral system distinct from religious pronouncements and divine command theory and those sorts of things is that the the secular moral system has as its goal the object of getting better at getting better which means if you find out that one of your foundations is wrong or in conflict with something else you can now change that you could start with death is preferable to life and then when you find out that it’s not working that well you change that foundation I think that these foundations based on the evidence of how people tend to live their lives and what they care about are a good set of three there could be better ones that somebody come up with I’m open to revision on any of these at any time but to say that I’m not skeptical about them is exactly the opposite of what I am because skepticism is about I’m not going to accept something as true without good reason and it’s about being willing to being open to revision should there be evidence if you and I agree that we care about a good life good life isn’t very well defined and we may have different ideas about what good life is but if we can actually just sit here and take notes you know I think that we’ve come across maybe a handful of things that we would agree would make for a good life if we take those and compare them to the foundations of a secular moral system like what I’m describing we can determine non subjectively whether or not what we’ve the list we’ve come up with are consistently approachable by that from that foundation and we can do that for religious morality as well the the analogy that I’ve used in the past is is for example a game of chess there’s nothing about the universe that requires that we care about chess or care about the rules of chess the rules of chess are arbitrary somebody made them up we changed them we added on passant ly I did castling the things like that we have the rules of chess we don’t always know what the best move is but if the goal of the game is to win or at a minimum not lose then we can analyze the moves with respect to the consequences and with respect to the goal of winning and determine which moves are better and which moves are worse that is what a secular moral system does because it allows revision whereas religious systems don’t allow for revision there’s not a Bible 3.0 there’s not a Quran 2.0 there’s no new revelation from God to say hey you know I said all this stuff about slavery now I’m opposed to it or hey you know I was really down on homosexuals but now I’m okay with it hey you know when I said that here’s what cause diseases or that you were unclean and shouldn’t into the temple imact all those things are actually wrong the germ theory disease is right and none of that’s been come out so there is kind of a Bible 2.0 that was the New Testament well that is that is the update for the Christians yeah except that it’s worse than the first one well that that’s not exactly the point the point is there was an update so well okay so in the update it’s not like Jesus came along and said hey in Exodus 21 where I was saying you could have slaves and beat them we got that wrong or you got that wrong that correction is never given that thing about you know in Leviticus four we point out that women are worth two thirds of that of a man we got that wrong none of that’s corrected in fact the reason I say it got worse although I didn’t know we were gonna go down the the biblical route tonight is that if you if you look at Jewish tradition when you’re dead you sleep with your fathers there’s no real clear notion of an afterlife and then with the introduction in the New Testament what you get is infinite and punishment for finite crimes which is immoral all right so I don’t want to go down that route surely at the moment although I’d be perfectly happy to do it you know next time we get there well cuz they want us to go to questions here in a minute okay so so I want to address the rule system that you’re putting together okay okay so I was talking to a friend of mine who’s an AI engineer he’s a very smart guy and we’ve been talking about the foundations of cognition and you know that artificial intelligence systems don’t run on rules some of them do well and certainly they run on an operating system that is full of rules yep that’s actually that’s actually not relevant in this case but that’s the because they can go operate in all sorts of different operating systems well but okay so there’s a foundation that the foundation I’m pointing to is the physical facts of the universe and that would be roughly consistent with the hardware in the operating system that they’re running on but I’m sorry okay that’s a reasonable objection to but look one of the things that happened in the and I think this is the one of the problems with with a we can generate a rational system of rules that can govern our behavior approach is that since the 1980s people have been trying to build rule-based expert systems that can do relatively simple things relatively simple they’re not that simple like basic medical diagnosis they don’t work rule-based systems don’t work you can’t get them to operate intelligently which is why that why machine learning came about to begin with because whatever machine learned learning is doing and allowing for predictions it doesn’t seem easily decomposable to a set of listable rules and a map of their interactions the world doesn’t seem to work that way and I would say back to the metaphysical substrate argument you know you laid it forward a set of propositions and the reason I was perhaps inappropriately torturing you about them is because there’s a metaphor well there’s a metaphysical there’s a metaphysic under them there’s something that’s driving you to put those forward as a reasonable you say well there’s self-evidently reasonable see my question isn’t well it’s a proof it’s something like that because you said well reasonable people could agree on these three or something similar but it seems to me that what you’re saying is that there is a set of finite axioms that reasonable people could conceivably agree on from which you could generate a rule-based moral system if I got that wrong but I thought that’s what you said it’s curious because I didn’t say that but it’s very close to something that I have said in the past which is for any given situation there’s a finite set of actions that a person could take and some set of those actions are better than others it with respect to whatever the goal is if the goal is to continue you know a decent life or improve the quality of life some set of one or more actions that you could take in this instance produces results that are better in ways that we would agree they’re better like like throwing Sam off the stage if if we were in that situation might be an unconscious fantasy going on here or something a because we keep returning to that and it’s fun but one one of the possible actions of this set of actions would be for me to throw him off stage another possible set of action would be for me to you know shield it it is clear and you can say that I’m just saying it’s evident it is clear that one of those is going to be more in Sam’s best interest and perhaps even more in mind than another that’s all we’re saying we’re not pretending remotely that we have the answer to every possible scenario just that we have the foundational tool set that allows us to come up with the right answers and we do think that you can do that with a set of rules not well technically I don’t think there’s any evidence for like I don’t know why it wouldn’t be well you can’t build a like expert systems for example oh you can’t say that you can’t because we’ve tried for about 40 years with no success 40 years out of 13.7 billion and we haven’t cracked it yet so it’s impossible but 40 years is they have exponentially increasing computational power with no solution on the horizon except for AI so and and the latest AI think which I absolutely love because I’m a chess player is the deep mind alpha zero thing that learned the entirety of what humans know about playing chess in four hours or so and then beat the best previous chess computer so and people are saying oh it’s the beginning of Skynet because now we have this sort of thinking however it that that method produced better results of letting it play itself with chess giving it no opening book giving it no history just nothing well that’s my pets it didn’t give it no rules it gave it the rules of chess and the goal of the game yes but it didn’t give it rules about how to play the game correct Brian Monte I guess rules space systems that’s because rule-based systems about how to play a game aren’t optimal no that’s why what happened is the a I took the rules of how to play the game and what the winning goal is and it experimented and found the best ways to achieve that goal and I think that’s what human beings have done throughout the entirety of history where the physical beings in a physical universe we have the rules the goal is to survive or and I would say the goal should be to thrive and we are continually finding the best rules and the best methods this exactly mirrors the moral system I’m talking about there the idea that there is someone on high telling the computer don’t play h4 as your first move we threw that out because that’s not the best way to find out things instead we plop the computer down just as we were plop down in a universe when we gain consciousness and began interacting and the computer in the span of a few hours discovered everything that humanity has discovered about chess and now they are applying it to the sort of diagnostic things you were talking about I think that that is directly analogous to what the best explanation of what human beings have done and what happens from my perspective is that the thinking about morality is so difficult for some that it’s just easier to say ah this person told me or this God told me or this is the case because having to sit down and do the sort of life inventory to figure out hey what’s what’s best for us I mean even figuring out what the goal of the game is it’s harder for some people and so they accept and fall into these traps of like authoritarian models this is what your goal is and the thing that’s probably frustrated me the most which I talked about on a college campus last year is if the government was running around dictating to people what their job was going to be what their future was going to be as some regimes have done nobody would appreciate that nobody almost nobody I’m sure somebody would be very happy thank you I couldn’t figure what to do I’m glad I’m gonna be you know a brain surgeon even though I don’t know anything about it but if the government was dictating things like that there would be revolts there have been revolts and yet curiously when people think there’s a God or divine being or some cosmic consciousness or collective consciousness that has dictated a goal for them they celebrate it and that contradiction has bugged me for years yeah well there’s no doubt that systems of belief let’s say including religious systems of belief can devolve into a kind of totalitarian rigidity I don’t think you can necessarily lay that at the feet of religious belief I mean humans know I’m laying it all at humans yeah I mean right it’s broke a human’s using really yeah so what do we do to close cuz I heard you said that we have to take questions hey we’re gonna take some questions [Laughter] cuz I I could every I didn’t mean to commandeer that no no about timing you you could have just as easily said it I’d be happy for another five hours talking but then they charged us a fortune and all these people who have questions that are better than the ones I’m going to come up with so there’s microphones actually up like yes where that guy oh my gosh he’s lit up where we can see him a couple quick notes about questions and by the way thank you there’s been great and well thank you we’ll talk some more [Music] this is where I get to have a bit of fun um a couple notes about questions for those of you know I do a live TV show where I can hang up on people and if you think I can’t hang up on you here you are much mistaken but I don’t know I hope then I hope they never have to do that and almost everybody’s gone along questions end in a question mark and the kind of questions we’re looking for don’t start with a dissertation or life story so you can say your name if you’d like to if you don’t that’s fine and then say who your questions for or both and I will I will make a promise that I make every time and break but I will try not to break tonight which is I will do my best to give shorter answers so that we can get everybody who’s asking questions but they let you up first sir thank you and the floor is yours for a moment all right thank you I guess this questions mostly for Jordan Peterson just to hopefully enlighten a bit more what you mean by God do you think that if all humanity were to cease to exist does God still exist I I don’t think I know how to answer that all right there it’s just the situation is too hypothetical I mean I can take a crack at some of it but so human beings are characterized by consciousness and by self-consciousness and and the latter in particular seems to be something relatively unique there’s some vague evidence for self-consciousness of lower sorts and animals but it’s not very compelling some of them can recognize themselves in a mirror but our self-consciousness is accompanied by elaborated imagistic and linguistic models of ourselves and that have been elaborated over large spans of time there are lots of elements of being that would disappear if we disappeared now and it isn’t even obvious to what extent that’s true right because I don’t really understand to what degree being itself is dependent on consciousness like the classic materialist enlightenment view which I would say is basically a 19th century view something like that is that if all consciousness was extinguished the material substrate of the universe would continue unchanged but I don’t really buy that as an argument because I think that the material substrate I think that reality is some weird I think that reality is an interaction between what we perceive of as the material substrate and consciousness itself and so then when you destroy a consciousness you destroy reality and what that leaves I don’t really understand because it doesn’t have any temporalities in any obvious sense it doesn’t have any size in any obvious sense without the introduction of an invisible observer so Lots vanishes without human consciousness and self-consciousness I don’t know how to answer the question does God vanish because that brings us back into the same problem that I was talking about earlier is that it’s not exactly easy to understand what people are talking about when they say God you know cuz when you ask the question would God disappear there’s an assumption there that whatever God is is understandable and boxa below like a simple concept like a chair and that we both share the same conception and you know there’s endless warnings in in deep religious literature against understanding against assuming that you understand what that term means or sometimes even for using the term so that’s the best I’m gonna be able to do with that question thank you hey there so my question is about something that matt said but I actually like to get dr. Peterson to address it first if that’s okay so Matt you said that some people are not willing to put in the work of developing sort of their own moral system and they like turn to religion to free them from the burden of that thought but it doesn’t it make sense on some level to view religion as like like an archival system that holds truth like if we abandon that are we not then just in a place where everyone is forced to invent their own morality for themselves throughout their life and then like a baby born has to try to achieve that again like that that seems like from an operative level just just an impossible system to set up that would ever get you anywhere so I’m just wondering how would that result that conflict that was Nietzsche’s critique essentially well I’m not I’m in trying to set up the system I think the system is already set up so my goal is rid the world of religion that’s just a fortunate side-effect from my goals my goal is to have the best understanding of reality that I can and for other people to do so as well now when I talk about religion there are things within religious histories within religious teachings that are passed down which are true and good and useful and there’s no reason to think that any of those things would go away if we stopped believing in a God because they are true and good and useful whether there is a God or not if if the thing that we’re worried about is and I’ve asked people before and I apologize if anybody is bothered by this but there are people who are like oh if you don’t believe in a god what keeps you from running around raping and killing people and I was like so if you became convinced today that your belief in God was unfounded and you were forced by reason to give it up would you run around and start doing that and there are people who will say yes and I I hopefully optimistically don’t believe them but we know that there are people who do that but the truth about what is good and useful is true whether a particular religion survives or not and we don’t lose that because children aren’t born with an understanding of morality they learn that they are educated by their parents they are taught they explore the world everybody does in fact go through the effort of creating and understanding their own morality it’s just that we adopt things from figures around us who show evidence that they are smarter and understand this better as a shorthand we we ride on the shoulders of giants the curious question is and I ask this for people ostensibly who are Christian who who believe in both a God and a devil is how did you decide that God was the good one and the devil was the evil one because the model is that well God wrote his moral code on it on your heart and that’s how you tell but if that’s the case then whether or not if if the devil had written his moral code on your heart you would be saying he was the good one the truth is you are using your internal personal subjective assessments to determine that God is the good one or this religion is the right one or the First Baptist Church got it right or the second Baptist Church got it right or this is the preacher we should hire this is what we do and I don’t see much value in worrying about oh is it all gonna go away when it’s clear it doesn’t because secular individuals are no more immoral or criminal minded than anybody else in fact there may be some cases to show that we’re less in this society they are no more criminal minded like we have a religious foundation right like we don’t go I wouldn’t go it around like raping and pillaging if I abandoned God but there were societies that did when they didn’t have that structure so that sure resolved I’m not saying I’m not saying that religious authorities haven’t been useful it’s just that what I hear from some people is that we should keep this because of that particular usefulness because they fear what will happen otherwise because what they’ve seen in the past and I don’t buy that because that boils down to saying I may not renewed religion but you people do and that is far too arrogant for me to ever adopt as a position [Applause] I have a quick comment on riding around on the shoulders of giants which was the central theme in Matt’s answer we ride around on the shoulder of giants and the meta giant is God that’s a very good way of thinking about it if that I can identify we can think about that as I don’t care about the metaphysical implications of that I don’t have to care about that at the moment but if you look at the evolution of the idea of God for example and I think this is particularly true with the evolution of the idea of Christ is that we do ride around on the shoulders of giants and the figure of Christ psychologically speaking is the giant among Giants it’s a meta giant and it’s a ritual model for emulation and the ritual model is something like pick up your damned suffering and bear it nobly which is a met which is a metaphysical statement in some sense that lies at the bottom of the ethic even that mat is presented and so it is deeply embedded in a religious substructure and that’s the metaphorical substructure that I was talking about that necessarily underlies these self-evident axiomatic rules which are not by any means as you point out self-evident in the least there’s plenty of cultures that train their young men to be absolutely barbaric monsters right warriors killers rapists right bloodthirsty right to the core perfectly viable mode of being arguably speaking from the perspective of generating a set of axiomatic rules why is it not better to have 10,000 women than one there’s an evolutionary question for you well reasonable people wouldn’t do that oh yeah right reasonable people so if it if it’s not clear I can I can point to the Giants I can’t point to the mega giant and because it’s an abstraction sure but when you hold Christ up is a particularly the only information that I have about Jesus comes from the Bible and rather than going through all of it again it’s because there’s lots of people’s questions if you go to iearn charities org you will find a verse by verse deconstruction of the Sermon on the Mount where I point out that Jesus gave some good advice and some crappy advice and some questionable advice and that’s not enough and there’s not a secular humanist organization or country on the planet that has ever produced as a good thing an intentional good thing rapists and murderers so well that’s that’s highly debatable that’s highly debated actually absolutely true because there’s never been a secular humanist government on the planet I don’t know I think the Soviets were pretty sad no they then I know if with all with all due apologies you do not know the first thing about what secular humanism is you should read the secular humanist manifestos because what happened in Russia in communist countries was an institution of a religious like structure surrounded Iran centered around an individual and forced atheism none of which is consistent with humanism one of it and and we can talk about this later and I’ll be happy to point you to this because you can say that it was an atheist thing that went awry but you can’t call it secular humanism it’s just not there there’s no humanism in what was done there [Applause] I’m one of those who believes that there’s no such thing as an atheistic thing or a non-religious thing I was listening to your pocket laughs I yet Peter sending out last night there and you were talking about how all action is religious so this conversation today I think it’s hit the same problem you hit with rebecca goldstein you’re gonna hit with sam harris and june which is I’ve never found a way to convey to an atheist that we all have an ideal and called God and God has ended ideal called an axiom color it’s efficient it’s just very hard to communicate to them that implicitly or explicitly it’s there you’re aiming for it maybe it changes maybe it does it but it it’s it’s that fundamental thing that guides your action and my question would be you keep Bill honty did a very good job of saying pragmatically okay fair enough the axioms big change maybe we price those but there’s always gonna be an axiom um it’s a transcended things that’s always changing so we all have that so again the definition of God is just kinda useless but maybe you want to explore why there is a partial definition of God that makes all religious sorry all actions religious makes all ideals you’re approaching or a form of God worship whether you want to call it that or not that’s well you know Karl you had some very interesting comments about that he said psychologically for all intents and purposes your God is the highest value that you have it serves functionally as your deity now you may not blow that in personified in a personified manner although you tend to because you tend to act it out and assume that other people should too so it implicitly has a personified form but if it performs all the functions of the deity let’s say and it’s importantly related in some sense to a deity and I think that that’s actually technically true if you look at how human cognitive structure works I don’t think it’s escapable that makes sense to you the Lord is that like I don’t know when you said you have difficulty explaining this atheist I don’t know what atheist you’ve been talking about talking with but I’m right on board and I functionally understand and can agree with this it’s a secular humanism can easily be viewed as a religion the US Supreme Court has defined it in the sense of pursuit for ultimate answers to ultimate questions or things like that but if you want to say that my God is truth or goodness or whatever thing I’m fine with that in a poetic even metaphorical set the problem is when you talk about if what you believe in fulfills all the roles of the deity I think your sidelining what a lot of the roles of a deity have played throughout the entirety of human history because they’re advocating many of them not all our havoc most I would say are advocating for an actual thinking agent supernatural that is the creator and/or sustainer of the universe and nothing about my pursuit of truth or goodness or secular humanism fills that particular role so already we are cherry-picking the aspects of God traditionally and saying Ah matt has these particular aspects that I also tribute to God and I agree I just don’t have the other ones and those are the ones that I want justification for is it [Applause] you have to move up to Micah I believe can you hear me thank you so the question is for Matt so why why is the language of secular humanism a you have these values that you just dispels or talked about and why is that better than religious language and or a citizen why would religious language be better than those values yeah and I don’t want to be overly pedantic about you know I don’t know that the language is necessarily there the ideals of secular humanism have the goal of getting better getting better the foundation if you read and there’s various versions of the secular humanist manifesto and I have disagreements with all of them and you know but the nice thing is is that there are revisions okay this is this is one of the biggest benefits of a model is how do you convince somebody that Christianity is right well there’s coercion conversion conquests Howdy’s ample sorry example okay that’s an important okay to think on that some more because a lot of the things that people do that they think are exemplary of examples of Christianity I don’t think that they’re in any way nuts that’s not necessarily tied to Christianity like it’s not you can there’s nothing a Christian could do that is good that I couldn’t also do and so the example thing doesn’t work but with with secular humanism it is through debate discussion data and convincing people it’s not like we’re running around saying ah we’re gonna conquer and install this here we’re not going to make a proclamation that we have the one true right answer the position that secular humanism takes is as far as we can tell we get one life if there’s more hey bonus show us we’ll be convinced it seems that we are as human beings as agent stuck here trying to figure out the best way to live this life and so we must rely on ourselves and not make appeals to supernatural agents that we can’t demonstrate or that don’t seem to intervene on our behalf and if they exist they’re free to come in and step up and tell us where we’re doing it wrong but for now we’re just gonna try to do the best we can with what we have to make the world a better place that’s that’s the foundation of secular humanism not any Proclamation that we’ve got it right [Applause] I would say that a primary religious language insofar as there is such a thing it’s something I tried to detail in maps of meaning first of all I wrote a very complicated book but religious propositions are in some sense abstracted generalizations about what being consists of and how to act in it it’s not the same thing as a set of hypotheses about material reality and it’s partly because in the religious domain the the moral imperative is primary whereas in the empirical domain the factual factual domain is primary or the sensory domain is primary something like that so the question from the religious perspective is something like how is it best how should we best construe the world if we wish to determine how to act properly within it and the way that that language is developed it’s developed over it’s developed as a consequence of an evolutionary process both biological and cultural and it’s culminated in a set of of stories essentially that have characters the characters basically represent something like the permanently unknowable so that’s the mystery that surrounds us all that would be associated to say with the potential of the future and the potential in you but the part of being that’s transcendent right that constantly escapes from your theorizing that’s the unknown it’s like unexplored territory for animals and it’s it’s a permanent part of being so there’s unexplored territory the unknown and there’s explored territory culture the known and that’s this room and that’s the cultural mores that unites us well enough so that we can all sit here and be peaceful while we’re while we’re discussing difficult things so that’s the landscape the religious landscape that’s yin and yang that’s chaos and order interestingly enough it looks like it’s to that landscape that our brain has adapted because the right hemisphere looks like it’s roughly responsible for processing chaos on the unknown and the left hemisphere roughly responsible for processing the known and the familiar and that’s on good evidence if you don’t want to take my word for it you can read in McGilchrist book a master in his emissary which is quite masterful treatment of the neuropsychological literature and so that’s the religious domain yin and yang chaos an order and it places human beings at the center of that the idea is that we’re always confronted by what we understand and have to adapt to that even if even in its tyrannical manifestation and we’re always faced with the with the permanent reality of the permanently incomprehensible that can burst into our life at any moment and disrupt it that’s reality and then the religious question is if that’s reality how do you orient yourself in relationship to those two permanent domains and the answer to that is something like pursue the instinct of meaning because it looks like meaning is the instinctive response neuropsychological grounded in in the orienting reflex I would say which is a very primordial reflex of the unknown meaning is the response that Orient’s us in that world and so when we’re engaged in a meaningful enterprise it’s a signal from the deepest elements of our biological being that we have the balance between what we know and makes us secure and what we don’t know and have yet to explore properly safe and that makes us secure but not totalitarian and engaged but not terrified and by staying on that midpoint that midpoint of balance that’s Dow by the way that’s the way from the Dallas perspective by staying on that midpoint we do what’s best for us what’s best for our families what’s best for our community and god only knows beyond that we do all of that simulator simultaneously and we can tell that we’re doing that it speaks to us when we’re doing that and that’s the deepest of religious instinct and it’s that capability to orient on that border between chaos and order that’s exemplified in great mythological heroes like saint george who goes out to slay the dragon or or christ who welcomes death who embraces who embraces mortality and vulnerability and strives forward nonetheless and there’s nothing outside of the religious language that communicates that kind of grandeur there’s nothing that you can use to communicate to people who are in the diarist of straights what’s most important about life in in the manner that will help set them straight and put their soul at peace so that’s the advantage of the religious language [Applause] yes sir well thank you both for a very interesting and revealing exchange my question is for you dr. Peterson you alluded to an important distinction between someone who would actually be an atheist and someone who merely professes to be an atheist you have implied that Matt and others are not genuinely atheists I’m curious why you think that just because we have sacred values that everyone has sacred values what in your view would a genuine atheist be like he’d be like risk on a cog in crime and punishment and I can’t really come up with a better answer than that because it’s such a complicated question that that’s the right answer you know I love that book it’s an amazing book and it’s a great thriller by the way if there are some of you perhaps many of you haven’t read it you you really should read it because it might be the greatest novel ever written I think you could make a case for that unbelievably exciting once you get into it and Raskolnikov he plots the perfect murder it’s so interesting because Dostoyevsky the last thing Dostoyevsky ever did was make a straw man out of his opponents let’s say but Dostoyevsky did and all of his great novels was make his enemies let’s say or or make each of the positions that he was trying to contend with as powerful and admirable as he possibly could and since he was an absolutely spectacular genius he could really do that and so Raskolnikov plots a murder and he murders his horrible woman whose horrible according to everyone who knows her who also has enslaved her rather mentally feeble nice and who does nothing but make people miserable consciously all the time and he does that in order to save his sister from a rather sophisticated form of prostitution to save himself from starvation so that he can become a great lawyer and and help people right so Dostoyevsky sets up the stage here is the perfect situation for a murder and all of the rational choices point in that direction and Raskolnikov who’s also sort of torturing himself or sort of tortured because he’s sort of hungry and not very well not thinking very clearly he he undertakes the murder and he gets away with it and he’s before he doesn’t he berates himself in what I would describe as the negative atheistic style and he basically says look there is every rational reason to split this woman’s skull with an axe look at all the good I would do look at all the well-being I would enhance and so he does it and then all hell breaks loose and what Dostoyevsky was was see Raskolnikov built himself up to the murder in part by laying out the rational case but also by saying well there’s no God there’s no metaphysical reason that’s stopping me from committing this act and there’s all these reasons that appear perfectly rational or pushing me in that direction perhaps I’m nothing but a moral coward for failing to undertake it so he does but what he finds out is that he broke an inviolable moral rule something that spoke to his own soul so to speak and the rest of the book basically involves his sequential post-traumatic unraveling and the post-traumatic issue is very interesting because one of the things you do see happening with post-traumatic stress disorder is that it’s very often it very often occurs in people who watch themselves do something of great malevolence by their own admission I’m not projecting this on to them they’ve watched themselves do they’ve stepped outside the ancient moral code unwittingly and and conducted themselves in a manner they cannot reconcile themselves to and they are permanently broken so there are works like that crime and punishment forced first and foremost I would say but do a lovely job of elucidating in narrative form how these self-evident moral presuppositions are necessarily nested inside this broader narrative metaphorical substrate and that you use your rationality divorced from that metaphorical substrate at your peril and I believe that to be K the case I think that’s an accurate psychological summation thank you I’m serious if mat has any thoughts on the matter you think I have plenty so it’s it’s rather surprising and I promise I don’t mean this to be insulting because I definitely place you considerably higher than most of the apologists that I’ve engaged with but there’s a common theme from the apologists and that is you’re not really an atheist because dr. Peterson’s case it’s you’re not really an atheist because in my mind an atheist is someone it would be a murderer and so I’m just rather than saddle you with that you just think you’re an atheist but really you’re not from other apologists it’s you think you’re an atheist but you’re not because God’s written his moral code earnest on your heart is what this is essentially as far as I can tell what was expressed in some way that there’s a moral foundation a moral Center that God has imbued people with and that we all know this or we all recognize it or you’re not really an atheist or this is what an atheist would do an atheist is somebody who doesn’t believe there’s a god I am not convinced there’s a gun that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m convinced there are no gods although that is a subset of hey I don’t believe there’s a god and then there’s a subset that is I believe there are no gods this is as I’ve talked about previously independent of whether or not I can be a moral being or do good things independent from whether or not there’s all and wonder of purpose and meaning in my life in much the same way that you know previously he wanted to kind of say oh this is this is a secular humanists you know regime that was just awful it wasn’t secular humanism there were atheist fans who wrote me they were like oh man I can’t wait so you do this conversation with with Jordan and I was like cool and still I hope that we have many more conversations as well because just saying one thing that I find irritating is never gonna be enough to get rid of me but I asked them great I’m not that familiar with him what is it about him that you like and what are the concerns and they came back with a bunch of things none of them said anything about agreeing with views on religion they seem very confused on those things and so the good news for them is that while he thinks atheists would be murderers he doesn’t actually think you’re an atheist and that is his way of getting around acknowledging things that conflict with his worldview I don’t get to decide who is or isn’t a true Christian I didn’t even get to decide that when I was a believer I definitely don’t get to do it now so somebody tells me they’re a Christian I’m gonna have to accept that I have a model in my head of what that means I have a model in my head of what it means to be a Muslim but I’m willing for them to explain to me what their model is I know I know people who identify as Christian atheist they really love the stuff that Jesus said but they don’t actually believe there’s God you know Thomas Jefferson famously cut out the Jefferson Bible and removed every reference to the supernatural and miracles and things like that because he really admired the teachings of it and sure you can I think you could be a cultural Christian and that if you wanted to strange to me that I’m not sitting here with somebody like Ray Comfort when I’m told you’re not really an atheist because you’re too good to be an atheist and this is what atheists hear all the time when they come out they’ve been sidelined because of religious privilege around the world for years and then atheist come out to their family members or friends or people they’ve known for years and they’re like you’re an atheist how can that be you’re such a good person I’ve known you all this time it’s because the mindset of what people have about what an atheist is has been poisoned by religious proclamations we have been denigrated from the pulpit and it is seeped into every aspect of culture right up to the height of intellectual pursuits and it’s time for that to end and I hate to tell you you get the last question for us oh that’s so much more sorry I can handle their flagging me okay you want to talk more about consciousness or more about morality it’s your question man yeah okay so yeah cuz that’ll be quick yeah not not like consciousness would have been any quicker so Matt I thanks so much for come back to Toronto always great to hear you talk dr. Pearson thanks for coming you seem sorry mr. Peterson you seem sort of very willing to talk about how evolution and biological underpinnings can influence the meta-narrative down the road that you know underpins our lives but candid also just be that evolution underpins morality without that extra step like isn’t it enough that the only animals that evolved are the ones that didn’t die and the only ones that evolved in a civilized the only ones that evolved into a society are the ones that could live in a civilized society like isn’t it really clear that there are evolutionary underpinnings to morality and that there are animals that display morality and that it’s not just humans we’re really good at it but we’re not the only ones well I would say certainly the last part of your statements are true is that you can see me what what what like morality in some sense is an emergent property of group interactions it’s more complicated than that because it’s group interactions across time it’s more complicated than that you see the clear underpinnings of morality and animals sure you’re asking does there have to be something metaphysical beyond that no I’m saying what seems metaphysical to us is just because we’re like really faulty analyzers of the real world like the whole shadows in the grass type-1 and negatives but like why we wouldn’t be a society if we were just naturally disposed to being immoral like morality is entirely selfish it’s really good for me to be moral as my life’s really good that way and it makes me feel really good to nice to other people if it felt like to be nice to other people I wouldn’t do it my eyes only thought to be moral there’s a reason it makes us feel good well okay look I’m gonna refer to young again um young did hypothesize that the God he talked a lot about the God image in human beings which was distinct from God and you could say let’s say let’s go back to the psychedelic issue you could say that people can have intense mystical experiences even intense mystical experiences of a deity directly let’s say because that does happen without that being construed as evidence for the existence of a deity right we the the religious instinct could be built so deep into us that we can’t get outside it even if it’s just a materialistic instinct but and I don’t I don’t really know how do you distinguish between those things I’m not even sure that you can distinguish between do have anything else say about that in closing I guess I don’t I mean I tried to lay out these views the answer to your question in detail in my first book it’s about 600 pages long and it’s and it’s really really really really hard but it does address what you’re asking and I don’t think there’s a real simpler way of doing it I couldn’t I didn’t find one I only have a couple things to have before we close this out first of all I have no idea how long my first books gonna be but it won’t be 600 pages not that there’s anything wrong with that also I don’t think I have anything specific to tag on to your question because I get the impression that we’re likely on this similar pages because I think that this is the the moral cultural aspects of this or something that happened naturally we observe another primate senses of fairness and the key cornerstones for morality from my perspective while I gave an outline for a secular moral system the foundations of that are empathy and the desire to have a good life and the last note is one time when I was on LSD I was staring at the woodgrain on the bathroom door I don’t know why I was in the bathroom but I was there and from the woodgrain on the bathroom door an image formed this is not a joke it was a strawberry with an S on its chest cuz and a face and a cape and super strawberry flew off that bathroom door and did a lap around my head before it smacked right into the door and became woodgrain again coolest trip ever and despite that I don’t think it points to the reality of super strawberry or his abilities [Applause] [Music] and because because that was an incredibly unfair applause line to end the night with I’d like to let dr. Peterson give one last remark and then we will thank you all and say good night so if you have anything to add or close with on anything we’ve discussed this evening well I only have one thing to say I mean I’m very pleased for what that’s worth that these sorts of discussions are taking place and that there’s a an avid public audience for them it’s like great yeah and on that note of complete agreement thank you guys so much for coming out we really appreciate it I look forward to seeing you sometimes we’ve come back through [Applause] [Music]

100 Replies to “Jordan Peterson vs Matt Dillahunty (CC: Arabic & Spanish)”

  • Pangburn says:

    Please remember to subscribe! 🙂

  • Nat Britt says:

    That was a cool chat haha

  • Robert Claflin says:


    "Life is generally preferable to death because we are talking about our life, and death is generally not in the interest of the living."

    Here is the problem I think JP may be trying to point out here…

    Life is good because
    Death is bad.

    Life and death are categorical opposites, and good and bad are categorical opposites. Thus, MD is essentially just claiming that Life is Good because not-Life is not-Good. This is not a valid argument, it is simply the law of identity. Furthermore, JP keeps hounding MD on the fact that these claims are not analytical but merely synthetic propositions (which is true), but up until this point MD has not yet recognized this.

    JP's problem for MD is that MD is trying to posit synthetic propositions (living is good, death is bad, etc) about ethical value judgments without any predication on intrinsic value. For JP, intrinsic values HAVE to come from some reference to a divine creator, and Atheists have essentially never been able to bridge the nihilism gap without reference to intrinsic values. That's why religion is so important to people like JP and Nietzsche, because man seems to be hopelessly lost without intrinsically divine worth. The entire existentialist project was to figure out how man could be good and life could be worth living without any reference to God. Reading Camus, you'd think they completely failed. His answer was essentially to ignore the existential dread and live life without any reference to intrinsic values. I imagine JP wouldn't accept this answer.

    Update: it seems like JP actually addresses this issue at 57:36

  • Christopher Mayer says:

    45:45 When Dillahunty's inner douchebag comes out.

  • Richard Swift says:

    Space, Time, and Matter all exist and we do not know why but something does because they exist and are real and our experience and were created that is god.

  • iamsymphony says:

    Matt didn't commit to anything he said. There's a difference between having a conversation on stage for learning and a conversation being had in a front room over coffee. In a situation like this, Matt was too timid to commit to something specific to make claims because he feared Peterson could make a stronger case than him. It was beyond bring right or wrong. He cushioned too many statements and didn't come off solid in his presentation because of this. He also lead in with humor to many things said, which is more of a social utility when you want people to respond positively to you. This longing for acknowledgement showed lack of confidence in a couple of his responses.

  • Maekong Mike says:

    In the right setting (basically unthreatened and/or unchallenged), Jordan Peterson can be entertaining, and, at times, can come across as being inciteful. However, after watching his histrionics and juvenile attempts at obfuscation, I am forced to consider that the man might be a flim-flam artist. He obviously had no intention of either 'understanding' or honestly answering any of Matt's questions. I find this troubling in light of the cultural influence he now asserts among the less discerning of the English-speaking populace. He has managed to somehow become a brand for an astoundingly ill-defined product. There is no extant justification for any objective acceptance of any aspect of the metaphysical realm. Peterson, without question, knows this yet is apparently unwilling to risk voicing it in a public (read: commercial) setting. I wonder why that is? (sarcasm alert)

  • Fatimah Conteh says:

    The guy that asked jordan a question is handsome

  • Final Fantasy Piano Music says:

    Guau, que charla tan genial. Nunca pensé que alguien pudier poner contra las cuerdas a Peterson, pero Matt lo hizo. Muy constructivo todo. Gracias.

  • Giant mess says:

    religion is like anything else you believe in at the moment in time. A thought passing through the mind of the right person at the right time can be very progressive for the world or a thought in the mind of a madman an bring catastrophe. and if he has the will and resources to carry it out and cause a chaos it is no different in these two peoples types that that of religion especially f they believe in the cause to the dying breath. these people here spoke about religion as if it was really very complex. it's not. you have many kinds of religious people in the end. the fanatics, then those who show up only when in service, home watchers, and then the occasional studies and then those that believe only because they grew up with it and chose not to really think beyond that. The Fanatics are the ones who are the gosipy ones who will soil your names in a moments notice if you do anything against said religion no matter the gods you worship. they are the ones to rally the other fanatics to beat you down either physically or mentally or both maybe depending on what you are kill you. Belief in anything not even religion can also be this powerful. enough that people will kill own blood related family to get ahead of the curve to join the upper ranks to make sure things succeeds and gos smoothly without blemishes to records. This is why religion and belief is so deep and you dont need big words from intellectuals to say them. but rather street smarts and understanding of survval at all costs in places where these types of things rule.

  • N Hilley says:

    wayxhing homda dobthe 500 hand slepp would be like waltchin on a friday

  • Henka says:

    the sound guy clearly has no metaphysical substrate

  • YexaC says:

    How to talk a lot and say nothing by Jordan Peterson.

  • toshir0m1 says:

    Peterson, you condescending prick 🙂 Too bad you met someone far above your usual bullshit.

  • Daniel Moore says:

    This is consistent with Jordan’s idea of god. The rational god.

  • Folk Aart says:

    Pretending via faith that life is something other than what it actually is, is the denial of life itself. Faith is for cowards.

  • He Who Must Not Be Named says:

    First point Peterson made and I'm already confused on how this guy is psychologist.
    Note: I do agree with Peterson on a lot of non religious related topics. That's why I'm surprised.

  • He Who Must Not Be Named says:

    Hey guys I just came back from watching the now free Mind Field episodes and Michael didn't become religious after taking a psychedelic drugs.
    He just stated that he doesn't know why the effects happened the way they did because of it being illegal to study. He also said that scientists have been finding loopholes recently so pretty soon Peterson will have to back up his backs when science finds out what is actually causing you do trip balls.

  • vctjkhme says:

    i like 1:04:02

  • HowToDrawEmAll says:

    Jordan Peterson sounds really smart when he talks to someone like Cathy Newman, but then not so smart when he debates a Sam Harris.

  • StarWolf 621 says:

    I would have loved to see either of these guys in conversation with Christopher Hitchens.

    Great Conversation!

    My question for each of them would be: We have an inner compass…where did it come from and what operates it?

  • Video Game Monster says:

    I have lost all respect for Peterson both on Matt and Sam debate. If you compare his statements in those debates versus the ones he makes on gender themed discussions you can see he is very sneaky and dishonest on religion discussions, he makes blunt statements without justification then tries to argue it with either word salad or a study that has nothing to do with the subject. Dishonest to say the least.

  • CerdicTheGreat says:

    Jordan Peterson seems very defensive and angry… why? Does he know he is talking crap.

  • CerdicTheGreat says:

    Why is that Peterson chap always talking about Sam Harris? Why doesn't he talk to him. Then he keeps interrupting Matt Dillahunty in an attempt to what? Annoying everyone?

  • Paul Judkins says:

    Dillahunty let's his wife get fucked by who ever she pleases. That tells you all you need to know about him.

  • Violent2aShadow says:

    Server: "What would you like to order today?"
    Peterson: "A hamburger"
    Server: "Great! Would you like cheese with that?"
    Peterson: "That is a complicated question. It depends what you mean by "cheese"….."
    *20 minutes later*
    Server: "Sir, how about I leave you contemplating the metaphysical existence of cheese and you can get back to me when your answer is a simple 'yes' or 'no'?"

  • Jimmie Martinez says:

    Jordan dropped the ball. Matt and the crowd actually thought he had a good point with the head chopping argument lol. You could tell Jordan knew something was off but he fumbled.

  • Ernest Torić says:

    peterson is like a fucking 4yo

  • vtvita says:

    Peterson is a pain in the ass.

  • Jack Larm says:

    JP is a lunatic. Practically everything he utters is questionable at best.

  • Isaac Xavier-Santos says:

    Wow, I’ve NEVER seen Peterson get so flustered in a discussion. Especially around the 40 minute mark.

    I’ve seen Peterson get defensive when debating people who were being assholes (in which cases, I didn’t blame him for getting annoyed). But this is the first time I’ve witnessed him get so frazzled debating someone who was being civil. Matt was calm and collected.

    As intelligent and brilliant of a psychologist as Peterson is, I don’t think he has a lot of experience debating people trained in dismantling theistic arguments. It seemed like Peterson definitely struggled at some points.

  • wannabchomsky says:

    The problem is you have a smart man debating with a guy pretending to be a smart man by using flowery language and large words.

    Peterson is a faux intellectual father figure who pretends to have deep profound wisdom by simply rehashing obvious tenants “make your bed!” (Aka be organized and tidy) for disgruntled young mostly white men.

  • deliveryguys2cents says:

    Peterson just knows when an argument is unwinnable due to lack of deeper intellect in his opponent. He isn't angry or losing, just humbling himself to allow others to believe what they want. Matt sho is cocky though!

  • Rufus Ingle says:

    jordan is full of it , and really makes no since at all. taking drugs prove's god, I have never liked his twisted thinking. Matt will never get nowhere with jordum.

  • Daniel Avital says:

    Jordan Peterson talks so much shit.

  • Jim Mears says:

    Ask the guy what his favorite color is and get a 12 hour lecture .

  • daniel duran says:

    44:54 "Oh no no. You don't get to think that's self evident . NOTHING is self evident to the skeptic. Let's keep that in mind" J. Peterson

  • Anna Borschen says:

    Peterson is such a pretentious sh*thead.
    so much bullsh*t and constant appeals to authority.

  • Kookman says:

    it's funny how atheists constantly seem to think that believers are too fucking dumb to get their arguments when in reality they tend to be well aware of atheist dialectics, mostly because in the intellectual realm und pop culture you're constantly bombarded with it. Almost every believer, particularly converts, are well aware of all of that. Jordan Peterson too always demonstrates that he does understand the atheist reductionist worldview. Simply grabbing for something he said and willingly trying to make it sound ridiculous is not going to convince anybody, it's just a way of avoiding to engage in his arguments and it's really quite frustrating when you're trying to have an honest conversation

  • Sean Rooney says:

    Jesus Christ, Peterson is insufferable.

  • jhibbitt1 says:

    Jordan's clearly intimidated by matt, he acts aggressive in a similar manner with sam harris. Jordan's clearly got a big case of cognitive dissonance when it comes to religion. he knows it can't be true, but he really really likes it, so he tries to get out of it by using word salad and redefining meanings. he can get away with that when he's talking to students and journalists because they admire him and assume that tho it sounds like nonsense to them, it must be too deep for them to get coz he's a smart guy with a doctorate. Jordan however, knows that when he's talking to someone like matt or sam, that they're going to see his poetic talk for what it is, they're going to call it out and press him into uncomfortable questions that deep down he knows the answer to, but really doesn't want to come out and say it. so he gets all fiery with matt, speaking as much as he can to try and prevent matt from asking the questions or making the points that Jordan's afraid of.

  • Goo________ says:

    Matt: Can you prove god?

    Jordan: LOOK AT THE S H R O O M

  • Samtastic says:

    Peterson lost the second he compared Soviet Russia to secular humanism, and also when he used equivocation to claim atheists aren't atheists unless they could commit murder. It's like if I tell you the color blue is not the color blue because I define it as red. It's just philosophism, and it makes for a miserable argument complete devoid any point or meaning.

  • Samtastic says:

    Would have been nice if Peterson let Matt make his point on humanism without interrupting every couple sentences with irrelevant nit picking. You talked for like 10 minutes straight with that substrate explanation and won't even let Matt go for 30 seconds? He must have been desperate.

  • Tom Budd says:

    We have actually built expert systems based on rules, it's just that AI beats the shit out of some of them. It's not true to say we absolutely can never build an expert system based on hard rules.

  • Zero Hate says:

    This was such a good conversation. Both parties were so respectful and eloquent. If only all discourse on this subject rhelm could be conducted so intellectual honestly.

  • Dirk Knight says:

    "Defending god" has become a lucrative business model even for individuals. Peterson executes it well. 🙂

  • Dead End says:

    These comments prove how stupid most people are.

  • emaginet says:

    One of the best talks I have heard. Very profound. Thank you for sharing.

  • xyork says:

    In reality he talks about god metaphorically, but hypothetically, he takes it literally.. or something

  • Only Human says:

    Matt you are definitely a waste of time

  • James Foreman says:

    I really like Jordan, but he flat jumps the reservation with his claims about psychedelic drugs and does harm to his credibility when he quotes statistics. Again, I really respect his stance on many social issues, but he needs to rework his public utterances. And Sam Harris is no more of a 'celebrity' atheist than he is a 'celebrity' commentator.

  • CJ S says:

    Fkn Jordan. Am I not smart enough? I don't know wtf he's talking about half the time. Why do I understand sam Harris, but not him? Why? Is he too smart for the room? I think he's clinically insane. I gotta go wash my dinky.

  • Glenn Spice says:

    After seeing this I'm kind of embarrassed I used to take Jordan Peterson seriously.

  • Damon says:

    47:50. Jordan Peterson sounds like Cathy Newman but MORE annoying. Seriously. Matt’s logic is superior to Jordan’s. Just my claim. Jordan adds too many ingredients to the soup. Plain and simple.

  • Damon says:

    I like how Sam almost got thrown off the stage (by Jordan’s logic) throughout this conversation. Thank god for Matt’s perspective ???❤️❤️

  • Damon says:

    It’s so nice to see Jordan put in his place. I wish he’d actually listen and be open to changing his mind!!! But like Matt said “being wrong feels just like being right”… ?

  • Damon says:

    I could see Jordan arguing with himself on stage.

    It would make me happy.. and I think would help everyone better understand him ???

    He sounds a lot like Cathy Newman??

  • onaturalia says:

    My experience is people who misunderstand what "God" means, often are worried about whether "he" exists or not like he might be a next-door neighbor with a big white beard and looks like Santa Claus.

  • Matthew Vollmer says:

    Jordan Peterson has literally THOUGHT himself into understanding nothing.

  • Chance says:

    Peterson’s word salad juggling to avoid answering a question is agonizing.

  • Louie Sutherland says:

    Jesus, Jordan got Dilla-slapped!

  • Daniel Thompson says:

    Matt doesn’t see a reason why we need god so why does he feel a need to debate. Why not sit in an old rotten log and weep?

  • Goo________ says:

    Jordan "That's like evidence" Peterson

  • Tom P says:

    Jordan Petersons 0 cal 0 IQ word salad.

    (Available in all good Green grocers)

  • Tom Ciaccio says:

    cool boots Matt!

  • Tom Ciaccio says:

    what's Matt going to do with a really intelligent man that believes there is a God?

  • Steven Brenneman says:

    lol the floods of comments from people who cant think insulting peterson lmfao

  • Danny Eric Benavidez says:

    Robber: Give me all fucking money or I'll blow your head off!

    Peterson: Well that depends on what you mean by money and soicital issues in a metaphysical sense..

    Robber:"pulls trigger"

  • Ron S says:

    Peterson is a complete fraud.

  • Dropthebeatonit says:

    i've watched this three times and i don't think Dillahunty has a clue what JP is talking about, it seems outside the realm of his comprehension. so he says it's rubbish when he's never thought about it. he's a great logician but his mind is narrow. 'but my dearest Agathon, you can without any difficulty contradict Socrates. It is truth you cannot contradict'.

  • Amirus says:

    Jordan Peterson is a legend…

    Unfortunately for him. Matt Dillahunty is an even greater legend.

  • Amirus says:

    AI's run very much on rules. Otherwise there's no point off having an AI.
    It won't do anything even after the Billionth generation with billion different mutations each.

  • Sebastian Melmoth says:

    How does a mediocre self-help guru rise to be regarded as an intellectual of note. Democracy – always elevating the mundane and the mediocre. At least Matt does not claim to be something he is not.

  • Stuart Knechtle says:

    One of Matt's early debates was against Cliffe Knechtle. Open air apologetics with Cliffe Knechtle at colleges across the country. Youtube : "Give me an Answer" Subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=give+me+an+answer Follow on Instagram give_me_an_answer_

  • Peter G says:

    I've tried many times to elicit a mystical experience with various different psychedelic drugs. Even with heavy doses I've experienced nothing that I would deem to be from outside the body (supernatural) and not from within my own mind. I did however have an experience that, for someone with a weaker logical constitution, might deem to be contact from a supernatural being. Disappointing. I do have autism though, so maybe its just that REAL supernatural beings aren't interested in retards. Or maybe I'm just not susceptible to romantic fantastical beliefs that aren't real.

  • Valkes says:

    I got really tired of the Atheist Experience because it got to a point where people who I felt were asking challenging questions were hung up on simply to keep the mythos of the show going.

    That said, I have really missed listening the Mr. Dillahunty. He has such a great dialectic that I enjoy experiencing.

  • Demetri Thomas says:

    Jordan Peterson is an expert at weaving his way around logic. He tries to make himself sound logical by utilizing mystical terminology yet they cannot be accounted for, he assumes one thing after the other, and he uses flimsy arguments against concrete ones. This whole discussion was useless.

  • Demetri Thomas says:

    Literally using mystical language to describe something makes you sound like an idiot

  • Toni Vaara says:

    It feels like Jordan Peterson was not in his best there. There can be many reasons for that. I can undertand why people say his words were just "word salad". I understood his arguments and actually agreed with him tho it sure did took a lot of effort because he wasn't very clear in his speech. It makes him only a human (not having the clarity 100% of the time). The problem what I think was in this debate that there wasn't enough time to clear up the arguments so Matt would have understood them before moving on to the next subject (which is on Jordan ofc). My theory is that there was something "not in place" (like illness/jet lag/stress, etc) which blocked him using the capacity Jordan is normally capable of. It felt like he had the idea or argument what so ever but was struggling to get it out clearly and understandably which is why it's easy to assume he "doesn't know what he's talking about".

    I find it amusing how the comment section is full of people judging everything he has ever said only because this particular debate wasn't in his favor. How arrogant.

  • Steven M. says:

    Jordan Peterson has no legs to stand on and it couldn't be more evident by his 'arguments.'

  • Damon says:

    His point on quitting smoking is pure nonsense. It might be true that using psychedelics is the most effective way of quitting but I and many others stopped without problem by simply realizing it’s disgusting and stupid and super unhealthy. Once you decide to put your health first almost any habit can be broken.

  • Ramsayhat says:

    Go get him Matt ?

  • Duncan Hellyer says:

    Funny, although obviously intelligent, the Matt guy looks like he eats a lot of cake

  • Dirk Knight says:

    Let me make this easy for you. God doesn't exist. All the money you are giving to your church is for naught. 🙂

  • Ramsayhat says:

    Honestly wtf is Jordan talking about

  • Katallylos says:

    Proving an existence of God….to audience educated in secular ways who are scared to be viewed as one of those silly fundamentalists…is surely not easy. It is like proving of existence of ancient animal that is long dead…and nobody ever contemplated on its very existence.

    I am reading Jung now…and so far what I understand that JP is up to…because of reading Jung and his understanding of archetypes…is that JP tries to tie knots between narrative of our biological selves, religional traditions created without modern scientific method that are standing on our biological selves and narratives formulated by modern rationalist scientists who just disregard religious times as irrelevant to finding an answer to basic question : Who we are and how we should act to live a fulfilling life?

    Not an easy task indeed….so I give JP credits for trying to combine uncombinable…and see common grounds between religion, secular culture and evolution…

    and to all comenters here who praise his opponent…I just think you came here for your confirmation bias…you wanted to see JP's ass kicked so that is what you saw…

    JP is up to something…and I know it because people are angry at him..which means he is touching a truth….Nothing like a truth about ourselves can have such provocative effect on people…

  • Discernment says:

    Satanism has "evolved" into Secular Humanism.

  • Martial Harpist Matthew says:

    Peterson just cannot answer a question. Talking in circles doesn’t make you intelligent it makes you dishonest.

  • grengd says:

    I like some of Peterson's ideas. However, I also think he's a creepy Cunt. Time will tell.

  • Jesus Or Muhammad says:

    There is "no evidence" that God exists but there is evidence that you, a tiny human being exist. And you as a human being just exists because there was this magical big bang or because "magically" it happens to be that this universe is either eternal all by itself or came into being all by itself. Really Matt? "No evidence" for God yet there is evidence for everything in existence. But the only possible force (we can call God) that caused everything else to exist, for that cause or force there is no evidence? Again, really?

    In other words: how foolish must one be to see the greatness and smallness of human beings, and look at the universe above and say: "I cannot believe in God, no not even in an intelligent powerful force that caused this to exist."

  • Jeff Mrkvicka says:

    Jordan peterson says alot of mumbo jumbo

  • Jeff Mrkvicka says:

    I thought the drugs hes talking about cause HALLUCINATIONS. Which by definition means NOT REAL

  • Jeff Mrkvicka says:

    Atheism is one position on one issue. The issue is gods and the position is we dont buy it. Thats all atheism is. Yet people always try to add more crap to it

  • Edward Donnachie says:

    Peterson is trying too hard to display his intellect and vocabulary and in doing so loses the majority of his audience. The majority of people prefer things to be laid out in a more concise uncomplicated manner. While he takes us on a journey of philosophy and history we only require him to give us simple short answers to what he actually thinks . Is he a deist a theist ,an agnostic or a religious apologist , I'm actually not sure. My guess is that he's trying to be a smart arse while keeping the religious side of his audience onside by playing the devils advocate while I think he must get off the fence rather than waffle.

  • Mat Wilk says:

    I'm a fan of Jordan Peterson but I'm disappointed that he dodged the last brilliant question I really would love to hear the answer to.

  • geico1975 says:

    Matt Dillahunty bit off more than he could chew:) which explains why he talked about 18 minutes MORE, than the person he invited to ask questions to. Bahahahaha!!! What a Texan:)

  • BARBATVS 89 says:

    "The Atheist Experience Don't Know What They're Talking About" is the title of one of my videos, and I have others proving atheists are deluded. I did a series proving my religion right; two series actually. One has over 3,000 slides, and is called: "Proof Satan Rules The World Ergo The Bible is Right."

  • Rob Davis says:

    I just lost my last bit of respect for Jordan Peterson. Watching him enjoying the smells of his own brainfarts instead of answering simple questions is painful.

  • Linguaphile says:

    J. Peterson seems to have a different conception of truth. The first question therefore should not have been whether he thinks there is a god, but what he considers truth. To him everything that is significant to people from a sociological and psychological perspective seems to be truth. Because the stories in the bible and many stories produced and reproduced thereafter often reflect Jungian archetypes they are meaningful and important to people. Because they serve to preserve the collective unconscious they are true. Truth to him seems to be importance/ significance. He has a very convoluted mind and I think that this talk showed the flaws in his reasoning clearly.

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