Existential Truth

One thought on “Existential Truth”

  1. Or try a parent-child relationship. It is wise for a small child to obey his parent’s instructions, because even if the child is unable to understand the parent’s explanation for why the instruction should be obeyed (interestingly, even if the parent themself is unable to properly articulate a reason), the mere fact that the parent has survived for many years, is good reason for obedience. As a child grows older and more intelligent, he may begin to see more and more the wisdom embedded in his parent’s instructions. One day when his experience and intelligence exceeds that of his parent, he can decided that his parent’s instructions are no longer optimal, and come up with his own superior set of instructions.

    So in our modern-day concern of Religion vs Science, the question is whether our science is sufficiently sophisticated enough to completely abandon religion. The answer is often somewhere in-between.

    A very young child obeys his parent blindly. A mature adult no longer heeds his parent’s instruction (but may continue to act as though he were following many of the instructions, because rationally he can see why they are optimal). *An intellectually arrogant child may decide to stray from his parent’s instruction, without having established sufficient grounds to do so, and thereby suffer the negative consequences.

    So Jordan Peterson thinks that human society is not ready to leave their parent religion (Christianity), while Sam Harris thinks the parent is too old and superstitious to be useful at all.

    Is human society sufficiently mature to completely give up religion? Even if people like Sam Harris are intelligent enough to derive their own morality via purely rational, non-religious means, do you think the average person can do that? Would Sam Harris insist that the dumber people obey the moral imperatives given by the smarter people? Wouldn’t that be like a sort of religion in itself?

    [My personal opinion is that teaching critical thinking is the real priority. It is far more important that people learn to properly think, than to be force-fed the right things to believe. Atheism by itself doesn’t solve anything if its adherents also function under a fundamentalist epistemology and just happen to begin from a set of non-theistic axioms.]

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