Jordan Peterson on science and religion

Jordan Peterson – Reconciling Science and Religion


I find myself agreeing with most of what he says, just not quite with his definition of science.

I can see where his definition of science conflicts with his notion of what religion does, and agree with him to that extent. At one point he makes a claim that science cannot deliver meaning – at that point we part company.
And I can agree with him, that what he defines as science cannot, and that is not my definition of science.

For me, science is about asking questions, then seeing what the evidence indicates is most probable.

When one uses that definition of science, it doesn’t deal with truth, only with probabilities and heuristics (things that have been shown to work in the past).
For me, when dealing with reality (as distinct from realms of pure logic) truth has no place, as all things contain uncertainties.
In realms of logic, truth can exist, in a form, but Goedel has shown that even that form of truth is incomplete.

For me, all ideas of good and bad, good and evil, values at any level, are heuristic at base, even when they contain large elements of choice.

The more awareness we bring to that – the greater the influence of choice.
For me, all such enquiries are in the realm of science, and all science contains a strong intuitive subconscious element that is the creative side of scientific hypotheses.

I agree totally with Peterson that we need to consider values at multiple levels of social, temporal and ecological relationships – like the examples he uses and beyond.
For me social is self, family, community, district, nation, humanity planet wide and beyond, sapience universally in this galaxy, this universe and any other universe we might gain access to.
The temporal is now, today, next week, next year, next decade, next century, next millennium, the remainder of eternity.
The ecological is my section, my district, this planet, and the universe beyond.

When I formed my software company over 30 years ago I called it “Solution-Multipliers”. That name comes from the idea that all solutions have downstream effects. Some create more problems than they solve (problem multipliers) and some solve more problems than they create (solution-multipliers). So I have been thinking in terms of the largest contexts I can imagine for a very long time, and putting in details of as many contexts as possible.
And there are limits, as he notes.
Consciousness exists in that border between rules and chaos, and it is more complex than that simple analogy implies (as are most things).

I suspect I also have some profound differences over the notion that life is suffering, and it is often a useful first order approximation for many people.

So yes – enjoyed that clip – and agree with way over 90% of what he says.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s