The New Christianity: Theological “Strawmen” and The deeper look into the Psychologist who shall not be named.

I think this will be the last energy I spend on JP. The less energy given toward his name the better, I think. But one last thing…

I think we can have little more doubt that JP is supplying a new philosophical ground for Christianity; indeed, I might say that he is a theological philosopher. And in an even more honest light, that he is the example of what I call the Postmodern Religion: the manner that religion appears today, the way it behaves for the modern state.

Peterson at Liberty University  and by the way, Liberty University is one of the largest Evangelical Christian Universities in the world (thats what the Wiki says).

black-face

We might wish to be carefully observant.

Peterson is not really understanding the philosophy that he sounds like he is. In particular, from what I’ve listened to of him, (which is about 4 hours all together) he is not really understanding the philosophy is poses to be, despite all his rhetoric, and in particular, the main antagonist of his position,  Postmodernism. Specifically, he is taking general ideas of the subsequent postmodern distortions and stretched application and further misapplying them as he is indeed misunderstanding them. Yet, I am imagining that because he has a PhD and a nice suit, and can put sentences together about various abstract ideas to a certain sensibility, he then appears as though he is making sound judgements and assertions. In truth, though, it appears that he is overstepping his academic license in the name of the Postmodern privilege of subjective dishonesty, which he projects upon a straw man that he calls ‘Postmodernism’. He in indeed utilizing  Postmodern methods of appropriating discourse for his own agenda, the exact theoretical method that he decries as belonging to his straw man Postmodernism. He is capitalizing upon his alienation from a theoretical space, and then using a rather “sewn-together” version of half-cognized meanings to assert the truth of his subjective power (white male) as though they indeed have valid theoretical bearings. As I said in my last post, this is a particularly postmodern (in the diminished sense that he uses and understands) maneuver.

This is why I am and have been beginning to elaborate upon the a kind of philosophical orientation which recognizes various types of philosophy. Peterson’s “type” of philosophy is one which demands that all conceptual paradigms must be able to be conceived by everyone who has a certain level of education. This coincides with his “absolutism” that seems to rise into everything he has to say; biological essentialism, nationalism,  civilization, history –everything to him has an essential and eternal basis. I question this maxim for the exact reason that I am indicating here with Peterson: It is his inability and indeed insecurity around being an academic which does not allow him to admit nor even see that he is simply not comprehending the theoretical arena that he appropriates. Again; this is exactly the situation that the Postmodern authors warned us about; in particular, Jean-Francois Lyotard, who basically gave us the term postmodern, tells us that knowledge is no longer something that raises or falls upon its own merit, but indeed, knowledge is something that the experts prop up. Implicit in this description of our situation is that experts thus demand an equivocation of knowledge to the standards defined by the experts.  Peterson, someone who has achieved the title of expert (PhD) does not have the (what one would figure accompanies advanced education, as much as it obviously does not) humility to view something he desires as outside of his conceptual register, because of the systemization of knowledge (technology).

We might look at who supports what he has to say. It appears that Nationalists, racists, white people, and hetero-normaitive Christians form the bulk of his supporters. If he is so concerned with people’s well-being, why does he decry government support for LBGTQ+ politically valid designations? Might we do well to look at what he considers “mental health” also? Reality and truth that he appears to promote likewise has little philosophical support beyond some sort of assumption of a common human who is civilized. And what history exactly is he drawing from to come to his conclusions about society and the human psyche? To me, it appears rather arbitrary and, to be frank, quite similar to the artistic latitude that Freud used for his speculations about the structure and history of the psyche, such as his infamous story of the progenitor.  Also, I think it is kind of strange, like a psychoanalytical flashback to not-so-long-ago when homosexuality was officially listed in the DSM as a mental dysfunction., that Peterson advocates so liberally for the democratic tenet of free-speech, yet while also advocating that people have “responsibility” for their lives. It seems to me there is a therapeutic inconsistency somewhere in there. Let him be so free about the possibility that what he knows so surely could be wrong; let him take responsibility for the world and not just his world. hmm? Perhaps have some therapeutic care as a psychologist? Indeed, in my profession’s code of ethics as a counselor, and probably his as a psychologist, (maybe thats why I am not a psychologist: their ethics are a bit out dated maybe, but maybe not) it says that the psychologist shall not impose his or her biases upon the client. In my profession, I am not ethically nor legally allowed to impose my religious beliefs upon the client. If I do, I can lose my license. Likewise, if I am an atheist counseling a Christian, I must not treat the client as though they are stupid or something.  And, if someone is Gay, trans or whatever, I am not to impose my sense of personal correctness, as Peterson’s “natural honesty for identity” which says that such people are being dishonest with themselves. If I do, then I can be sued and lose my license. Wow.

There are no free rides, nor simple ideological solutions — he even argues this himself !! (watch the video a few posts ago).  It appears that he is advocating the very thing he argues against.

I think his intensions are in the spirit of helping people, which is good. But, when we notice how he draws from history to construct a sensible history — which, upon scrutiny, is filled with many philosophically inconsistent holes –we might want to reference a history somewhat recent to our knowledge, that of Nazi Germany.

Now, I do not mean to be alarmist. But it is well known that Hitler and his propaganda machine drew upon a distorted version of idealist philosophers such as Hegel and Nietzsche, and used this misappropriation of ideas with a particular analysis of history which might have made sense to many people of Northern Europe who were looking for some respite from the depression of the defeat from the First World War. Hitler and his minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels contrived a mash-up of Aryan, Nordic, and Christian myth, which served to unite the people of Germany under a kind of mass hysteria of national pride, all the while propping up straw men under pseudo-scientific “truth” who were identified responsible for the decline of the German Nation. Jews were made to be responsible mostly, along with their “degenerative democratic” news reporting, but all sorts of people who did not fit into the propped-up mythic ideal were seen to be less than human.

Now, of course, in the small of it, this is just another philosopher speaking his philosophical wares, so hey…

But we might want to learn from the past: so many people were taken for a ride and then found themselves in a terrible space of problem that they did not even know they were supporting.

Just be aware.

*

That said :

Part of the Two Routes is a suggestion that we admit that there is no common humanity, but that there is a humanity that needs such an ideal. I think perhaps Peterson is playing to this crowd. The issue , though, is to develop a philosophical understanding that understands this role, the responsibility Philosophy has to the actual truth of what humanity is by what it does: People need religion. And so the responsible thing seems to be to give it to them, but also to recognize that the religious ideas of “partial reasonings” are in the service of compassion for the common good, and less “true” about what is actually occurring. Less a patronizing, and more a recognition: most people simply do not wish to know, and to give them all the information sometimes just confuses people and makes life more difficult. I think it is possible Peterson is doing this, trying to supply a meaningful world to those who don’t want to really know, but without the awareness that this is what he is doing. We need people who are aware, not just in a power struggle for righteousness.

 

Philosophy and Counseling: A Very Brief Introduction to My Field.

A brief introduction to my field. Part 1.

COUNSELING, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry are often conflated into the same category to mean the same thing.  Upon beginning my course of Master’s instruction, I myself had to ask what the difference is, since I am indeed studying to be a counselor, and not a psychologist or psychiatrist.  Of course, you can do a search, but I will give you my short and incomplete general assessment here.

Cupid and Psyche

Something happened in the mid to late 19th century.  Georg Hegel could be said to be in the middle of it, and perhaps then Kierkegaard and Nietzsche indicated the problem which precipitated, or otherwise represented a kind of thinking that was circulating around the centers of study in Europe.  Whatever it was, an idea arose that crazy people had something wrong with their physical brain; the people who started to consider this possibility called themselves neurologists. Sigmund Freud came out of this school; he was a neurologist and not a philosopher. Before these people, mental illness was thought to be based in all sorts of random causes, such as being possessed.

I point this out because philosophy and psychology have been conflated or mushed together in all sorts of interesting ways so that we find Freud and psychoanalysis being at the heart of some philosophies (like Lacan, Deleuze, Guattari, Zizek. And I have to mention Levi Bryant, who is a current philosopher who did a spell as a Psychoanalytical therapist). But what I see is that despite of all the involved intellectualizations, there is something off in many formulations of philo-psychology. I am starting to see that perhaps the problem lay in how one approaches the situation more than how one smashes together various intellectual, textual or methodological stimuli.

There were plenty of people that were trying to figure out what to do with people who exhibited various sorts of mental issues, but I have been told by more than a few people that the reason why Freud became so popularized is because he wrote shit down. I don’t know just how true that is, but it does say something about where we get our ideas from: It is probably not so much that Freud had such great and perfect theories of the psyche (certainly we know now that much of Freud’s formualtions were kind of wacko), it is that he wrote his ideas down and had a lot of people read them. Whatever was happening for people, a certain kind of knowledge that people were starting to focus in on to call science was beginning to form around the idea that physical and mechanical bases were responsible for everything.

Anyways. So we had Freud theorizing that everyone’s psychic mechanics were screwed up because they were not dealing squarely with sex. His approach to handling this repression, which he got from Josef Breuer, that he called “the talking cure”, took everything else over.  It seemed that all one had to do was allow for a space where a person would just talk and talk, and eventually they would figure stuff out on their own.  Yes: There was no analysis to help the person; psychoanalysis was exactly that the person came into Freud’s office and talked for two or three hours.  When the session was over, Freud said, see you in a couple days! It seems that Freud, while very compassionate for his patients, was really worried about coming up with a scientific (physical/empirical) explanation for human experience, of the human psyche.

Now keep in mind that the sessions of Psychoanalysis took place about 3 or 4 days a week, two-hour sessions, for years.  Who could pay for this kind of help? Well; rich people.

Then came Alfred Adler. Freud thought Adler was pretty cool and so invited him to be a part of a new organization of psychoanalysis. But Adler saw that other people besides wealthy people might need help; while Freud thought everything psychic was caused by a sort of mechanical drive, Adler saw that people developed in a social dynamic. Pretty much everything we have now that has to do with social help, like social services, job counseling, school counseling and such, came out of Adler’s idea that everyone deserves mental health and help in their lives and that people develop throughout their lives dynamically involved with society.  So; one of the earliest kind of this social help was the job counselor, or skills counselor.

Out of this effort came the psychologist. The original job of the psychologist was to develop and give people tests to find out their interests and abilities so that they perhaps could be placed into work that they enjoyed and were best fitted for.  The psychologist did not give people therapy or counseling.  They worked for psychiatrists (experts), who then did the heavy lifting to analyze, decide and diagnose upon the individuals (patients).

Counseling originally had to do specifically with social concerns. Using the assessments and such to help people be, as Adler termed, superior and opposed to inferior, which is to say, to help people get out of the mental state of inferiority which kept them from achieving happiness and contentment in life.

Over the years, the job of the counselor has morphed, conflated and butted heads with in various ways with the psychologists and psychiatrists.  It was only around 30+/-years ago, in the 1970’s -90’s that people began to identify themselves as counselors in distinction from the other two biggies. Counselors have thus been involved in a somewhat recent and still on going process of defining ourselves and our profession as a positive activity, not unrelated to psychology and psychiatry, but nevertheless doing something slightly but significantly different than those historically empirical and traditional lineages of the medically determined psyche. We work with the soul, the original idea behind the term psyche, the spirit, and I would say, of being.

One guiding general maxim of my field is counsellors are not the experts; We are not doctors who diagnose the individual disease and then proscribe the cure. In fact, some counselors, such as Carl Rogers, denied that treatment of the psyche can be adequately and ethically addressed through the traditional medical model.  On the contrary; the client is the expert and the counselor serves to help the individual come to their own solution for their own problems, responsibly. Also, a founding tenet of counseling is that the client (aside from the more insistant mental disturbances) is not sick, the client is not understood to be in need of a diagnosis or a cure, and that the individual is behaving entirely naturally and healthily given the particular situation and circumstance that she finds herself in.

And this is exactly where I propose to begin to bring philosophy back into the scheme of mental health.

The Philosophy of the Epic of Gilgamesh, 2: Enkidu and the Cult of Sex and Civilization

The Philosophy of the Epic of Gilgamesh, 2: Enkidu and the Cult of Sex and Civilization

The Philosophy of the Epic of Gilgamesh, 2: Enkidu and the Cult of Sex and Civilization
— Read on minervawisdom.com/2019/02/13/the-philosophy-of-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-2-enkidu-and-the-cult-of-sex-and-civilization/

The Latest Zizek, from the Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/books/video/2018/oct/24/slavoj-zizek-tells-owen-jones-clinton-is-the-problem-not-trump

Philosophy, as a capitalist apologetic disruption, is not ending, it is changing. As Zizek calls it, into ‘cognitive mapping’. The ‘end of philosophy’, ‘the end of history’ or ‘the end of the world’ is from the intrinsic mythology within which identity knows itself: What it sees as its own change approaches, is its end, and not change itself, because the intrinsic mythology defines the parameters by which real change is allowed to take place and still have the identity for which the parameters exist to define. Change which occurs outside these parameters are understood implicitly to be ‘end’ or ‘death’.

The Anthropocene and the possibility of a future: The end of globalization? The questionable paradox of multicultural homogenized non-places

Part 2. The end of globalization? The questionable paradox of multicultural homogenized non-places

https://djehoety.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/part-2-the-end-of-globalization-the-questionable-paradox-of-multicultural-homogenized-non-places/
— Read on djehoety.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/part-2-the-end-of-globalization-the-questionable-paradox-of-multicultural-homogenized-non-places/

My comment:

I don’t think that is necessarily bad. If you think, perhaps, globalization as of the spreading of sameness, likewise it allows human beings to identify themselves as a common sort. I no longer, Or at least, I have less observable substance upon which to Orientalize towards a sort of uncivilized other Ness. I can begin to recognize myself in the face of the other, because I’m no longer distracted by the different environment that they live in, as though they are identical with their environment in their “alien Ness”.

Then further, once the human being becomes the globe, becomes the reflection of the globe, it would seem there’s only two options left by which to find other-Ness, which is to say, to consolidate that identity which is human, rather than that identity which is European or Asian or Islamic or Christian or atheist, or primitive or civilized or intelligent. These would become more substance of subsequence, rather than substance of primacy.

The two spaces of otherness then could be really actual “outer space”, which would include the depths of the earth and the oceans, but also that space outside of the earth, such as the planets in the stars and everything.

The Anthropocene takes on new meaning because the human being is now the globe, the surface of the globe which it sees as it’s self, reflection of itself. It can no longer avoid looking at self, and in fact must go inside itself, so to speak, or distinctly outside.

No longer do we have this gray zone phenomenological uncertainty and nothingness.

We have distinctly that which is going on inside, how consciousness operates, and we have that which is distinctly outside, how the universe or how physics operates the planets, atoms, molecules, life systems etc.

A Critique of Sam Harris

A Critique of Sam Harris

A Critique of Sam Harris
— Read on benjaminstudebaker.com/2018/10/12/a-critique-of-sam-harris/

This got a little long for one reading on a device for me. but I did my best graduate school skimming and focusing and picking out parts that seem important, and I got to say been put down a really good explanation and argument for his materialism.

As many of my readers may know, or may not know, I tune on the side of materialism, but to me it’s just a simple statement, as everything is philosophical material.

But I like the simplicity by which Benjamin situates idealism and materialism. And his historical analysis and projections into present political analysis I think hold water.

But philosophically I would have to ask, for example, well sure the church split a long political lines but why did those lines fall where they did?

I think at some point and such and analysis and in pursuit of answering such a question, eventually we would have to come to pure speculation and argument, and I would submit that speculation in arguments are based in ideas, but not merely ideas that are relative to their conditions, but ideas that indeed function as though they are attached to an essential object: idealism.

So to me it’s a chicken or egg situation, and then I even go further and I ask how do you decide whether or not you are on the side of the chicken or the egg? Do you ponder the various arguments of idealism and materialism and then spontaneously something makes more sense to you than the other side? Is that occurring because the conditions create this situation for you (which is just another way of talking about a transcendent ideal), or is it occurring because you are remaining true to yourself (which would be another way of saying a fundamental material of self)? It seems to that to make any argument about what might be true or false or more actual or more true or more Real, that at some point you have to simply act and behave and think as though you are not just a nexus of conditions. It seems hypocrisy and contradiction pop up at every juncture.

This brings me to the radical middle. So to speak. And it is this radical middle that really defies either position, that of idealism or materialism (that is, except the materialism that simply states everything that arises to knowledge is philosophical material). And I think people as world identities have great difficulty realizing this radical middle. It really is that people argue this circularity of their position to avoid recognizing the actual situation that they’re in.

Then we look at history honestly and we can come to no conclusion about whether it was political forces or ideological of forces or idealist forces, that is. We have to admit at some point that it’s all just fashion and that indeed whatever opinion were coming to is a part of that fashion, part of a motion that we really have no say in. Which is to say, except in as much as we maintain an idealist position of our ability and understanding and grasp of thought.