Sam Harris on Dave Rubin

  • 10:00 IDW, able to hear each other
  • 19: able to have conversations in the IDW but not media people
  • 22: JBP is wrong because SH is huge into consciousness. We can’t be confused that consciousness is our first condition.
  • 27: DR: the left is incapable of having a conversation
  • 29: SH identity wrapped up in politics
  • 44: DR rebound towards sanity…
  • 1:10 What’s on the mind of SH. Core things that interest him like the nature of consciousness. How to live a good live that we wakeup every day, we don’t get this day again. How to meaningfully engage in our lives. then to meditation. app.
  • 1:12 Interesting and profound in a durable way… so much of all of our lives has been spent on thing that look like one opportunity cost after another. The things I’m well known for talking about was a waste of time. DR: woke up people along the way SH. Starting point.
  • 1:13 DR: some sort of shift, whether or not we believe
  • 14:10 DR: “you don’t believe in karma…” Book tour got ransacked with the Ben Afleck blowup over Islam
  • 1:15: “meditatation and a rational take on spirituality
  • DR: What is the right amount of spirituality. Cleaning out the clutter we’re inundated with.
  • 1:16 the level which people are primed to think about spirituality through Abrahamic religions. What’s available to you as a conscious agent. It’s not an accident that people are doing to the east. How to pay attention to experience close enough to notice something. People have been praying to yhwh. explicitly dualistic, hostage to this notion of revelation, relationship, propitiation, mythologizing. totally unnecessary and needlessly confusing. Just as confusing to Tibetan Buddhism or the Indian tradition. The exoteric, the dualistic form, how much time thinking about the gods… You could run the same game with Hinduism. I’m not saying you can’t find people who find a good result in their lives. Something truly universal about the nature of consciousness and can be realized directly. It’s an accident of history, explainable, that got the point early uncontaminated by needless concepts. Buddhism is a methodology for paying attention to the nature of consciousness. You can get to the heart of the matter without presupposing any religious nonsense. Still there’s this moment where something seems to be happening. That is the fact of consciousness.
  • 1:20, this could be asleep and dreaming… it is a fact that you can pay attention carefully enough to discover certain things that link up with the phenomenology of religion. Some of what Jesus says, or Buddha… You don’t need these cultural artifacts that are a product of isolation. There is a deeper universal, culture free reality that we are subjectively. The self you take yourself to be is an illusion and you can discover that because you can lose that feeling that you are an occupant of your body. A subject whose appropriating experience. There’s a thinker of the thoughts that can be cut through. Link up with some of the ideals of mystical claims. We can have a 21st century science based conversation.
  • 1:23 SH in trouble with the atheists. Don’t need this word atheist or to be a victim group. IN the book that got him inducted he never used the word “atheism”.
  • 1:25 problem in the atheism community of people who hadn’t done psychedelics that say “there’s no there there… there’s nothing sacred….” It matter that you have people who don’t have real powers of introspection to notice that there’s something important to be gleaned by paying attentin.
  • 1:26: “but for psychedelics… I used to be that guy…” too acid and MDMA, total revelation…
  • 1:27: DR: “how do you know where it’s something that you need in side of you… truth… SH what’evers true as a matter of reality out there. You can have a different kind of experience… talks about the attitudes of his younger self, many atheists believe… This is what you get from the James RAndy of the world, different from the Deprak BS
  • 1:30 consciousness is the only space in which anything matters. Everything else is just a thought, memory of yesterday, future moment… This is the space in which every founder of a religion, where epiphanies are had, claims are T/F are made… In the Western tradition introspection can be a methodology that can be engaged, first person empirical experiment. People’s attachment to Judeo-Christian religion… A lot of scientists are closet buddhist… It’s not doing the necessary work that JBP claims it is…
  • 1:34 DR if someone’s truly telling the truth… profound moment…
  • 1:36 SH: mindfulness
  • 1:39 if you look for yourself you can fail to find it that just leaves the world,
  • 1:40 SH: all you psychological suffering is anchored to the consciousness of being me subject to the thoughts and whims of others and its possible to cancel that. Consciousness doesn’t feel like a self, the feeling of self is another object in consciousness, I’m not making a claim about the physics of things, not any claims that consciousness isn’t the product of brains, your head is in consciousness, is appearing in consciousness. The feeling that you’re inside of something has things backwards.
  • Note: toying with consciousness is to what end? fullness? as in 1:10
  • 1:44 just seeing, not the seer and the thing seen, collapse the distance between subject and object
  • 1:45 specifics of the JBP thing
  • 1:46 DR: I never see him pushing the straight up idea of religion on people. What is resonating with people is that the power of these stories does offer some other transcendent truth that you cannot get another way. the amount that I’ve loved star wars have more relevance to how I view good and evil and the journey that you’re on has more value than the Biblical thing. The power of story can offer some map to truth. It isn’t in conflict with what you’ve said…
  • SH. I love much of what he says. He says something ridiculous enough with the same confidence with what he says the good things. DR: an example? SH Event with Matt Dillahunty. Hope to make progress, knock down drag out over the points. He’ll confidently say something like atheists aren’t really atheists but MD only thinks they are atheists, they have a god and they aren’t acknowleding it
  • 1:49: WE got our ethics and theology in the water. What is good, sense of value, the reason it is bad to murder somebody, don’t have to think that through in first principles, is because you are dependent upon these stories, this tradition, this God. I don’t know the steelman interpretation.
  • 1:50 He’s evasive and non-commital by what he means by God. He’ll decline to answer a fairly straight forward question.
  • DR: count on one hand how many times he mentions god.
  • SH. I am in a way I don’t understand but he does, that I’m a captive of the judeo-Christian, that my notion of ethics is born of the ultimate value anchored to Jesus is so preposterous as to be unarguable. DR: shapiro, enlightenment values… SH. These are like points of confusion we could get past in 5 minutes.
  • SH. I think what he’s exposed is a real need, hunger for a meaning based conversation. How to get your life based in the 21st century. A hunger for wisdom the secular community has not been answering.
  • 1:52 Atheism is not a philosophy, it’s nothing, it’s just the denial of the false certainties of religious people. there’s no good reason to believe in Poseidon, and there’s no good reason to believe in Yhwh. Atheism doesn’t give you anything that makes you live a meaningful life. That’s not a knock on atheism, it’s just not being convinced by the bad arguments put forward by religious people. It just give you SPACE to discover science or the contemplative life.
  • Note: religion is a distraction the crowds out and dispossesses the goodness that is available to you if you don’t bit. It’s in Willie Wonka the stupid children that cash out early but in this case on even on real things.
  • 1:53: Connect atheism to spirituality
  • Note: What do they mean by spirituality?
  • DR: you want to lead atheism to a future
  • SH. I’m completely unconcerned with atheism. I’m concerned about the future.
  • The place where JBP will disagree. He doesn’t understand atheism, this sort of atheist. The truth is you can do it with stories that you know to be BS, like Batman or Star Wars. I’m going to think of myself as Luke Skywalker. No deep thing going back to the DNA. Perhaps JBP would say Skywalker does go back to the DNA. PIck the most perposterous character that could be inspiring. I’m just going to view each situation “what would spiderman do, act?” I”m the same neurotic person but how would Spiderman do this? If I could take down everyone, if I knew that how would I navigate each moment. That changes your psychology. It’s a trick, a mind hack, its the same game, it doesn’t require Jung to be right about the collective unconcious.
  • 1:56 IT only works if the substrate layer is ancient and spooky. That’s an empirical claim that may be unfalsifiable, some stories have more power than others… talk about what makes a certain story more compelling. The mind is plastic to a remarkable degree and our persistanc ein having the same mediocre experience we had yesterday is a habit. YOu ca create other habits that are more inspiring and more useful and you can use a traditional or cultic framework for that, create a new operating system, call it scientology, you can have a malicious fraud doing that, L Ron Hubbard and people can derive benefit from it.
  • Vancouver 23rd and 24th. Dublin and London in July.
  • 1:58: DR: does it matter at the end of the day. let’s say what you said here is true and people can find the truth to live as presently as honesttly as possible. and those who show up at JBP’s events and feel the exact same thing… they ultimately live a good life, both become comparably moral, decent good lives, at the end of the day does it matter.
  • 1:59 having a coherent idea about truth matters. I see it operating in a lot of what he’s saying. You can still be enamoured by the usefullness of myth. almost nothign else shifts, there is a difference between metaphorical truth and literal truth and by the light of literal truth can you make that distinction, Certain things are not literally true but useful., some things are starkly false, and fundamentally mistaken and circumstances under which that could be useful. It’s the only way to preserve a notion of truth that gets you like a legitimate science and a legitimate error correcting. that your belief system be internally consistent and map onto reality in some way that if they were false you’d be unlikely to believe what you believe.
  • 2:01 What traditionally religion has always been and what dogmatism always gives you. Dogmatism is the state of no longer operating in reality in a way that would error correct your beliefs. I’m going to believe what I believed yesterday no matter what you tell me, no matter what you show me, no matter what happens in human history, that Jesus is the son of God, whatever it is. THAT’s religion, traditionally speaking, and that’s the state in which the human mind and human communities can’t error correct and make intellectual progress. That part is not worth preserving. To some degree I perceive Jordan as trying to have it both ways. He will also endorse, he won’t call it dogmatism. I’m perceiving it to be dogmatism and I’m hoping it can be fleshed out.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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