The Psycho-Ontology of Genesis

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AshvinP
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The Psycho-Ontology of Genesis

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Another long Peterson paper. The abstract gives enough of a metaphysical summary for discussion, though.
A Psycho-ontological Analysis of Genesis 2-6
Jordan B. Peterson
Department of Psychology
University of Toronto

Abstract

Individuals operating within the scientific paradigm presume that the world is made of matter. Although the perspective engendered by this presupposition is very powerful, it excludes value and subjective experience from its fundamental ontology. In addition, it provides very little guidance
with regards to the fundamentals of ethical action. Individuals within the religious paradigm, by contrast, presume that the world is made out of what matters. From such a perspective, the phenomenon of meaning is the primary reality. Th is meaning is revealed both subjectively and objectively, and serves—under the appropriate conditions—as an unerring guide to ethical action.

The ancient stories of Genesis cannot be properly understood without viewing them from within the religious paradigm. Genesis describes the primary categories of the world of meaning, as well as the eternal interactions of those categories. Order arises out of Chaos, through the creative intermediation of Logos, and man is manifested, in turn. Man, a constrained Logos, exists within a bounded state of being, Eden. Eden is a place where order and chaos, nature and culture, find their optimal state of balance. Because Eden is a walled garden, however—a bounded state of being—something is inevitably excluded. Unfortunately, what is excluded does not simply cease to exist. Every bounded paradise thus contains something forbidden and unknown. Man’s curiosity inevitably drives him to investigate what has been excluded. Th e knowledge thus generated perpetually destroys the presuppositions and boundaries that allow his temporary Edens to exist. Th us, man is eternally fallen. Th e existential pain generated by this endlessly fallen state can undermine man’s belief in the moral justifiability of being—and may turn him, like Cain, against brother and God.
...
Perception and Conception are Axiomatic by Necessity

In 1962, the philosopher Th omas Kuhn brought into public consciousness an idea that has since proved very influential. He claimed that scientific data
could only be interpreted within a particular, bounded framework, which he termed a paradigm. He also believed that such paradigms were sometimes incommensurate (which meant that a person operating within one could not necessarily understand or evaluate the claims of a person operating within another). In recent years, we have come to understand more clearly both why paradigms are necessary and why they can be incommensurate. It also seems possible, now, to explain more fully why knowledge can genuinely progress, despite its paradigmatic limitations
...
The mathematician Kurt Gödel generated a theorem (Gödel’s Theorem, 1931/1992), predicated on the idea that any axiomatic mathematical system
depends for its integrity on the existence of axioms that cannot be proved or disproved within the axioms of that system. Understanding of this theorem—which essentially states that some “truths” have to be accepted on faith (or at least as pragmatic preconditions for application of the system)—allows for some useful insight into how a world too complex for full apprehension might still be categorized and perceived. Gödel’s observation that something must still remain outside the system in question means, in principle, that it might be the complexity of the world, theoretically irrelevant to the present purposes of the perceptual act, that can be folded up invisibly outside that system, at least temporarily (and in a
particular locale), “inside the axioms”.
...
Developmental stages became disequilibrated when a phenomenon emerged in the experience of the child that could not be accounted for or predicted by the theory typifying that stage. Such anomaly-induced disequilibration produces a state of “cognitive conflict” and motivates exploration, forcing “the subject to go beyond his current state and strike out in new directions” (Piaget, 1985, p. 10). Equilibration re-emerges when information generated by exploration alters the axioms of the previous state sufficiently so that the disequilibrating anomaly is now rendered predictable and controllable. This is a successful paradigm shift , in Kuhn’s terminology.

Under such circumstances, Piaget had a simple rule for judging progression: a subsequent stage or paradigm was “better” than its predecessor if it allowed for the representation or pragmatic utilization of everything the predecessor allowed for, and additionally accounted for the anomaly that brought that predecessor to its knees. Th is is essentially identical to the stance that Kuhn adopted in 1970. Piaget and Kuhn thus came to believe that high-quality axiomatic systems or paradigms were increasingly less likely to be brought down by the emergence of anomaly. So we know, for example, that there are aspects of experience that Newtonian physics (and Euclidean geometry) can neither represent nor control that Einsteinian physics (and Riemannian geometry) can encompass and account for.
...
All systems of perception and conception are necessarily paradigmatic and incomplete. All necessarily incomplete paradigmatic systems employ axiomatic truths to protect their users from excess complexity, presuming stability where variability actually reigns. The axiomatic grounding of paradigmatic systems renders them prone to sudden and emotionally painful disruption. Despite this, some paradigmatic systems are more disruptible than others.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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AshvinP
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Re: The Psycho-Ontology of Genesis

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Forgot to include the link to the full paper - https://www.academia.edu/keypass/RWRVST ... card=title
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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AshvinP
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Re: The Psycho-Ontology of Genesis

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Wrong link above, more excerpts below - https://www.academia.edu/21414895/A_Psy ... enesis_2_6
Science excludes Ethics from its Purview—but Ethics is not Necessarily Epiphenomenal

A very pragmatically powerful and apparently internally consistent argument can be made that the fundamental building blocks of the world of experience, as represented religiously, are more complete and inclusive than those represented by science. However, this case can only be made at the very deepest of axiomatic levels. In this case, the incommensurability of religious and scientific thought must be considered at least as profound as the incommensurability of Einsteinian and Newtonian physics (and perhaps a good deal more so). It is worth restating the fact that this still may allow one paradigm (that of science) to remain appropriately nested, at some level, within the other (that of religion), because I am not interested in quibbling about the validity of scientific thought itself. It is self-evidently valid for many—but not all—purposes.

Th e religious domain, unlike the scientific, includes both representation and ethics. Religious beliefs are therefore about what things are and about what should be done with them. It is worth pointing out in this regard 1) that religious practice is a human universal and thus apparently evolved and 2) that representation and ethical action derived from the evolved religious instinct has been sufficiently accurate to ensure the survival and reproduction of the human form since religious thought arose (at least 50,000 years ago and, in its more implicit forms, far further back into the past (Peterson, 1999)). Th is means that religious truth has been pragmatically verified by Darwinian processes, at least in part (and this is a very important point, from the scientific and philosophical perspectives). Is there any other way of determining whether or not a claim is true, in the face of the frame problem? Life generates embodied, partial solutions to the frame problem. Insufficient solutions die before they reproduce. Religious belief is a solution, and all human beings carry that within them. Th us, religious belief is true enough. Are objective materialists right, or Darwinians right? All biological scientists—at minimum—are forced to presume the latter.

Th e world of experience, like the objective world, has its constituent entities. For Heidegger (1927/1962) and the phenomenological psychotherapists who relied on his thought (Binswanger, 1963; Boss, 1963) these were, roughly speaking, the Umwelt (the environment as such, or the fact of the
superordinate natural world), the Mitwelt (the world with others, or the fact of social existence) and the Eigenwelt (the fact of subjective being). Freud also posited what were essentially domains of experience, with substantive overlap: the id, or it (nature within), the superego (the cultural domain of ancestral spirits), and the ego (which Freud viewed as the rather powerless domain of individual being, trapped between the lower and upper titans). Th us, Freud was a phenomenologist, implicitly, and perhaps even an existentialist, although he thought of himself as a strict natural scientist (and was also that). For Jung and Erich Neumann, Jung’s most brilliant student, these domains (Umwelt, Mitwelt, Eigenwelt; Id, Superego, Ego) were the domains of the Great Mother, the Great Father, and the hero, the Son ( Jung, 1967; Neumann, 1954, 1955).

I have previously suggested that these domains are fundamental to instinctual religious thought, for a variety of reasons, and that they might most simply and comprehensively be conceptualized as chaos, order and Logos—the process that mediates between chaos and order (Peterson, 1999; 2006). As fundamental domains, these categories of experience are not derived from anything more fundamental. Instead, they are the axiomatic entities from which everything else is, in turn, derived. Th ere is evidence that they exist—even neuropsychological evidence (Peterson, 1999; Peterson & Flanders, 2002)—but the act of accepting their existence, at least for the purposes of conceptual experimentation, is essentially an a priori act of faith."
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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