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>Maybe you get a higher good when there is an opposition between good and evil.
>Maybe the good you get when good and evil are both possibilities is a higher good than the good you get with just good.
Any thoughts on this?


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I am not sure... what's the context? Let me watch on.

... it's interesting equating left and right brain with left and right wing. I'll be generous and call that a misheard question. Apologies if I literally cannot listen to the drooling over hierarchy and equating social status with productivity. However I did go back to listen to see if you were cherry picking something out of context to make him sound stupid. Perhaps this is a bad introduction to the fellow, as I understand it his degree is in some other topic and Oz is good at making people confidently say idiotic things.

I also must admit a personal bias against evolutionary psychology. I never cared for Dawkins and I'm not sure I could have an interest in Religious Dawkins.

I went back and listened more and I'm glad I brought up Dawkins. It's the same tactic of bombarding a lot of smart sounding things without actually completing any particular thought. Cutting out the wankery, in the same thought we go from conflict drives (good is make good is an offshoot of this as the thought peters out) progress to hierarchies are old but are prone to ossification and corruption to marxism bad back to hierarchies are old and that is why censoring bad words is bad. I have no idea what the topic being discussed is so I'm going to assume it's the most broad interest one?

I mean. The topic of ossification and corruption in indispensable hierarchies is an interesting topic. Didn't go anywhere though which is sad. Snakes making apes evolve eyes seemed kinda stupid and poorly thought out but also not his idea. Fighting dragons makes your peepee hard seems more in line with what I'd expect from everything else and I elect to make that the primary point of this dissertation.

I want to stress.

This is from 4 minutes of conversation.


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>I am not sure... what's the context?
"The problem of evil" refers to the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God.  Peterson's comments seem to suggest a possible resolution of this question: that some amount of evil is necessary to maximize goodness.  And going beyond religious questions, this also has secular implications: Any attempt to build a utopia by eliminating all evil and suffering would be doomed.

>equating social status with productivity.
I pretty sure he doesn't equate them.  In fact, he recognizes that some people with high social status got there by corruption rather than by productivity.  And elsewhere, he talks about how people who are high in agreeableness might need help in obtaining raises/promotions that their productivity would justify and how he helped some such individuals in his clinical work.


I guess if there's just good, good would have to mean something like 'being' and little else.

Asking then whether it's possible to have higher and lower good implies a spectrum of good, and it's easy enough to designate the lower part of the goodness spectrum evil.

Are you asking whether adding the classification 'evil' to what could be a spectrum of good-ness changes things objectively?


Note: I haven't watched the video because 5 hours and I hold a very low view of Peterson so I find him hard to listen to at the best of times, I'm just going off the questions here

>>Maybe you get a higher good when there is an opposition between good and evil.
>>Maybe the good you get when good and evil are both possibilities is a higher good than the good you get with just good.

I have caveated answers to these that can be summed up with a *shrug*, but ultimately I don't see why I (or anyone really) should inherently even value this "top reached height of good" metric. Here's some thought experiments:
1. Consider the immune system. It's a good thing to have as it fights disease, and a stronger and more robust (asterisks, caveats, etc. apply) immune system is better. What drove it to get stronger over an evolutionary time were the pathogens it had to deal with. Now, imagine you meet somebody who has a button. This button, upon being pressed, would cure all disease, forever, from now into all the future. This person is considering pressing it, but hesitates. After all, doing so would deprive this good thing, the immune system, of value. It'll probably even make it atrophy over time, and certainly it won't get stronger and as mentioned before: stronger is better. Yet after the button is pressed, there is no such "better" anymore. What do you say to this person? Do you congratulate them on their wisdom, or do you try to convince them (how?) to press the button anyway?
2. Consider a machine making chocolate bars. It just plods along, consistently churning those out. Now, imagine the company running the factory gave it a sentient AI which might decide to do all sorts of things to the bar, from inducing off flavours all the way to making it straight-up poison. This AI probably won't do any of that. As far as we can tell it's excellently socialized, it's got a good moral backbone, and is overall a swell sentient being. So, has this change improved the resultant chocolate bars? Are they now better because the sentient entity making them MIGHT have made them bad (poison even!) but hasn't? What if a bunch of other factories follow suit, and some of those AIs aren't quite as well "educated", making the risk of making a bad bar greater? Does that make the good bars even better, further increasing the metric of "max goodness of best chocolate bar"? And is any arrangement of this actually preferable to you as a consumer compared to the initial "sentience-free machine just plods along, consistently just churning out good ones"?
3. Consider a fire in an apartment building which trapped a child. A random passerby runs in and saves the child, at a risk to themselves. The heroism is a great thing, and it could never have happened without the fire. "Therefore, we should not take any measures to prevent fires in the future, as no fires means no such heroes". Does this track? Would this attitude really make a more preferable world for us to live in? On the other hand, would it be better for there to be fewer fires, even if it meant there'd be fewer such acts of heroism?


Oh, as for it being an answer to the problem of evil... it's not. The problem is that combined omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence of a god doesn't leave room for there being evil in the world, and even if you had an argumentation (like this one) that successfully (not quite like this one) got you to "some evil is good", it is not actually an answer to this problem because that still leaves other evil which is not good, which evil is unaccounted for and which the omnigod would have gotten rid of. For this route to be an answer you would need to get all the way to "all evil is good", and if you're arguing THAT, well, this stance's got ISSUES. Let's not dig into them because there's a lot, just note that it means evil isn't actually an opposite to good then, being good's subcategory.


You probably should have laid out what "the problem of evil" is for people who may not be aware. Basically, it's this:

God is said to be omnipotence (all-powerful), omniscience (all-knowing) and omnibenevolence (all-good).

An all-powerful being would have the power to eradicate evil.

An all-knowing being would know how to eradicate evil.

An all-good being would wish to eradicate evil.

Evil exists. Therefore, God cannot be all three of those things at once.


This might be unfair, I suppose, but given that Peterson is somebody with a reputation for being misleading to the point of maybe outright lying and/or trolling, what makes his opinions on an ancient philosophical debate that's never been even close to solved relevant?


I'm not sure I'd agree with characterising it as "never been even close to solved". The solution is obvious and has been standing for thousands of years ever since Epicurus and it's the one in the last line here: >>8121 (more or less, some form of "evil does not exist" is the other option). What hasn't been solved is the problem of finwangjangling the logic to successfully arrive at an answer fully in line with the preferences of folks who really want their omnigod, but that one will never see a solution. The logic is simply too straightforward to do anything but sow rhetorical confusion and hope to sneak a shoddy logical element through under its cover. Which, honestly, sounds exactly like Peterson's MO so there's the connection I guess.

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