Lydia Laurenson interviews me

Here is the link, from a few weeks ago, far-ranging, but includes cultural predictions about the coronavirus.  And this:

I’d love to see a study measuring the decisions people who identify as rationalist make in their romantic personal lives, for example — how rational those decisions are, compared to other individuals. I suspect they’d come out slightly below average.

And this:

Some people will say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” I would sooner say, “I’m religious but not spiritual.” My cosmology is maybe agnostic, tending not to believe that there’s a God as commonly understood, but I have this core American idea that you have values, you go out, you build things, you do things. You take on projects, and those projects should help other people. You’re very committed to this, you see it through. I’m a big believer in that…

Obviously each religion is different and contains many strands, but it’s not an accident that those are the stickiest ideas, right? Those are what carry culture more effectively than, say, political philosophy or the great books of the ancients.

There is much more at the link, and at the end I make the case for optimism.

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“ I've blogged without missing a day for almost 17 years“
And a very rich offering each day at that. I think that’s very impressive

I know! And his diversity of views really makes it special. His posts run all the way from fringe-leftism to center-leftism.

It’s refreshing and exhilarating!

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"Quakers are certain of God but not of the Church. Unitarians are certain of the Church but not of God."

Unitarians may not admit it, but their true God is leftism, and they are quite certain of that.

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Are there any cultures that don't believe in "you have values, you go out, you build things, you do things. You take on projects, and those projects should help other people"?

Modern leftism

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You don't follow a religion so you are not religious. An uber- contrarian like Tyler that loves to go against the tide can't admit he belongs to the "spiritual not religious" herd. You are not a unique snowflake. Mel Gibson is religious but not spiritual. You are Bill De Blasio.

“You are De Blasio”?

There’s no reason to insult the man so egregiously!

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Completely non-sensical... full of non-sequitirs... contains a pop-culture reference.... honestly if you threw in a couple words that no one ever uses, I’d swear that Tyler wrote this himself.

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"spiritual but not religious" "the universe gives you what you need" - these statements always make me think, 'who is that spirit other than God?' 'the universe, if it has any persona or character at all, is obviously God'.

If you're a "spiritual but not religious" consider the possibility that we can actually have a relationship with that spirit. what is the spirits character? many have found the character of Jesus to be the most powerful answer. check out the gospel

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Are you a Freemason by any chance? Or part of any secret society? That's what I would ask if I interviewed Tyler.

Why do you suspect this?

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"I’d love to see a study measuring the decisions people who identify as rationalist make in their romantic personal lives, for example — how rational those decisions are, compared to other individuals. I suspect they’d come out slightly below average."

The only thing I can add to that is lol.

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"You have values, you go out, you build things, you do things ..." I think the word you're looking for is "moral"or "ethical" - "religious" doesn't connote any particular energy level or activity in that direction.

"Spiritual" either means "religious" or doesn't mean anything at all, so no need to set it up in opposition to or in tandem with "religious."

I think that a useful distinction here is that "religion" generally has an institutional and communal aspect. The good works of the Salvation Army are not just a matter of individuals behaving ethically, and are real whether its members are "spiritual" or not.

I will have to think about that. The ways that I believe church is a force for good tend not to be the ways that either the deeply religious or the irreligious left or the social-justice Protestant left or whatever exactly it is that Ross Douthat is (the very bright, well-meaning careerist who turned Catholic after he noticed the bios of the 90s National Review crowd?) of my acquaintance would prefer to acknowledge. Oddly, they would unite in rejecting my sincere admiration, in other words.

But I guess that's neither here nor there. Strictly as to ethics, my dearest friend is as religious as it is possible to be. Of the church-founding variety. She is wonderful and I am lucky she forbears to judge me, because she's lovely to know, she's a true friend and helper in all times of need, etc. What she and her husband do under the aegis of their church, on the other hand, may be judged very generously for its impulse, its diligence, perhaps - but *thinking* is utterly, definitionally antithetical to it. Talking about anything but Jesus in the context of religion tends to lead to real tears (and so is assiduously avoided). What we do in the world must be done without thought - and when some not inconsiderable percentage of it is pointless or even counterproductive, this does not matter at all to them. Indeed, this would tend to elevate the action in their eyes, if anything. The world may get worse, and this too is welcome, because it confirms that the hereafter is where it's at. I cannot dignify such a mindset with the word "ethical." Now we may most of us in our personal lives in a sense be our "own little churches" stumbling about, uncertain of outcomes - but that doesn't mean we should muddy terms and honor a strongly, proudly a priori head-in-the-sand stance with the term "ethical."

The person in the world closest to me, on the other hand, entered a church, as far as I could tell, the first time in his life, with me and my family, in the cordial, inquisitive spirit of a wandering intergalactic anthropologist. He is also the only person I've ever known whom I'd describe as deeply ethical in his mental makeup.

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You need to be religious, but don't need to be spiritual, at least in the way it's commonly meant, to be a Catholic priest. I know quite a few who are like that.

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