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About DocWatts

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  1. The context in which the question of "should people under the age of 18 be allowed gender affirming care up to and including surgery" matters a great deal here. And yes there is some nuance to this question. But unfortunately, in %99 of instances this question isn't being asked with any concern whatsoever for the wellbeing of people who are struggling with gender identity issues. In the vast majority of cases it's being used as a dog whistle to dehumanize non-gender conforming individuals as somehow 'impure' or 'unnatural'. This is because conservative moral intuitions include "purity" as a moral foundation, and this isn't as pronounced in more progressively minded folks. So it's no surprise that conservatives tend to react to transgender individuals with a gut level feeling of discomfort and disgust that gets misconstrued in ethical terms. Their limbic system is screaming at them that "this just feels wrong". Individuals don't choose these gut level intuitions, they're a results of a person's physiology and of the cumulation of thier life experiences. Now of course these gut level intuitions can be examined and changed over time, but this involves a lot of emotionally difficult inner work. This sort of thing only becomes a realistic possibility when an individual's survival needs doesn't preclude them from reexamining aspects of their identity. So the path of least resistance then will be to use rationalizations and ethical arguments serve as a sort of Public Relations firm to justify the gut level discomfort that the existence of trans folks triggers in them.
  2. It is! It was conceived half jokingly as a response to Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life, but written from a metamodern/Integral perspective. Hanzi hits upon some of the same points as Leo, but of course each one brings with it their own unique perspective.
  3. Great video. Really appreciate that he's explicating the dangers of attempting to use spirituality to bypass the necessity of solving more basic survival problems in one's life. Though I am curious if releasing this shortly after Hanzi Frienacht's latest book (about happiness and how to live a good life) was just a coincidence
  4. Because Christianity has largely failed to adapt to the needs of people living in complex, pluralistic societies. An SD-Blue '"one right way" religion that constructs a shared identity from simple moral precepts to follow (don't steal, don't murder) may have been sufficient for someone living in a homogeneous agrarian village hundreds of years ago, but offers little in the way of cultivating the kind of wisdom that is needed in the complex, evolving world we happen to be living in today. Indeed, the Christian religion has on the whole spent more of its energy trying to hold back the floodgates of change than it has finding ways to adapt its existential Truths to make them more inclusive and relevant in a scientific, multicultural world. That said there's no reason why Christianity in theory can't take on more nuanced and inclusive forms, but the inertia that comes with institutionalization makes this in practice very difficult. Mining the existential Truths which do exist within Christianity requires the painful process of killing God, that is of looking beyond magical beliefs (ie Jesus being the literal son of God), which is a price not many are going to be willing to pay.
  5. Another one is Absolutizing a particular rule or principle, rather than trying to make good discernments about where a particular principle is situationally appropriate for a given purposive context. Example: treating the concept of cultural relativity as an Absolute, rather than trying to articulate contexts in which relativity is an appropriate principle, and where it may be counter productive for a given goal. In addition to that, failing to adequately account for the partiality of one's perspective is a huge pitfall. Likewise, failing to adequately understand the core assumptions one is using to understand something (most of the time they tend to be so self-evident and invisible we just experience them as "reality"). You'll also want to be able to clearly differentiate questions of epistemology (theory of knowledge, or how we know what we think we know) from questions of ontology (the pre-reflective and pre-linguistic ways that the world is disclosed to us owing to our physiological structure, cultural conditioning, etc). Failing to adequately differentiate these two realms can lead to wasting one's time and effort investigating pseudo-problems that are a result of bad framing. Enlightenment era philosophy is unfortunately full of these pseudo-problems resulting from bad framing of a problem (such as the supposed 'mind-body problem', stemming from the dubious assumption that the mind is fundamentally disembodied).
  6. A good rule of thumb as to whether someone is practicing scientism rather than science is the degree to which they believe that science can serve as a replacement for a more integrative meaning and purpose for their existence. Which is why scientific pseudo -answers to these questions can be correct in the details, yet deeply unsatisfying for how partial they are for what actually matters to human beings. When used responsibly, science is an invaluable tool for making sure that the meta-narratives we weave arent totally out of sync with the intersubjective Reality that we live in (which was the main failing of organized religions that necessitated killing God). But science itself isn't a replacement for satisfying answers to existential questions, and where deconstruction goes, an eventual reconstruction must flow.
  7. Meditation is indeed a powerful tool for cultivating self awareness and emotional intelligence, but the problem is that meditation only serves these important functions after a person's more basic survival needs have been met. No quantity and quality of meditation in the world is going to help someone who's struggling to keep a roof over their head. It's not going to be a fix for that person who spends all day at a demeaning job which grinds down their body and mind to a festering pulp. It's not going to help lonely men build the interpersonal skills they need to construct meaningful relationships. It's also not going to help someone in a marginalized groups who's being oppressed by the society they live in. Now can meditation help make someone more resilient in the face of bad circumstances? Of course. But at the same time it's not a magic bullet that will replace the need to meet a person's basic survival needs, which I'd argue is what the majority of people actually need. As a supplement to support structures to help individuals meet thier survival needs, meditation is great.
  8. If you want a concrete example of the difference between what healthy conservatism looks like in a pluralistic democracy and how that differs from the fascism of the modern Republican Party, consider how much John McCain's behavior differs from how someone like Trump or DeSantis would have acted in this scenario.
  9. Just my two cents, but I would use caution with saying that somebody is yellow or is green, since it locks in a tendency to misuse Spiral Dynamics as a personal development model ala the Enneagram or the Nine Stages of Ego Development. We're more than our respective meta-ideologies, and Spiral Dynamics is much better used as sociological model for thinking about the dialectics behind how value systems come to be embodied in societies. Thus it's much more productive to think in terms of ideologies or social movements as being Green or Yellow, than it is to couple stages to individuals, in my view. Or to put it more concretely, much more precise to say that someone has a Blue or Green understanding of a particular issue or idea, than it is to say that someone like Jordan Peterson is (insert color here). (For what it's worth I've fallen into the trap of misusing Spiral Dynamics in this way as well so I'm no exception to this; something I'm working to be more mindful of).
  10. That's actually a very good point, as "Rights" by their very definition are intersubjectively constructed, and in a country as large and diverse as the United States it's to be expected that different value systems are going to have their own version of what entails a fundamental human right. There's never going to be one definition that's going to be Absolutely valid for all people and contexts, as you correctly point out. That said, even for a country as polarized as the current United States, there are a number of issues of which it can be said that we have reached a working consensus on as a society (or at least as close to one as it's possible to get in a very large and complex society). Whether women and minorities should be able to vote and hold political office is one of the more obvious examples, since anyone who believed otherwise would be well outside of the Overton window, and would have to use dog whistle rhetoric to make their position palatable within the public sphere (and mind you, this is exactly how modern fascism does work). As for abortion, I'd argue that issue sits somewhere on the border of the Overton window, while a majority of people in a place like America do accept that abortion is something which should be protected, it's also fair to say that it's by no means a settled issue in the way that women's suffrage is. The three far Right justices that Trump was able to appoint to the Supreme Court all had to lie that Roe v Wade was in their view 'a settled issue' during their confirmation hearings, which to me is good evidence that abortions rights are within Overton window (though perhaps near the edge). Had this not been the case, they should have been able to be direct about the fact that it was always thier intention to roll back rights that were in thier view illegitimate. The fact that they were only direct and explicit about this only after landing their positions with lifetime appointment is telling. I also share your concerns about progressives conflating typical conservativism with fascism, which is why I do think it's important to be precise when we say that something is 'fascistic'. A good litmus test to distinguish between the two, in addition to the Overton window aspect which I brought up earlier, is the degree to which the person or movement in question is willing overturn democratic norms in order to get their agenda passed (which consequentially, is why I have no problem labeling the MAGA movement as unequivocally fascistic). Wanting to overturn Roe v Wade isn't necessarily fascistic; trying to forcibly drag the country back 100 years by burning democratic institutions to the ground absolutely is. Likewise, using either implicit or explicit rhetoric which advocates for political violence is another very clear indication that you're dealing with fascism rather than conservatism.
  11. Leaving aside whether this statement is true (let's assume for the sake of argument that it is unequivocally true), this brings with it the implicit assumption that a person's level of intelligence is a measure of their worth. The reason that the motivations behind these questions are (rightly) scrutinized is that they are almost always used as post-hoc justifications for self serving intuitions of superiority. Which in practice is a necessary condition for the construction of dominator hierarchies. One doesn't have to be a postmodernist to question the value of asking these types of questions. A sophisticated understanding of Constructs includes the insight that Constructs are bounded by biology, and are adaptive for a survival context rather than something that's arbitrary (something that the postmodernists tend to lose sight of).
  12. No disagreements here. Hell, considering how much value I've gotten from someone like Heidegger, who's both one of the most brilliant philosophers to ever live and also someone who was sympathetic to Nazi ideology, it would be hypocritical of me to suggest otherwise. That said, in my mind the degree to which their area of expertise can be compartmentalized from their bad political takes matters a lot here. Also the question of whether by supporting the person in question you're also supporting thier political causes when you buy their books or watch their content also matters, a question which would be far simpler if Peterson was someone from a bygone era rather than someone who's influencing events in the present day.
  13. In addition to @Emeralds points, another useful discernment for telling if you're dealing with a conservative or a fascist, is to assess the degree to which they've made peace with expansions of rights and social recognition that have been won in previous eras and are taken for granted these days. The idea that today's conservatives are in some ways the liberals of a generation or two ago. This is also the gist of the philosophy of the patron saint of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke, who saw conservativism's role in liberal democracies as protecting society from crazy social experiments by conserving existing institutions and implementing change in a slow, measured way. A conservative will most likely be uneasy with expanding these rights and recognition further or extending them to other groups, but to the degree that their perspective is conservative rather than fascistic, they're generally not trying to eradicate basic human rights that have been extended to people of color, women, gay people, etc. Of course the rub is that the cultural and media environment is such that fascistic rhetoric and social policy has been moving into mainstream politics and culture, so in practice contemporary conservatives who haven't completely disavowed the modern Republican Party (or its counterpart in other countries) will exist on a spectrum between Edmund Burke's conservatism and fascism.
  14. The difference lies in the absolutizing right wing ideology as an end in and of itself (a perspective from below), and discerning where right wing perspectives are situationally appropriate as part of a larger effort to transcend and include them in a flexible, evolving meta-framework (a perspective from above). Peterson may have ambitions towards the later, but in my view he's too fixated on the former to fully appreciate the dialectics behind how value systems function and evolve. Which is to say that he's nowhere near people like Ken Wilber, John Verveake, or Daniel Gortz who have a solid Yellow understanding of these things. Are there people who, more than anything, really just need to get their shit together, and for whom Peterson's Rules for Life can serve as a 'Volumetric Shit Compressor'? Undoubtedly. But I'd also contend that there are other places you can get the information needed to start embodying self responsibility skills, without it being coupled to reactionary political baggage
  15. It just so happens that I'm in the middle of reading this very book, and I can't commend it enough for laying out the characteristics of fascism in thorough yet approachable way. I feel like I could hand this book to someone who hasn't spent a significant period of time studying sociology and have it be understood. Which is valuable precisely because in a place like America, a typical person has only a very surface level understanding of fascist ideology, often nothing more than a vague association with Nazi iconography they've seen in entertainment media. Which prevents them from being able to see examples of fascism in their own society.