Joe Rogan And Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins: Outgrowing God and Debunking Religion – The Joe Rogan Experience

Key Takeaways

  • People practice religion as a way to counter being a finite life form that’s aware of its own demise (practicing a particular religion allows people to formulate a sense of purpose and meaning)
    • “People find great comfort in these belief systems. I’ve often said it gives them a scaffolding for their structure of the world, their ethics, and their morals. They can use religion as some sort of mechanism to help them get by, something that they can climb on to ease the confusion of the unknown.”Joe Rogan
  • Much of what you believe has nothing to do with evidence, it’s more a function of whether or not your tribe believes the same thing
  • Everyone who practices a religion is an atheist (if you worship Allah, you’re an atheist to the Christian God)
  • In America (and around the world), the number of people who subscribe to a religion is dropping
  • Richard Dawkins is out to break the chain of children adopting the faith of their parents (he wants at least make them second guess doing so)

Books Mentioned

Intro

Why have there been so many religions throughout human history?

  • One thing that’s quite common: religious groups tend to “hate” the religion that’s closest to their own, rather than distant religions
  • “If you were studying human beings, if you were something completely alien to our culture, and you were looking at this strange tendency to believe in something there’s no proof of and devote a massive amount of energy to defending… if you look at all the different things people have done in so many different cultures in regards to religion, it almost seems like a natural aspect of being a human being.” – Joe Rogan
    • Richard agrees – “People put an enormous amount of energy, expense, and time into defending their religion”
  • Perhaps people are religious as a way to counter being a finite life form that’s aware of its own demise (as a way to formulate a sense of purpose and meaning)?
    • “I’m less understanding of people who make up stories to comfort themselves and other people. A made-up story shouldn’t be comforting.” – Richard Dawkins
    • Another point – Why would believing you’re going to stay in one place after death (Heaven) for TRILLIONS of years be comforting?
      • “How unbelievably boring that would be” – Richard Dawkins

Has Richard ever done any psychedelics?

  • Not yet
  • Why not? – Mainly out of fear of a bad trip, which he’s been told are absolutely awful

What does Richard think happens when you die? [Watch]

  • The lights simply go out, and that’s it
  • What about Joe?
    • “I don’t know. I’ve had some pretty profound psychedelic experiences that make me wonder what thoughts are, what consciousness is, and if there’s some way it transcends life.” – Joe Rogan
    • Richard adds – “It’s pretty clear consciousness has to do with brains, and brains decay, so I wouldn’t have much hope if I were you

Mormonism and Scientology [Watch]

  • These religions are of particular interest to Joe 
    • On Mormonism: “It’s so strange to me that it persists. The people who practice the religion are so nice. They’re some of the nicest cult members I’ve ever met.” – Joe Rogan
    • On Scientology: “The Scientology story, to me, is the most bizarre. If you wanted to have a crazy religion, it would be the most ridiculous religion for people to believe in.” – Joe Rogan
  • “Mormonism, I’m depressed how successful it is; Scientology as well.” – Richard Dawkins
    • “We know Joseph Smith [the founder of Mormonism] is a charlatan. Everything about him screams charlatan. Yet, plenty of respectable people, men in suits, appear to believe it.”
  • Related: check out Lawerence Wright’s book on Scientology – Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
  • Many successful actors practice Scientology as a form of tribalism/as a way to accelerate their career
    • (Scientologist directors support Scientologist actors, etc.)

Tribalism

  • “It’s very strange that we ‘re all attracted to being apart of a tribe, even if the belief system is ridiculous. If we’re in a group that subscribes to the belief system, it’s very attractive to people.” – Joe Rogan
  • Steven Pinker preaches: “So much of what we believe isn’t about evidence; it’s about whether or not your tribe believes it.”
    • “There’s a fierce tribalism going on, and it accounts for so much of what people believe, as opposed to looking at the evidence.” – Richard Dawkins

Religion as a Scaffolding

  • “People find great comfort in these belief systems. I’ve often said it gives them a scaffolding for their structure of the world, their ethics, and their morals. They can use religion as some sort of mechanism to help them get by, something that they can climb on to ease the confusion of the unknown.” – Joe Rogan
  • Richard brings up a great point: Why do people think that these religions, just because they provide this scaffolding, are true?

Placebos

  • “I think the main reason why so many people believe in homeopathy, which not only doesn’t work but cannot work, is the placebo effect” – Richard Dawkins
  • “I have a similar thought about chiropractic work. Chiropractors do relieve pain for some people, but there’s no reason why it works.” – Joe Rogan
    • For background, chiropractic medicine was created by a guy who was a “magnetic healer” who was murdered by his son 
      • The son took over the business, proclaiming everything from leukemia to heart disease could be healed by manipulating the spine
    • “There’s no science behind it at all” 

Everyone Who Practices a Religion is an Atheist

  • Richard talks about this in his new book – Outgrowing God
    • If you worship Allah, you’re an atheist to the Christian God (and 999 other gods)
    • There are hundreds of different religions – Hindus believe in hundreds of gods, Muslims believe in one God, Jews believe in one God, etc.

Will humanity ever be free of irrational belief systems?

  • “I’m not sure it will come soon. I look forward to that time. I think we’re moving in the right direction, and the figures bear that out, even in America.” – Richard Dawkins
    • In America, the number of people who subscribe to a religion is dropping – ~25% of people now identify as non-religious 
  • People are willing to vote for a gay candidate for president, a black candidate for president, etc., but only ~40% of people are willing to vote for a presidential candidate who identifies as non-religious
    • “They think you have to have a belief in a higher power to be moral. But the weird thing is, it doesn’t have to be the same higher power as the one you believe in; any one will do… There are still some people in this country who think you can’t be moral unless you believe in a higher power.” – Richard Dawkins
  • Until recently, in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, the idea of being an atheist was inconceivable
    • This is changing with the internet
      • “I have great hope that the internet will mark a turning point” – Richard Dawkins
    • The Arabic version of Richard’s book, The God Delusion, has been downloaded 13 million times to date
  • “In places like Holland and Scandinavia, hardly anyone is religious” – Richard Dawkins

Was Jesus a real person? [Watch]

  • “Most of the scholars I’ve talked to say he probably was. The evidence isn’t great… It wouldn’t be surprising.” – Richard Dawkins 
    • “What would be very surprising is if he raised people from the dead, walked on water, and turned water into wine. That, of course, didn’t happen.”

Outgrowing God

  • This latest work from Richard is aimed towards the younger crowd, particularly young teens
  • The book:
    • Aims to debunk the sheer number of different gods
    • Discusses the Bible and how unreliable a source of information it is
    • Examines morality and why you don’t need religion to be moral
    • Discusses science and how it explains everything about the world around us
      • “Part of the reason people cling to religion is because of a belief that the world is so complicated that it cannot possibly be explained by purely scientific means” – Richard Dawkins
  • One of the biggest reasons Richard had for writing the book:
    • “I’m worried about childhood indoctrination, the fact that people who are religious almost certainly adopt the religion of their parents and great-grandparents. We have a pseudo-genetic inheritance going on. I really hate that. That’s wicked… I’ve always wanted to break that chain going down the generations.” – Richard Dawkins

Additional Notes

Joe Rogan Experience : , , , , ,
Notes By MMiller

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