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Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”

July 22, 2018

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 17.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Thirteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2018

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,455

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Rick Rosner and I conduct a conversational series entitled Ask A Genius on a variety of subjects through In-Sight Publishing on the personal and professional website for Rick. Rick exists on the World Genius Directory listing as the world’s second highest IQ at 192 based on several ultra-high IQ tests scores developed by independent psychometricians. Ivan Ivec, earned a score at 174, on Algebrica by Mislav Predavec. Both scores on a standard deviation of 15. A sigma of ~6.13 for Rick – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 2,314,980,850 – and 4.80 for Ivan – a general intelligence rarity of 1 in 2,470,424. Of course, if a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population. This amounts to a joint interview or conversation with Ivan Ivec, Rick Rosner, and myself on the “The Spiritual Life.”

Keywords: intelligence, Ivan Ivec, life, Rick Rosner, spiritual, World Genius Directory.

Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”[1],[2]

*Interview conducted via email. Please see biographies in footnote [1].*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Ivan meet Rick. Rick meet Ivan. The topic is ‘The Spiritual Life’ for this discussion. Ivan, you are Christian. Rick, you follow Reformed Judaism. Each have respective life philosophies and practices. It seems most appropriate to have the groundwork of the life philosophies and practices provided by both of you. 

We can find textbook definitions. However, the nuances come from individual lives. To begin, what are its components and relationships – entities, ethical precepts, ideas, and practices? For Ivan, the context is Christianity. For Rick, the context is Reformed Judaism. 

Ivan Ivec: Christianity is very simple religion and pretty hard. All persons ready to follow good even when this is hard can be considered Christians, because this is the base of Christianity, and not some profound knowledge.

The main entity is of course Jesus Christ. We believe that he makes all this possible, because humans are too weak to follow this idea, no matter how simple and logical it seems sometimes.

Because of its simplicity, textbook definitions are pretty important in Christianity, but of course they should come together with experience.

Rick Rosner: I do have spiritual beliefs, but most of my hopeful beliefs of a religious type are founded on faith in future technology. I’m a science person. I haven’t been convinced by organized religions, or by most aspects of organized religion. So I would like to believe in resurrection, but there’s not enough evidence for resurrection through religion for me to believe in resurrection – except in only the tiniest, tiniest way.

So I put my hope in technology’s ability to extend our lives significantly in the near future, and in the near- to medium-future science and technology’s ability to come up with ways to replicate and extend the contents of our brains. Our thoughts and memories. Thus, we have a type of technical resurrection. I tend not to believe that there is some kind of supreme being who dispenses justice.

Though I don’t have that belief that goes with the science of the 20th century, which is a cold random universe in which nothing really matters because everything is the result of happenstance events according to the laws of physics – the universe unfolds according to the rules of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, with nobody and nothing in charge. Whatever happens doesn’t really matter because there’s no one judging.

Instead, I tend to think that rather than randomness being in charge that information is in charge, and that the universe, at least as we experience it, is a place of increasing order, and that that can be seen as providing some structures and some values. To have order, you need protection from disorder.

2. Jacobsen: Ivan, I feel drawn to the opening sentence: “Christianity is very simple religion and pretty hard.” Does this mean the foundation of Christianity is simple and its practice is difficult? For example, as you know, we find the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12 for a summarization of one core ethical precept within Christianity. It is simple and applicable as a general moral principle, but it is difficult to practice in every context.

As well, you mentioned the main entity, Jesus Christ. With the main entity as Jesus Christ, other entities tend to be part of the theological discourse. For example, the beings of spirit such as angels and the Devil. Do these other entities—angels and the Devil—fit within your view of Christianity as well? If so, what role do entities such as angels and the Devil play in the world today, especially in people’s spiritual lives?

Rick, in your response, I note the equivalency of “spiritual beliefs” and “hopeful beliefs of a religious type,” which makes spiritual beliefs a subset of hopeful beliefs to you. Those of a “religious type.” To clarify, was this intentional? As well, you have a faith, in future technology tied to science because you are a “science person,” which remains disconnected from “most aspects of organized religion.” You deny the resurrection, except connected to future technology through science.

Furthermore, you disbelieve in a “supreme being who dispenses justice.” Your source of justice comes from the Golden Rule, and associated principles and values, derived from information-based principles connected to increasing order. Without an ultimate authority for right and wrong, for objective (not universal) moral values and judgments, does this make ultimate ethical evaluations dependent on conscious beings? If so, what does this mean for the spiritual life?

Ivec: Christianity talks about things which cannot be understood without God’s mercy. It talks about truth (indeed simple truth), but which is beyond our current ability to understand.

That’s why many people do not have faith, and that’s way I say that Christianity is difficult. Angels, the Devil, humans – all are spiritual beings and fit in Christianity. However, Jesus Christ was talking about things mentioned above, which are beyond our understanding, but this is so because he wants to heal our understanding progressively.

Two big weapons of the Devil:

1) he tries to convince people that he does not exist;

2) if he fails in step 1), he tries to convince people that he is dangerous.

One big weakness of the Devil:

1) All his attempts are misery in comparison with God’s plans.

Rosner: Under all forms of Christianity, God is the Creator. God is the source of everything good. Under most forms of Christianity, though I don’t know how it works in full, the Devil is a very bad guy with unsurpassed power, except for the power of God. Again, I do not know that much about Christianity. Under my point of view, God and the Devil are personifications of the ways to divide the world into good and bad. In other words, God is a metaphor for order and for increasing order, for information, for safety, for persistence, for positive ethical standards, for finding the strength within yourself and within your community to make the right ethical choices. 

There is the one set of footprints on the beach because Jesus was carrying you. God is representative of what is good and right. God is representative of the strength you can find to do what is good while the Devil is pretty much the opposite. A force for bad decisions, wanton destruction, chaos and increasing chaos, danger, and death. It is a helpful way to divide the world, to group the things in the world into good and bad, which people have been trying to do for thousands of years. 

The Devil is an interesting model. In that, God is like Superman. Superman is straightforward. He pretty much always does good. There is nothing paradoxical about Superman. In TV terms, God is the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, where everything pulls in the same direction.  You’re cheering for the person to win as opposed to reality shows or the game show The Weakest Link, where generally on the show The Weakest Link the biggest dicks, the biggest jerks, win because they gang up on the best players and knock them out, leaving only the biggest jerks. I don’t think it’s on anymore anywhere. It’s hard to watch because it pulls in opposite directions. 

You’re pulling for the good people, but the jerks prevail. However, God is straightforward and entirely good, even if we don’t understand God’s decisions with what he does about the world. The Devil is less straightforward, is more complicated. He’s closer to Batman. Where Batman has darkness within and is more complicated, and I’m not saying Batman is the Devil, I’m saying he’s more complicated because he’s tormented. The Devil is more complicated because he can take more forms, even the apparently good, to do bad. The Devil wants everyone to fail, to embrace evil and to fail, but he has a trickier utility belt to accomplish that. 

He can take all sorts of forms including forms that look good and can trick people into doing what is ultimately bad. We see that in some of the current political debates in America. On the liberal side, liberals like to give people safety nets, which seems like doing good. It is charitable. It is helping your fellow humans. The new conservative person, not super-new but the conservatives who have been active for the past 30 years, say that there is the Devil in those welfare-type, entitlement-type, safety nets. That by attempting to do good, you are really doing bad. That you are making people soft. That you are making people unable to fend for themselves. 

That maybe you need to deny the Devil of Liberalism and safety nets and embrace the toughness of the not helpful and make people get out there and work for themselves, which is, as I see it, mostly a garbage argument for F-ing over other people. That is what today’s Republican Party tends to try to do. Regardless of how they feel in their hearts, the result of Republican policies is rich people getting richer and everyone else staying the same or falling back.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1Ivan Ivec (From two webpage links here and here: “My name is Ivan Ivec and I come from Croatia. I’m a teacher of mathematics with a Ph.D. degree in mathematics. I’ll present here my IQ tests and other activities.”

“However, I’m not interested only in IQ tests and mathematics, which is my profession. I believe in God and try to live my faith. As I’m pretty bad theologician, under Religion link I’ll only try to help people in need. I pray God to give me enough humbleness to maintain this site in the productive way. Finally, under Steven Fell’s Art link I’ll promote one American artist, who did my portrait for this website.”

Rick G. Rosner: “According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writer’s Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.

He has written for Remote Control, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He has also worked as a stripper, a bouncer, a roller-skating waiter, and a nude model. In a TV commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the World’s Smartest Man. He was also named Best Bouncer in the Denver Area by Westwood Magazine.

He spent the disco era as an undercover high school student. 25 years as a bar bouncer, American fake ID-catcher, 25+ years as a stripper, and nude art model, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television.

He lost on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over a bad question, and lost the lawsuit. He spent 35+ years on a modified version of Big Bang Theory. Now, he mostly sits around tweeting in a towel. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and daughter.

You can send an email or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.”

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2018 at http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2018 at https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life” [Online].July 2018; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2018, July 22). Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A, July. 2018. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 17.A (July 2018). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2018, ‘Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 17.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life”.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 17.A (2018):July. 2018. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-ivec>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Ask A Genius (or Two): Conversation with Ivan Ivec and Rick Rosner on “The Spiritual Life” [Internet]. (2018, June; 17(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/rosner-volko-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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