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Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1)

May 22, 2021

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 27.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (22)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

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

Individual Publication Date: May 22, 2021

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,836

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Christopher Angus is a Member of the ISI-Society. He discusses: growing up; extended self; family background; youth with friends; education; purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; extreme reactions to geniuses; greatest geniuses; genius and a profoundly gifted person; necessities for genius or the definition of genius; work experiences and jobs held; job path; myths of the gifted; God; science; tests taken and scores earned; range of the scores; ethical philosophy; political philosophy; metaphysics; worldview; meaning in life; source of meaning; afterlife; life; and love.

Keywords: Christian, Christopher Angus, family, ISI-Society, metaphysics, philosophy, politics.

Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Christopher Angus[1],[2]*: Any such stories mainly revolved around being farmers living in a rural community within the larger context of Canada’s stories and Canada’s relationship with the rest of the world.

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Angus: I’m no longer involved with farming, but yes they have. My roots are still there, and after having lived in a fairly large city for a while, I am now back in a rural area of our province.

Jacobsen: What was the family background, e.g., geography, culture, language, and religion or lack thereof?

Angus: My family came from western Canada (western Manitoba to be more exact), with a typical prairie culture and the English language. They were Protestant (United Church of Canada). It was a culture steeped in rural activities such as hockey, camping, hunting, sports, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and the like.

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Angus: It was fairly good, so far as these sorts of things go. I’ve heard horror stories from others that I did not experience. However, I was suffering from insomnia and hypoglycemia for most of my life, so I wasn’t always functioning at full IQ potential. The hypoglycemia is under control, but the insomnia still afflicts me.

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you?

Angus: I have a certificate in graphic arts, as well as some other smaller things. I’m mostly self-taught in film, more specifically animated film.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Angus: It was mostly curiosity. I knew that I was above average, but I didn’t have any idea that I would score as high as I did.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Angus: Officially, around 6 years ago.

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy — many, not all.

Angus: People are uncomfortable with, or scared of, that which they can’t understand. The typical person cannot understand many of whom are classified as “geniuses.”

Jacobsen: Who seem like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Angus: I think there were interesting people in the late 1900s who became somewhat lost over time in our current cultures. Their ideas and inventions have been overlooked and even replaced by that which has set us back. Edison is an example. Also, I believe William James has some brilliant insights into psychology, the mind/body question, consciousness, etc, which were later largely lost. I think he’s going to be noticed again.

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Angus: The typical response is that genius is what happens when the profoundly intelligent person does something with their intelligence, acts upon it, as it were. But I think it may be more complicated than that. For instance, people can have brilliant flashes of insight and not do anything with them, or have the resources, time, or freedom, to fully pursue them.

So, I’d think genius is when intelligence works with known information in a way that brings about something brilliant and does something fresh with that information, whether it works its way out in science, the arts, philosophy, or whatever. But I would think there needs to be the necessity of it being at least on the pathway to what is true and real, not something that a person just dreamt up that is actually utterly untenable – I’ve seen that in the high IQ “world”.

There are surely plenty of examples of genius that we will never know about, and there’s plenty that we have accepted as genius which likely is not.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Angus: How do we define genius? Some would say that Michael Jackson was a genius musician and performer, but so far as I know he wasn’t of profound intelligence.

I would define genius as the ability to take known information and synthesize it into something new and fresh that others haven’t seen or considered before. I’d say that profound intelligence would be needed for that. Michael Jackson didn’t do that as far as I can see. He had an immense talent on display, but it wasn’t outside of the previous box to the extent of being genius, in my opinion.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Angus: I’ve mostly worked within the artist/animation field and am working on my own films.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Angus: It’s where my passion lies, what I’m best suited towards doing. Also, I believe it can be my voice in the world, and I believe that the arts and story can have an immense impact.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Angus: I think the most important aspect of the notion of “gifted” is to realize that such people have some different needs, peer issues, and some different ways of interacting with the world, all while often still wanting to maintain some sort of sense of normalcy and safety in society. These needs are real and shouldn’t be marginalized.

The myths are that people with high IQ are automatically “geniuses” who have minds that can figure many things out without error. The truths that dispel them are the fact that so many high IQ people have differing views. They can’t all be right. High IQ can help a person along in many ways, but it can also lead them down a path of getting more stuck.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Angus: There are a lot of philosophical arguments for God being debated right now, arguments such as the Kalam argument (an updated argument of the uncaused cause), the question of absolute morality, various spiritual experiences, fine tuning in the universe, etc. I actually don’t believe that any of these arguments concretely prove God’s existence even if some of them have more weight than others do, although the question of where the information needed to create consciousness is quite interesting — in order to create consciousness, it surely would have had some sort of comprehension of consciousness and thus either be a higher consciousness or have come from it.

But here’s the thing: although these arguments might not give solid weight on their own, none of them exist in a vacuum. They are all part of a whole. So if we look at these various arguments — and life in general — in a holistic manner, then theism becomes the most tenable (for some the only tenable) foundation by which to view the world.

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Angus: I respect science and generally understand the scientific method, but it isn’t my primary inclination. I am much more interested in philosophy, theology, and of course the arts. So, I see science’s value, but Scientism is far from being a trap for me.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Angus: Recently:

GIFT High Range IQ Test – 158 SD15

Verbatim – 156 SD15

FIQURE – 155 SD15

Jacobsen: What is the range of the scores for you? The scores earned on alternative intelligence tests tend to produce a wide smattering of data points rather than clusters, typically.

Angus: Mid to late 150s SD15.

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Angus: I’m not sure if I accept any of the more “official” views on this subject. I’ll suggest that a healed and healthy human psyche also has a strong and healthy light of a conscience that we should live according to. Of course some have scathed over consciences (or scathed over in certain areas) and it is for those with right conscience to influence society in different ways in response to societal concerns. I think the light of conscience is a divine light attuned to a higher law (does conscience have any validity if there isn’t a higher good and thus plumb line for morality?).

Then there’s the question of who has the healthy psyche and is most attuned to their conscience, but often as things unfold, this can become more apparent as society considers people’s motivations. Thus, this would also leave room for some sort of reasoning as people debate the best response according to conscientious interaction with the information around them.

So, perhaps something like Divine Command Theory. Maybe a soft form of Divine Command Theory with an understanding that there is a divine light of conscience in humanity attuned to a higher goodness, and thus, moral law.

In regards to Divine Command Theory, people could argue that morality should be based on certain religious texts, but of course not everyone believes in these texts (or at least certain ones), and besides, how people interpret them is largely based on their conscience (or scathed over conscience). Added to this free societies consider religious freedoms to pursue or reject certain religious texts or views of value.

So where does that leave us? Perhaps, pursue healing and let the light in our conscience shine bright.

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Angus: I would say that I lean towards Classical Liberalism. I reject Libertarianism because, although I believe humanity has free will in that we are not bound to a chain of cause and effect but can actually make true choices (our own causes with their own effects — which is another discussion), I do not believe that our will is separate from some mighty strong influences on it. Therefore, although we are free as individuals to some extent, we are also deeply influenced by our environments. But this shouldn’t lead to a social stance which takes away from the individual freedoms that we are capable of attaining. Therefore, I support individual property rights, unencumbered business, and the like.

Related to this, I believe in a rule of law and penitentiary system that is merciful to the human condition when appropriate, but also that treats all citizens equally, and that, when appropriate, can also come down hard on certain horrific criminal behaviour.

So, I think we should consider how strongly we are influenced and respond accordingly, but we should also consider that we do have choices to make with certain moral obligations and a conscience to help guide us and also act respond accordingly to those concerns. Of course, this doesn’t lead to easy black and white answers on some issues. But a person’s psyche within their community, isn’t black and white. This, however, isn’t to take away from the necessity of the above mentioned rule of law.

This answer dovetails a bit with my previous comment about ethical philosophy, so it might be pertinent to add that I see great value in a society or culture having an emphasis on inner healing. This would help with a lot of other issues.

Jacobsen: What economic philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Angus: Capitalism and a free market makes the most sense to me. This along with a slight amount of socialism in relation to roads, law enforcement, park systems, some support of the arts, and the like. There can be a stability with some socialism, but it also doesn’t take much for it to get bogged down, and a free market is more easily corrected by the people who retain more control. Some have never lived with their freedoms having been lost and do not understand the importance of freedom. Others are currently realizing its value and how tenuous it actually is. A free market society is the best economic system to protect freedoms while it can also allow for care for the downtrodden via charities, business endeavors, etc, which work towards that end.

So I see freedom as something which should also be considered in regards to economic systems. Some societies or groups within societies put less emphasis on it than others, which is understandable as each society or sub group can have its own “personality” with different views on how much freedom is pertinent, but we should all agree to never allow it to be lost, and actively protect it.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Angus: I believe that the US constitution with its emphasis of putting power in the hands of “We The People” and its attempt to protect this sentiment doesn’t just make the most workable sense, it may serve to help to protect freedom not only in the US, but also abroad. If the US loses its freedoms, then it won’t bode well for rest of us.

Jacobsen: What metaphysics makes some sense to you, even the most workable sense to you?

Angus: I would sit somewhere between idealism (the notion that all comes out of consciousness and consciousness permeates the universe), and dualism.

I believe that there is a profound conscious aspect to the universe with consciousness being key. But I also believe that the natural world is a very real and not a mere illusion created by consciousness, as can be found in Idealism.

To put it another way. I’d align somewhat with panentheism, if one considers it to mean that higher consciousness is in and throughout a very real natural world with its own truly independent conscious creatures, but also above that natural world in a way whereby the notion is very clearly delineated from pantheism.

I’m also not sure if this would lead to animism as I don’t know if all “consciousness” is necessarily the same as found in humanity, or even other creatures. For instance, a rock might have some sort of “life,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can interact.

Jacobsen: What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Angus: Would populism count as a philosophical system? It’s of course far from my only belief, but I believe it is currently notable as I think that the rise of populism is quite pertinent to the season that we are in — considering what is being exposed — and that this movement has just begun.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Angus: My faith. Any other aspect to my life has no value unless it is hinged to this in some way. Without that connection, it is ultimately empty.

Jacobsen: Is meaning externally derived, internally generated, both, or something else?

Angus: It’s both, and something else. We often create meaning based on our interaction with external truths, but they are true. The human ability to do so is also an externally true element of existence. So, our creation of meaning is an attempt to grasp what is true and meaningful beyond us.

Jacobsen: Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, why, and what form? If not, why not?

Angus: Yes. As a Christian I believe in a state of conscious awareness and interaction, in a loving existence with Christ when people accept it. I’ve heard and read a variety of interpretations of this afterlife, and while some things said may have validity, I’m just not in the position to fully accept these views. I just don’t know.

Jacobsen: What do you make of the mystery and transience of life?

Angus: Mystery leads to wonder, and part of the human endeavor is to probe into the mystery in some shape or form, but of course it always goes deeper — everything ends in mystery of some sort. We’ve answered some of the hows, but there’s always a deeper why to these things. Why does beauty exist? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why does love exist in the universe? Those are profound questions not enough people are asking these days, and ultimately I would say that those speak into the transience of life.

Jacobsen: What is love to you? 

Angus: Different personalities receive and give love in different ways, and it’s good to understand this when interacting with different people. Yet in these differing ways it isn’t true love unless there is an element of self-sacrifice.

True love, like true beauty, is far beyond the superficial. Which brings an interesting question — to what extent is love related to suffering and beauty?

I mean, can one attain to a comprehension of beauty with any depth, if they have never loved and suffered?

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, ISI-Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: May 22, 2021: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. 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.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1) [Online]. May 2021; 27(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2021, May 22). Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 27.A, May. 2021. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2021. Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 27.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 27.A (May 2021). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 27.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2021, ‘Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 27.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 27.A (2021): May. 2021. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Christopher Angus on Family, Background, Life, Philosophy, Being Christian, and Love: Member, ISI-Society (1) [Internet]. (2021, May 27(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/angus-1.

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