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Our Intellectuals Aren’t Ready For Jordan Peterson

New ideas turn a society around, and that is what Dr. Peterson brings to the table.

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By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote For Chaos, clinical psychologist, and king of archetypes has been across the internet and back again. Doctor Peterson seems to be on a new podcast, interview show, or news station every single week, if not every day. The man is reportedly very busy, which is expected as you become the rock star of modern academia.

The Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto was the most recent organization to host such an event. They allowed Jordan Peterson, atheist philosopher Rebecca Goldstein, and Christian philosopher William Lane Craig, to all sit-down and have a discussion on the existence of meaning, God, and the like of abstract concepts that pertain to the actions of everyone looking for truth. The but that pertains most to me is the one that follows:

Starting off, Craig discusses Peterson’s view about objective morality. This stems from the Piagetian ideas of moral development and an equilibrated state of cooperation. Craig urges Peterson to accept that there is inherently a transcendent being behind this and then repeats it a couple of more times. His argument does not have a warrant, but Dr. Peterson responds anyway.

He explains that yes, we discover morality and that it is very possible that the moral truth we discover through action has transcendent properties.

Goldstein then chimes in, explaining why she rejects Craig’s argument and posing various religious questions on him. In response to Peterson, she heavily implies that he should not bring it up, and that is the extent of her “argument” against Jordan. The viewer is now forced to sit through an atheist and a Christian rehash the exact same talking points of religious debate we have all heard time and time again. The strange new psychological view of Peterson is not much taken into account.

The moderator then decides to intrude, and thank goodness. She asks why we “struggle with the meaning of life?”

Dr. Peterson explains the same thing he is so listened-to for. We live a finite existence, and it is pretty hard. Bad things can happen to us and we are capable of doing some pretty bad things, so the option we have is to aim for a nobility.

After explaining, the Jungian moves on to respond to one of Goldstein’s comments, and with a dream. Within his dream, kings of the past fight one another, yet all end up bowing to the figure of Christ. Many times throughout the Bible Christ is referred to as “The King of Kings,” and Dr. Peterson explains what this actually means. If we took the best qualities of each of the kings and put them in one, we have Christ. Whether or not Christ is a real historical figure within the situation matters not, because this is what is above the rulers of the earth. Christ provides an ideal for them to strive to get close to and remain humble in comparison.

When tyrannical kings rule the earth, who will rule the kings?

Peterson explains that “you inevitably do [have to speak of such things at a religious level].” There is no other way for our minds to make sense of anything like this.

“It’s a psychological necessity. It’s a sociological necessity.”

Goldstein seems to realize that the atheist position will be lagging behind when it comes to this psychological argument, so she goes off for a little bit, showing her body of barely related knowledge. She makes sure to tell everyone that “as a woman, as a Jew,” she has reaped benefits from the enlightenment. After a bit of a rabbit hole, she finally comes back around to the argument and compares the idea that kings should have an ideal that keeps them in check to the Nazis wanting to genocide those who are not “perfect” in their eyes.

She thinks that just because Peterson’s idea of a Christ supersedes the individual, it will allow for another Holocaust. We should try to transcend to art in her eyes, and not get caught up in larger symbolism and going past mere humanity.

These modern intellectuals represent roughly the two most prominent views in western society: religion and no religion. We all fell into this sort of dichotomy, even if there is some grey area in the middle. A modern intellectual espousing Jungian psychology, Biblical archetypes, and its connection to cleaning your room is very far from this base societal view. The two in discussion within this video do not know how to react to Peterson’s view, which is clear because of their poor responses (or no responses, in the case of Craig who seems somewhat satisfied), and because of their focus on one another.

The Austrian economic Ludwig von Mises discussed the role of ideas in society and history. If we want to see change, we need idea creators. Something new, refreshing, and out of place, that will be so disruptive the present intellectual arena will burn to the ground. This, in Mises’ view, is what brings about revolutionary progress.

From these ashes, we may build from the ground up. It allows us to embody the Phoenix archetype, and that of dying and being born again, better and new. Modern intellectuals are not ready for Peterson’s broad worldview. In the left media Op-Eds, it is always a bad strawman. Face-to-face, the opposition will always beat around the bush. People are incapable of telling Doctor Jordan Peterson why he is wrong. That is why I believe Peterson’s views will cause a large shift in the way our society is organized. They already are.


Featured image source.

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  1. I love Jordan Peterson – he has done much in casting a lot of light on truths of life (e.g. depravity of man, need to balance responsibility with rights, etc.). However, unlike most of his other debates, in this one, he’s uncomfortably “near-Christian” while William Lane Craig is comfortably Christian.

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  2. Excellent article. Yes, I could not agree more. Peterson has put fresh air into a very stuffy room full of old ideas… I adore his style and his dreams and visions. What a man he is!! I call him my child of God, though he is by no means a child in any sense of the word, except he can be playful and that is a good thing also and is childlike at times.

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  3. Anyone interested in listening to Jordan Peterson debate a real militant atheist, please listen to two podcasts when he debates Sam Harris. The first podcast is a bit of a disaster where they get into a long torturous but nevertheless very interesting argument about truth and the nature of truth. The second one is better with Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson finding some points of agreement and consensus thought they continue to disagree on some points.

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  4. I’ve been casually observing Dr. Peterson from a distance. I kind of view him the way I view Socialism. I don’t particularly mind Socialism, and there are things about it I find appealing. What I cannot stand, though, are Socialists.

    I would say the same of Dr. Peterson. I like a lot of what he says, but I cannot abide his (younger) followers. How did so many people become such lost sheep?

    When I was 19 (in 1971) I was in a really bad downward spiral. To give you an idea, pretty much everyone I knew from that era either died of an overdoes, hepatitis C, or in a violent drug deal gone bad.

    I joined the military and spent three years as an Army paratrooper. There was not anyone with a Ph.D. in the barracks explaining the psychological and philosophical benefits that came from making our beds and cleaning our “rooms.” We just did it. The same way we just jumped out of airplanes into the black night sky, marched for miles with full rucksacks upon landing, ate the most tasteless and boring rations for days on end, and froze our asses off trying to sleep in the ground wrapped in ponchos.

    This is the archetype young people — young men, especially — need to embrace: The Warrior. And embrace it by joining the military and doing something risky and manly and challenging.

    Don’t post a photo on Reddit showing you bought Dr. Peterson’s latest book; post a picture on Reddit showing you grinning through the dirt and mud on your face after you’ve spent a week or so in the field with your band of warrior brothers.

    Reply

    1. Mr. Jones, that is precisely the advice that Mr. Peterson gives to parents generally and to these young men specifically: be a monster but learn to use your power responsibly and for parents not to stop their children from skateboarding (i.e., don’t be a helicopter parent).

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  5. Craig, the “psychologist”……..hahaha, nice. Try “philosopher”……just a bit different.

    And to a different matter, I’ve enjoyed watching Craig from time to time choose not to add anything additional to his stated argument. I’m impressed by (what I take to be) the discipline required to choose not to speak more, but rather to rest on what you’ve already put forward.

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  6. Jordan Peterson, the stupid person’s favorite pseudo-atheist intellectual. Couldn’t you get a real atheist?

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    1. How many of those atheist “thinkers” that you admire hate and ridicule those of faith only to themselves believe in fairytales of an ideological bent, eg egalitarianism, to which there is no objective truth either? Sheep are sheep. Being convinced of the infallibility of your own dogma, whether it be one of religion or politics, is to think like a Dark Ages twit.

      Reply

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