Jordan Peterson

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  • Danielle
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    Jordan Peterson has emerged as a popular and controversial figure. He's popular because he resonates with people who a) prefer right-leaning [especially cultural] values; and b) hold moderate to right-leaning values, while appreciating or at least tolerating thoughtful discourse that does not shy away from "anti-PC" rhetoric in search of truth and societal righteousness.

    Jordan Peterson is thusly very useful in 2018. He is able to both rationalize and more importantly articulate the values and perspective that compel people to shy away from the direction the left is going; to maintain a firm moderate stance - or on the other side - maybe even support Donald Trump. Indeed Jordan Peterson is perhaps the one thing Donald Trump fans and some Democrats still have in common. He is valued by people from different ideological camps. Peterson is praised by moderate Dems, conservatives, and especially libertarian minded folk. Moreover, he is touted by both atheists and religious (mostly Christian) folk alike as being a representative of some of their most deeply held values. That wide-range of appeal is both fascinating and incredibly rare in this day and age. 

    This of course begs the question: what makes Jordan Peterson different? For starters, he is the antithesis of identity politics, which is more obviously becoming an ever growing crutch of the left. Just last week Joe Biden launched an LGBTQ family acceptance campaign called "As You Are." While of course the values espoused in that campaign have merit (tolerance and acceptance), people can't help but notice the increased Democratic reliance on playing to people's identities, as many are speculating this campaign was indicative of Biden's interest in another political run. Many within its own party have accused establishment Democrats of a desperate devotion to identity causes, rather than focus on and provide smart, reliable and useful solutions to the problems and issues concerning most Americans today.

    Another cornerstone of Peterson's appeal is his commitment to a rational, not emotionally driven conversation. This quells the reliance on hate spewing: it deters name-calling and appeals to emotion in lieu of a thoughtful exchange of ideas. Despite us sometimes falling victim to these anti-intellectual and potentially hateful exchanges (or maybe I'm just speaking for myself here...), I think most people do not want to rely so heavily on such tribalism. I think most people, deep down - at least I hope - would prefer to be thoughtful instead of ignorant. Jordan Peterson compels people to be thoughtful. 

    To be truly openminded, one has to let their ego subside entirely. When so much of your values rely on a reference to identity, it can be hard to let that go. Therefore many intellectually minded people on the left fall victim to the emotional appeal of progressive rhetoric. However, unwavering tolerance; irrationality in the name of morality; or a moral/cultural decline in society ought to be examined with legitimacy, even if they do fall under the "politically incorrect" category. Politically correct causes cannot be the justification for accepting any idea touted by people in society. That's where Jordan Peterson comes in. And that's what makes him both so beloved by many, and feared/loathed by just as many. He completely delegitimizes any argument that stems from one's personal struggles... regardless of how truthful or valid they may be. Instead he demands some other metric in support of one's cause. 

    So here are my thoughts: We know Jordan Peterson is committed to rejecting identity politics, and we should understand why this makes perfect sense. In many cases the left wing of the ideological spectrum has completely gone off the rails - insofar as aggressively and unjustifiably promoting censorship among other infractions, all in the name of political correctness or "tolerance," progression, etc. Not only has this had some counterproductive effects in some cases, but it can and has stifled some discourse entirely. There are still some of us in society who value a productive conversation. We understand there is more than one side to the story; more than one perspective to keep in mind when promoting values or policy decisions. As such, we gravitate toward Peterson's approach to reason.

    And yet, Jordan Peterson fans must be careful to not automatically value everything he says, just because we very much appreciate the way he evaluates and presents his argument. We have to maintain rationality and virtue above our allegiance to his rhetoric. In reality, one's personal struggles are absolutely variables to consider when looking at a cultural (moral or political) problem. Sometimes Peterson and his supporters too aggressively deny that fact, or are too busy fighting/defending themselves to consider this important factor in the debate.

    Jordan Peterson does not have all the answers. He is not always right. He often presumes or speaks on things without full grasp of the subject, and sometimes gets hypocritical. But so what? None of us have all the answers; none of us are always right. We all presume, assume, confuse or misrepresent at different times. We can all be convicted of hypocritical or conflicting values. The important thing is that we we do our best to understand and to explain to and from one another, and that we keep trying to search for truth, justice and meaning in this ever-changing and infinitely complex world. I think overall, Jordan Peterson presents a net positive insofar as promoting these things, at least at face value. It's up to us to carry out these ideals, and collectively rise above Peterson's personal wrongs to find righteousness.

    What do you think? Are you a fan of Jordan Peterson? Why or why not? Post your most loved/hated Jordan Peterson quips here.


  • Buddamoose
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    "Mr. Peterson, what do you have to say about the Neo-Nazi's that are often present at your events?"

    "Nazi's? I dont like them" 

    🔥👏🔥

  • Buddamoose
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    There are other videos around the web of this very same conference where he talks about the "miracle" of modern humanity. As an orator he is on point 👌👌

  • Earth
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    He's a pretty cool dude.
  • Smithereens
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    Often he speaks outside his field of expertise and deserves a lot of criticism for it. I think his existence stirs up a lot of valuable debate which I thank him for, but I don't like his extraordinary simplistic views of history and how society functions. Even a cursory glance at society will tell you that our history and social structures are profoundly complex and there's no way you're going to be able to claim that A is the sole cause of B and there's an easy fix for it.
  • Smithereens
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    --> @Danielle
    also you're not as far left as I thought you were. What's your political alignment?
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Smithereens
    Every time ive heard him speak outside his field of expertise he has let it be known. 

    Honestly though, you are appealing to nuance. Sometimes, shockingly enough, things are simple, have you ever considered that? That maybe, just maybe, you are seeking minutae that isn't necessary? 
  • Danielle
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    --> @Smithereens
    I completely agree with your assessment of Peterson (sucks that this site doesn't have the quote/reply feature yet). You can't reduce human complexity to lobsters. You just can't.

    I'm also surprised that you thought I was a leftist lol. Most people think I'm more right-leaning than I am. I guess I'm somewhere in between! I used to be so libertarian that I was practically anarcho-capitalist, but I'm pretty moderate now. I would say I socially lean left and economically lean right. However I don't go so far left as to embrace identity politics as much as your modern day liberal.



  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Danielle
    My lord, his comparison in lobsters was to establish that hormonal rewards for progress in a heirarchy was not original to people. It is something that was existent before the hominid species was even existent. 

    I'll say the same thing i just said. You are appealing to nuance as a knee jerk reaction because you go, "comparing humans to lobsters?! Thats absurd!"

    Is it really absurd? Are humans independent of nature? Or are we a product of it? 
  • Buddamoose
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    This isnt an easy subject to even approach because even I, as a human, want to hold myself, my consciousness, as independent of nature, and not a product of it 🤔. 
  • Buddamoose
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    But is it? Is that even possible? Even if you hold a "soul" is from God, those same religious teachings illustrate that man is not seperate from nature(gods creations) we are a part of that 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    >Simplistic views of history
    >Jordan Peterson

    Oh I'm sorry, "history is nothing but patriarchal white male oppression" isnt simplistic? 🤔

  • Buddamoose
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    Spicy take you have Smithers, that pointing out that human history cannot just be reduced to white male patriarchal oppression is a simplistic view 🤔

  • Buddamoose
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    Gotta wonder, who is being the simplistic one here? 🤔
  • Smithereens
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    --> @Buddamoose
    where did you get this feminist BS from? I agree with the substance of (many of) the things he says, I simply criticise how he frames issues in a way that makes his point of view obvious. I can take any issue too and explain the social causes as being a basic story that supports my narrative. It doesn't take a doctorate of psychology to do that. He's received a lot of criticism from scholars for making assertions within their field that reflect his own opinion and not expert consensus. 

    If you think my criticism of him was because I disagree with what he says, then I'm afraid you exemplify the sort of thinking he claims to disdain. You make a comment presuming I have a thing against white patriarchy on the basis of me criticising Jordan Peterson. Not only are you well off the mark, but that's exactly the sort of logic that Peterson stands as an antithesis to. The irony is not lost on me.
  • Smithereens
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    --> @Danielle
    I likely saw you debating in favour of prostitution or something at one point and assumed you were a left wing progressive. Funny how biases can stick around for years without me knowing.
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Smithereens
    That's not what i was doing at all. You posited by appealing to authority of those specialized in the fields(specifically history and society(sociology?) that his view of history is too simplistic. His main complaint regarding history as its taught is that its becoming too simplistic in its post modern view of history. "Expert opinion"And when that expert opinion he is addressing is that history amounts to an oppressive patriarchy, that expert opinion ceases to be credible. It doesn't matter the education level, it doesnt matter how much consensus there is, consensus =\= truth and you know this just as well as i do. See, Peterson may be a psychologist, and alot of his perspectives are filtered through that lens. But he has regardless spent decades studying history, politics(and the extreme philosophies found therein), so that  he doesn't have a specific education in that field, that what he is saying is against general concensus, *doesnt matter that is fallacial logic*. I also addressed the opinion of it being absurd to compare humans to crabs. In many ways it is, but in certain ways it is not. The equivalent of this complaint would be, "well that's apples to oranges" but they're *both fruit* so why cant they be compared so long as the comparisons are limited in scope and meant to establish specified similarities. I never once posited that YOU believe any of that. I posited that your complaint was absurd because it was exactly the same complaint regarding history that he is saying about the aforementioned concensus you just appealed to. I don't know much regarding your specific beliefs, you are correct about that. So how much sense does it make that i was addressing assumed beliefs instead of just the specific things you were saying? I can certainly understand you thinking that's what I was trying to do because many would do exactly that. But the assertion you presented is nonetheless untrue. 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    I don't disagree at all that he says things that are sometimes too simplistic. But i also clearly contested specifically that sometimes the answer actually is simple, the interpretation sometimes need not rush down the path of nuance, particularly when that nuance does not actually get you closer to a rational judgement and primarily obfuscates those kinds of judgements. Theres a high value to simple thinking, and sometimes, A+B really does just equal C . An examination of D, E, F, G, H, and so on just becoming an excercise in obfuscation and stepping further away from conclusions that can be concretely acted upon 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    Like when it comes to humans and crabs comparison, the same could be illustrated by pointing to the vast scope of hierarchal structures in nature. He could've easily pointed to a variety of mammalian species to establish the same point. But he also wanted to establish that *its not just mammals that have hierarchies and hormonal reward systems for escalating said heirarchies. 

    And really, the only way i can see that not being a sensible conclusion is by attacking the theory of evolution itself and the supposition thats developed since then of macroevolution as an explanation for the variety of species on earth that are vastly different in many ways, but still share a great amount of similarities in their genome with each other. 
  • Buddamoose
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    I'm curious, what do you think of his and others work examining pareto distributions seeming to apply in a vast scope of other areas not related to psychology? 🤔
  • RationalMadman
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    I'm a social Democrat who agrees with JP in nearly everything. This is because he is not actually conservative, he's just ratuonra and thinks he's conservative.

  • RationalMadman
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    Rational*
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @RationalMadman
    Totally agree he isn't conservative. Hes closer to a classic liberal fmpov, which seems conservative AF these days cause of its advocacy for sovereign individuality, something hes referred to more than a few times 🤔
  • Smithereens
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    --> @Buddamoose
    That's not how science works. You're presenting it as an issue of rationalism vs empiricism where Peterson is on the rationalist side and thinks he can discredit expert consensus on the basis of a priori reasoning. You can't do this, you actually need empirical evidence to support your proposition. Whatever Peterson says, this is simply something he doesn't do. However it is something that is done by the academics he attacks. Empiricism > Rationalism.

    For example, I don't believe that a wage gap is indicative of sexism against women, but I don't doubt that women tend to get paid less than men for the same jobs. I think there are many reasons that explain why this happens. When Peterson outright dismisses the wage gap as a myth, he's arguing against empirical observations of the gap, without using empirical observations of his own. This is going to be highly convincing to someone who already believes a priori that the wage gap is a myth, but not someone who has observed that women do indeed make less money within the same fields as men, again, no comment from me as to why this happens.

    When Galileo discovered the moons of jupiter using this telescope, Francesco Sizi did exactly what Peterson does today, he attempted to refute Galileo's direct observations using a priori reasoning: 

    "There are seven windows in the head, two nostrils, two ears, two eyes and amouth; so in the heavens there are two favorable stars, two unpropitious, twoluminaries, and Mercury alone undecided and indifferent. From which andmany other similar phenomena of nature such as the seven metals, etc., whichit were tedious to enumerate, we gather that the number of planets is necessarilyseven .... Besides, the Jews and other ancient nations, as well as modernEuropeans, have adopted the division of the week into seven days, andhave named them from the seven planets; now if we increase the number ofplanets, this whole system falls to the ground .... Moreover, the satellites areinvisible to the naked eye and therefore can have no influence on the earth andtherefore would be useless and therefore do not exist."

    there is no substitute for empirical studies. If you claim that expert consensus is wrong, unless you have a greater volume of evidence to back up your claim, you are wrong. Any attitude that places rationalism over empiricism is anti-science, and this is what Peterson is guilty of. My criticism is valid because he does do this, and your rebuttal to my criticism is basically that 'he doesn't always do this, there can be simple problems.' I don't intend to claim absolutes, that Peterson always simplifies, as that's a complete simplification of my argument. The irony continues.
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Smithereens
    When Peterson outright dismisses the wage gap as a myth, he's arguing against empirical observations of the gap, without using empirical observations of his own

    He doesn't outright dismiss it, that is a total mis-characterization of his view. Simmer down here Cenk, people can actually watch say, his interview with Kathy Newman and see his opinion is:

    1) "There is a gap" 
    2) Just because the gap exists, does not mean it is "because sexism" 
    3) there are a multitude of factors that go into income:

    Height for men, weight for women:


    Attractiveness for both:


    Peterson himself is a clinical psychologist, and knows full well, and honestly I have little doubt you do as well, that assertiveness is a large predictive factor as well among a multitude of others. 

    His position is no more different than:

    "I don't believe that a wage gap is indicative of sexism against women, but I don't doubt that women tend to get paid less than men for the same jobs"

    He says this same thing, and then supplies data supported factors that have been conclusively shown to be very predictive factors in income. I couldn't give two craps about what some dude said about galileo, the example you gave is NOT rationalism v empiricism. There is no more empirical claim that could be made then to say there is a gap, but that gap is not necessarily sexism, and likely isnt either as for example the basic observation:

    -Women tend to be more agreeable than men
    -Agreeableness psychologically includes *a degree of a lack of *assertiveness*
    -Assertiveness is a large factor in successfully negotiating the best deal possible
    -wage agreements are often a negotiation, especially in high paying professions 

    None of the aforementioned are non-empirical. Not only that, as an added bonus, they are still standalone highly rational observations. And thats just for one of the multitude of established factors that go into income. 

    I at this point have to question exactly what you consider to be "empirical" if you think the claim, 

    "A gap exists, but it is not necessarily or even likely due to sexism."

    Is a non-empirical claim. I can understand why you immediately take it that way by the claim that it is a myth. But the devil is in the details because the "myth" being posited is that it is "because sexism" and also in part that the data is often presented disgenuously and does very little factoring for these kinds of presented variables. For example:


    Again, i have to seriously question why you consider skepticism in light of this kind of data regarding the claim that the wage gap is "because sexism" non-empirical. When empirical principles would hold skepticism in light of such data to be the proper course 🤔. 

    I am seriously confused how this example at all pertains to this proposed rationalism v empiricism conflict you posited. Because in this posited example it isnt the case