Jordan Peterson on Abraham to Jacob

  • 2:30+ getting angry at existence eventually getting revenge at God for the crime of being.
  • 8:40 “life is for happiness” isn’t right. People experience life as something like a series of crucial ethical decisions. When you know that what you’re doing is wrong and you do it anyway. That’s peculiar but it’s how we are. We put ourselves through a series of excruciating moral choices.
  • 10:30 the characters in the Bible are like us in dealing with their moral choices.
  • 11:10 having a direct relationship with God isn’t necessarily something you’d want to have happen. These individuals are agonizing over their moral choices all the time. the world is a moral landscape and not something that justifies itself with happiness.
  • 17: if evil is a reality then the cosmos is a place of moral striving.
  • 18: the future is something you can make a bargain/covenant with. This increases the probability that you and your descendants will be successful. Conscious self-aware sacrifice and conscious self-aware ethical striving is your best bet.
  • 19:55 What it means to believe in God in the OT is not obvious.
  • 20 Geppetto aims at the highest good of which he can conceive.
  • 21 Jung thought that psychotherapy could be replaced by a supreme moral effort like aiming at the good. The good would be what you could be like if you manifest your full potential. People are 4 dimensional entities. The future you manifests in the here and now as conscience or intuition. What you could be in the future beckons you in the present. The symbolic representation of Christ as the ideal potential human.
  • 25: People ask me do I believe in miracles. I hate being asked questions like that. Also people asking me do I believe in God. I don’t know what to answer because I don’t know that we’re talking about the same thing. In any case I said “yes”. The consensus of physicists is that we can track the origin of the universe so close to the big bang but before that the laws of physic themselves break down. Well, what do you call an even that exists outside the laws of physics. By definition that’s a miracle. It implies a barrier beyond where we can’t go where some other set of rules applies.
  • 28 the servant places his hand under Abraham’s thigh. The origin of the word “testify”
  • 29: Jung through there was a relationship between mono-theism and polytheism and the integrated self.
  • 30: The hero kills the dragon and distributes the wealth. It’s courage plus generosity. You’re a mass of competing gods.
  • 31 Not sure the mono-theistic tradition is distinguishable from the individualistic tradition. It isn’t obvious that happiness is what molds you and shapes you but rather voluntary challenge. Everyone has a moral obligation to raise their cross. If you can’t do this then you can’t act forthrightly in the world.
  • 32:30 Nobility is a better goal than happiness. It’s better to accomplish great things than to just be happy. It’s better to be an admirable person than a happy person. You can’t judge on the ratio of suffering to pleasure and we don’t do that. You want to get your teeth into something. Existential philosophy believe that we came into the world with an ethical burden already laden upon us and if we don’t do that we’re not authentic to ourselves and this is deeply embedded in people as part of their ordinary experience.
  • 34:40 People in my clinical experience don’t come and say “I wish I was happier” instead they say “I wish I wasn’t so unhappy.” They want to straighten things out. That’s the primary goal.
  • 36: The past is embedded in the present and the future is folded up in the present as well.
  • 37: What would a decent girl do. Volunteer to water a camel would be brave and generous.


About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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