Meaty comment on JBP short vid

From David Herrera

Interesting idea. I am conflicted about you saying that Peterson is Conservative (and that is coming from someone with conservative sentiments). First off, he does not identify as conservative. Second, he does what most “conservatives” that you have listed don’t: talk about socialism as evil or a version of communism and does not really address it. E.g. Shapiro says right-out that socialism doesn’t work and it is evil and Prager openly argues that socialism makes people selfish. Peterson also calls Nazi ideology right-wing, which many Conservatives steer away from in general and try to focus on the fact that National Socialism has the word “socialism” in it… and see where they can go from there. I think that a main problem with identifying him as a conservative (especially when he worked for the Socialist party when he was younger and does not seem to talk badly about it… except the lower-level resentful people that he associated with far-Left ideologues) is that is what happens to anyone who does not align themselves with the far Left with respect to identity politics. That is why many of the anti-feminists on YouTube come off as conservative, as, in my impression of what of Sargon of Akkad was saying of himself, they see so much more craziness on the Left that they spend more time mocking it, even though they are “liberals”. The problem is that if you are not a Marxist, you seem to be conservative… even if you are a “classical liberal”, like Peterson identifies as. So, if you are not a communist, they could invite you onto Fox and Friends ( which is the strange world we’re in: I am not too familiar with the other conservatives listed, but I am aware enough to say that Person is not like many of those people. Peterson supports free speech, individualism, and capitalism and markets, is skeptical of universal income, and tends to be on the IQ-realism and real differences between males and females which makes the Left’s side uncomfortable… (without addressing workers compensation, pension, or big topics like abortion, public aid, or foreign wars while supporting public healthcare: and representation for the working class) which apparently puts a person in the same bucket as Steve Bannon, which is a sad equivalence. Some videos of him talking about the Right and the Left: Just listen how when he talks, he always talks about conservatives (and I think basically always with the left as well) in the third person: I might put Peterson in the center, but not on the right… and certainly not with Shapiro, Prager, or lots of those other people. About your comment on “Liberation” Theology… which I suppose would be postmodernists doing what they do best and invoking their axiom that all interpretations of a text are valid (which I suppose is something that Peterson would say)… and of course they would go cherry-picking in the Bible. But quite honestly, everybody tries to take their movement and give Jesus their specific political spin. Jesus was a communist, an environmentalist, a communist, a feminist… that the original apostles were communists (you know, with people voluntarily giving to the church and them sharing resources), etc. It is a classic trick to take something that someone values or has strong opinions on and try to convince someone with that. So, when Peterson talks about compelled speech, he is said to be speaking “Hate Speech”, which is deconstructed well here with Christian Dr. Michael Brown’s show: Now, something that has bothered me with what Peterson does with the Bible is just ignore what it actually says and so this comment was interesting for me. For instance, Peterson has said that the reason I don’t know if Peterson is trying to say that the Biblical stories say what Peterson gets out of them, necessarily. I think that he does the same with all the stories/mythology that he talks about. He tells the story, then explains how the story could make sense in his naturalistic humanism paradigm. A great example can be seen in him talking about Jonah in his personality lectures: So, he will say that the story says that God said that he will destroy the city because of its “corruption” (which is not how Nineveh is described…. but ok) and then he justifies this statement by explaining how corruption in a city can lead to its downfall. In this way, Peterson takes what the Bible says and interprets it in terms of metaphor and symbolism. God is a symbol of the ultimate good and a transcendent goal that is identified with a father figure… and hence when God does things or people interact with God, Peterson explains it in terms of one of the ideas that God is. There is a lot of contextualization, which I do not really have a problem with… and I think is part of the joy of Peterson reading Biblical stories, in, for example, him talking about how when you ignore the call to do something moral in your life, life then becomes turbulent. However, there is the blurring between what the story really means and what is “real”. Of course, Peterson’s conversations about what is real with Sam Harris is probably relevant here. Anyway, I find that sometimes Peterson does not address the real meaning of the story. For instance, there is the whole bit about Jonah’s complete unwillingness to forgive the Assyrians and God’s mercy which I think is really the key thing about the story. Maybe Peterson has missed this or it might be Peterson getting caught up with the underworld imagery. Idk. Pastor VanderKlay, if you ever talk to Peterson maybe this idea is something that you would like to say to him. Idk. Peterson also adds things to the stories that he is tellings, for instance he describes Abel as someone that everyone likes and everything, which is not what the Bible says about Abel. One also sees him trying to ask if what is in the Bible (esp. earlier chapters) as him trying to ask if the Bible records evolutionary progression of humans. It is seen in the clip that I discuss in a moment and also here: It seems to me that he thinks of the Bible how pastor VanderKlay describes Peterson. I don’t really see Peterson reading evolution into the Bible for its own sake (as “Liberation”ist might have) to push the movement, but I think that Peterson sees that the Bible has meaning and it seems somehow connected to his evolutionary understanding of our understanding of the world and so the Bible, like all mythology, somehow captures these things. I also cannot find the clip, but at some point in his Maps of Meaning 2017 lectures he mentioned how he thought that the twisted snakes actually symbolized DNA in 1:45:101:47:15 of: He also refers to it in episode IV ( and later in that episode he is asked about the Maps of Meaning comment in 2:22:202:25:00 with his shamanic influences showing. He also remarks that snakes are lizards that have lost their legs (1:25:30 of and he describes how a snake gave us vision… by being a predator and that caused our eyes to have to get better. So, I think that [1] I would say that reading the description of this video carefully basically says what I was saying: In the next series of stories, the Biblical patriarch Abram (later: Abraham) enters into a covenant with God. The history of Israel proper begins with these stories. Abram heeds the call to adventure, journeys courageously away from his country and family into the foreign and unknown, encounters the disasters of nature and the tyranny of mankind and maintains his relationship with the God who has sent him forth. He becomes in this manner a light in the world, and a father of nations. How is this all to be understood? I am attempting in this lecture to determine precisely that. How are we, as modern people, to make sense of the idea of the God who reveals himself to a personality? How can we relate the details of the Abramic stories to our own lives, in the current world? In what frame of reference can these stories be seen to make sense, and to reveal their meaning?

Adding to my response to the original comment, one thing that I would like to talk to Peterson about if I had a chance to would be his idea of “The Disappearance of God” (Pastor VanderKlay, if you have read this book I would really like to hear your opinions about it) in 0:1:294:50 and then continuing that though in 44:55 then goes on about transcendent experiences and psychedelics, then at 1:49:452:02:32 of : [1] . He talks about God appearing clearly, then fading away…. then as that happens the individual becomes more pronounces. One thing that came to mind to me was, especially in my own experience of religion and God, that those things get blinded away when one’s mind is darkened by the searing effect of sin. I had a, let’s say, religious “experience” listening to pastor John Piper when he was talking about something that hit very close to home and it was not a drop to the group kind of religious experience (which I try to rationalize as a psychological response to Piper tying in two ideas that were very important to me) and it was not like Paul’s journey to Damascus, but I saw bad habits that had developed over years that were made of steel then broken within, say, two weeks. And non-spectacular but vivid dreams seems to be a remarkable thing to recall from this. (Even after the plateau was not stable and the initial enthusiasm about God because of this faded and skepticism crawled back in.) Anyway, one thing that I realized in being “freed” was how much certain arguments against such sin suddenly hit me with strength. Before, when I was in sin and enthralled with its “glory” when you hear an argument against the sin, you can acknowledge that it might be a good argument both morally and practically (I wasn’t the type to ignore that the sin was in fact a sin… I just did not seem to care all the much.), but it didn’t really affect me. Only after being freed did it really hit me. So, what I got out of this whole thing was two-fold. First, was that minimally religion was psychologically powerful. I couldn’t argue myself into the Kingdom because doubts of whether these were just psychological effects of hearing something that deeply connected deep beliefs and my deep values had caused a psychological change… but nothing spiritual. This, however, could also be explained as God working through psychological means, but reductionist arguments just seem more compelling because Occam’s razor, although there are other reasons to believe in the paranormal / spirituality. I am at the moment estranged from God. The second thing is related to Peterson and the disappearance of God. It seems to me that I have a different and Biblical explanation of it. The falling away from God starts with the Fall, where Adam and Eve then hide from God for their guilt. Then Cain kills Abel and says at some point, “”Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”” Then one has the people of Israel not wanting to go up to God on the Holy mountain for they are scared, so they elect that Moses be an intercessor. What happens when they reject the opportunity to have what God offers them? They die without it. When they complain and are punished with snakes, they have to look up to the snake on the stick. Eventually, the whole idea of having a ruler/judge chosen by God gets old because “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (which I am not sure is a condemnation of what they did or a justification for having a kind) So, they want a king and even after God warns them they persist… so God gives it to them. [This is key, btw.] Then they have kings and are led astray into sin and horror and death. At times prophets come to the kings and people and warn of God’s judgement on them (like on the Canaanites before them) for their evil, but choose not to turn away. Then horror happens. Then they repent. Repeat ad nauseum. Then they stop having God come to them. And we have: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves,” … it makes sense to me. God always has a remnant, but it seems that the entire group is punished For me, (to mirror Peterson’s talk) this is psychologically correct. If a person is constantly reminded of their wrong and sin and they keep putting it away, it fades into the distance. Rearing its head when pain comes and the tears and repentance that follows is only so long lasting… because like a dog returns to its vomit. This is perfectly shown in Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe”, where we see Crusoe go into the sea to get rich and to see excitement… to face horrible danger on the ocean for him to cry out to God in repentance… things go well…. then he forgets…. then this repeats…. then he eventually gets stranded on the island for good and after his fever and close escape from death, he eventually actually repents and then things eventually go well for him. And then it makes sense that after the Lord had pulled back from Israel that Jesus comes (but only for “the sick” and his meaning is hidden from some that they turn away from their sins and be forgiven (which is harsh… but I’m not God to make the call, especially when I could be one of these people)). Jesus brings back a sense and connection between God and man through the Holy Spirit being with us, which was usually a special thing as described in the Old Testament. [I personally think that, at least on earth, things are not quite returned to the same connection between God and man… since Adam was actually with God and Abraham say God come in embodied form.]

I also forgot to mention this: Where Peterson is asked if he is a Christian to which he replies that he is. Then he is asked if he believes that Jesus rose from the dead, as a fact of history… to which Peterson says he is agnostic… because he doesn’t know “the upper limits to human possibility”. An important theme running through Peterson’s description of Christianity is to remove God and replace Him with an ideal. It seems to me that for Peterson, God is sorta deistic… He is not personal and does not do anything. When the Bible describes God as doing something, it is interpreted through the lens of a person interacting with a transcendent ideal or the like. That is why one cannot help but get the impression (even if it is not intended) that Peterson would not believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, but would be more inclined to think that Jesus raised himself from the dead…. he might agree to “the Holy Spirit” as an idea of being filled with the transcendent-going “spirit” and that is what raised Jesus from the dead, if it happened at all. And that is kinda something that I have trouble with too… getting from the world that we are in, to God. Arguments for God often go along the lines of “Well, God exists because He grounds lots of other stuff: Morality (argument from morality), Life (argument from creation), the universe (Cosmological argument), The Teleological argument (there is meaning), and/or Existence (Contingency argument)”… but it, nationalistically speaking, just seems easier to just say, “This is just the way the world is… it doesn’t have to have a justification.” I think that the morality argument is the only one that really needs God, but it just leaves the world without any actual objective meaning. Evolution does not give objective meaning… meaning is just the creation of my mind, as created over millions of years of forces of nature as the consequence of acts that cause themselves to propagate into the future. As Peterson says himself in a talk about Deception in Psychopathology, evolution is not teleological. So, without strict naturalism, one is left with some vague spirituality, because I know that I exist… I perceive (though am skeptical of at times, since they could be just biological machines… but only in moments of skepticism and existential paranoia) that other exists, I know about the natural law, I know that I have broken it, and it would be great if I could be saved… but that just might mean that I should pick up my suffering, bear it, and make the world a better place. This does not give God. The only things that I really have are personal accounts (not mine) of divine authority over dark forces (either through illness or the manifestation of spirits in a home) and “healings”, but I have not really seen any that could not be partly explained by psychology. I really found Craig Keener (and others)’s talks about miracles interesting, but I don’t think that I have ever seen it argued that there might be a psychological result or even that there is something powerful about humans that can do this (e.g. the shamanic tradition, which I regard as satanic, places humans in this role… just as I cannot place “sacrifice” as an abstract idea in the same category for Jews and Canaanites… child sacrifice is just not ok.) And to go back to Peterson, I think he makes sense to atheists and skeptics because he is trying to understand the Bible with respect using the naturalistic framework, which is what atheists and skeptics believe and it draws them into the religious because they were taught to believe (rather non-skeptically, I might add) that religion is just bad science for stupid people. Not even opioid of the masses, just poison for stupid people, you know, causing all the wars in history. Religion is the Satan of fundamentalist atheists. So, when Peterson breaks that down, these people can see that there is more than just something to the stories. That, minimally, they are deep. Unfortunately, the reading and interpreting of the stories by church-folk are sometimes shallow and not interesting (which Peterson does not really fall into) and just fall into moral rules, but I think Peterson shines a light on Scripture and shows how it is related to the human experience… which is something that everyone appreciates.
Paul VanderKlay May I suggest sharpening your blade on some Matt Dillahunty? As an internet phenomenon he’s older than Jordan Peterson with about 10 years. Matt used to study to become a pastor so he knows the Bible in and out. I never liked Harris or Dawkins approach but Matt is a soft atheist and he understands the religious mind. But he became an atheist because, I believe, of the literal interpretations of the Bible. Thus, at this moment he has a strong personal anti-religious stance. I believe he’s mistaken on that stance only because I don’t think he heard Peterson’s lectures. Anyway, his power of debate is based on a very clear and concise understanding of the logic mechanisms and naturalistic understanding of reality as well as knowing the Bible. Maybe watching his presentations and especially his debates for a while will give you some insights of the thought process going on. He is to theists what Peterson is to atheists. He also periodically hosts “The Atheist Experience” show on youtube a live call in show that thrives on discussions with theist callers all over the world no matter the religion. So besides christians you do hear time to time ex hindu and ex muslims calling into the show thanking him for opening their eyes. What I think is that as the human consciousness evolves at the individual level, the old language/explanations of the things perpetual and divine become obsolete while at the same time the traditional religious mentality as manifested at the level of groups remains rigid. Atheism emerges form that clash but struggling to provide an alternative. Peterson does provide a viable alternative. ” I’m with CS Lewis that I think there is a problem buried deep within naturalism which keeps it from inheriting the earth. I think this is part of the knowledge that people have in their Jungian cloud of witnesses and this keeps the naturalist’s numbers relatively small among people of lower classes and castes and large among the elites.” May I offer you a different view? I think there is an explanation that has roots in evolutionary theory. Naturalism is much younger on the evolutionary scale, it’s like it happened an instant ago. People had a view of reality based on supernatural for much longer than naturalism. So the brain is naturally adapted to supernaturalism to the genetic level while naturalism is a matter of mental effort. It takes a whole lot of brain power to understand and accept the responsibility of your own actions and find meaning of existence while knowing that the background from which you can build knowledge is nihilistic. It’s easier to just assume there’s “someone” out there that takes care of everything, a sort of a father figure. Interestingly that’s what a priest said to me when he expressed his frustration about his older simple minded parishioners when it came to how they viewed God and the attitudes toward the church. One can see that at a social level, Eastern Orthodoxy did not create strong individual minds but rather strong group beliefs where everyone follows the same path. So you can imagine how well Communism fit in the vacuum of morality left after the Bolshevik revolution. The other interesting thought I have is that the success of the Church is seen in the depravation of today’s society. It’s teachings are not that effective. There’s something off with the traditional way of messaging.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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