More Peterson chat!
It continues to astound me how there's all this supposed rationalist opposition to corrosive leftist postmodernism, when the right -all of it pretty much- are the most postmodern thing politics has had to contend with a long time. I'm just going to keep saying it.
Is it a known thing that Peterson is a christian conservative of some stripe? He'd be the milder Canadian sort, but after watching some of his talks I got the impression his critiques left only one unspoken option, morally and philosophically : relativism is self defeating and destructive so we all must submit to a higher authority. And ones ultimately seen to be crafted by mere humans are by nature relativistic. Soo... (plus he likes Solzhenitzyn and Tolstoy a whoooole bunch. Probably Dostoyevsky too, I'd wager)
But I've never seen it stated plainly if he's coming from there (he might like to keep on the down low as it dilutes his academic authority. Which would be fair enough in some ways. )
I find Peterson interesting because he's an intelligent guy, but also kind of nuts and smart enough to couch his bonkers ideas in slippery intellectualism. He's basically the exact mirror of the people he hates the most.
I finally got around to listening to a somewhat infamous discussion with Sam Harris (yeah I know that guy comes with a whole load of baggage himself, but still). It's a very long, brutally repetitive argument where Peterson lays out this strange worldview where 'truth' has nothing to do with literal facts, but is tied to the morality of its long term effects.
The discussion goes nowhere so I don't recommend wasting your time on it, but if you're curious skip to 1:46:21 where Harris lays out a pretty sensible thought experiment - that if two sets of scientists do the exact same smallpox experiment and one randomly goes wrong and kills millions, and the other succeeds and saves millions, the 'truth' of the experiment itself is the same no matter what the outcome - and Peterson simply will not follow the line of logic or budge on his personal definition of words. Which is ironic when you think about it.
Now he doesn't actually say this, but about the only reason I can think of for his wanting to define 'truth' in this wonky way is because by going along with it, it allows for him as a Christian to argue for the truth of religion over science, without having to tackle the question of whether it's factually true. He pretty much takes factual truth out of the equation, and in fact seems reluctant to admit that objective facts outside of human perception even exist. He's pretty much trying to deconstruct reality itself and reshape it subjectively, which sounds pretty postmodern to me!
Bonus bit of bonkers: the two examples of the moral failings of scientific progress he jumps to are the invention of the hydrogen bomb, and the birth control pill.