Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Vox Popoli: An apology to Jordan Peterson - (Is Jordan Peterson the new or false prophet?)

(In case you are wondering - JP has been in the news lately. As usual, Vox Day is ahead of the crowd in public perceptions and you can read much more at his website. However, Vox’s insights also and always apply in our critical thinking. – CL)

In which I apologize to Jordan Peterson for an erroneous accusation.

These revelations about the man are entirely consistent with his philosophy. His philosophy is openly evil; His philosophy is not, contra most of his fans' assumptions, respectful of the Bible and respectful of Christianity in any way. You know, the fact that you talk about them as myth and you talk about the importance of myth and all this sort of thing is it's more polite than calling them fairy stories, but in some ways it's actually more damaging because if you're a frothing-at-the-mouth New Atheist who is just complaining about fairy tales and no evidence and that sort of thing, you're very easily dismissed. It's very very easy to demonstrate that what those people are saying is objectively false.

On the other hand, when you are talking about myth, and you're talking about tradition, and you're babbling away in this huge fog of barely penetrable citations and these meandering streams of references that resemble a Joycean novel more than anything else, more than anything coherent, it's it's difficult to disprove that because it's just nonsense. I mean, how how do you factually disprove ambiguous nonsense? You know, it's very, very difficult because there's nothing there. When somebody tells you 2+2 is 37, it's relatively easy to to prove that that's not the case, but when the person is going on and babbling about the snake in the tree is because the Garden of the Eden, and children in the trees, and vision over the horizons, and this relates to the shame one feels, and is not worthy of taking one's pills... I mean how do you disprove that?

There's nothing there to disprove, it's just this streaming salad of words. It's like being presented with a fruit salad and someone says "well critique that, critique that argument!" Yeah, you're looking at it and, I mean forget, Stefan Molyneux's "that's not an argument", I mean, it's a fruit salad! There's nothing to it, there's nothing to argue about it, and so, you know, it's it's very difficult for me to deal with Peterson's defenders because what they do is they inform you that he really means X when he says Y, and so how do you argue with that?

All you can say is well, no, he said what he said.  They say, no, but that's because he would get in trouble in Canada, you know, he has to be careful of what he says, and he has to speak this nonsense but what he really means is... you know, then they come up with something. Sometimes they come up with something sensible, more often they don't, but it's all nonsense. And so there's a reason why Peterson tells his fans not to read Maps of Meaning because when you read Maps of Meaning, if you are able to not be overly impressed by this stream of barely relevant citations and references, even if you don't understand the references well enough to understand that he doesn't always know what he's talking about, you still have to understand that the connection of these things isn't there.

It's because he's drawing such bizarre connections that if I were to simply prove that his syllogism doesn't hold up, the average person's response to me is going to be "well what does that have to do with it?" To which my response is EXACTLY! It's both wrong and unrelated at which point the sufficiently intelligent or the sufficiently open-minded individual realizes Jordan Peterson is crazy. But the Peterson defender just does the "I can't hear you, I don't want to hear it, you know he's doing so much good!" But what Peterson is functionally doing in terms of the "good" that he is doing is that he is helping young men jump from the fire into the frying pan. Now you might say oh that's good, you know, that's progress, but it's really not, because whether you're in the fire or whether you're in the frying pan you're still going to get cooked. There is no natural progression from the fire to the frying pan to getting out of the kitchen.

The revelations to which I referred in the video are these, which is the news that in 2009, Jordan Peterson attempted to dismiss as conspiracy theory the accusations of a police officer concerning a high-level coverup of a pedophile ring in Canada. It's hard not to recall that similar accusations of coverups by the authorities were similarly dismissed in the well-known cases Jimmy Savile, Rotherham, and Telford scandals, to name but a few, before being subsequently confirmed.
Commissioner G. Normand Glaude concluded Tuesday that children were sexually abused by people in positions of authority and that public institutions failed victims by mishandling complaints dating back to the 1960s.

But many were looking to him to lay to rest a more sinister explanation for those events, that it was the work of a pedophile ring and a cover-up that reached all the way to the Attorney General's office was at play.

He did not, saying in his 1600-page report that he would not make an unequivocal statement about the theory either way.

For some, it may not have mattered.

An explanation that to some appears to debunk a conspiracy theory just further confirms others' suspicions, said University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan B. Peterson.

"It's very difficult to disprove a conspiracy theory, because every bit of disproving evidence can be just written off as additional evidence that these conspirators are particularly intelligent and sneaky," he said.

Conspiracy theories are usually started by people who are very untrusting and it gathers steam among others who are somewhat untrusting, Peterson said.

They're psychologically compelling because they neatly tie together troubling facts or assertions, he said. When things go badly there are often many explanations, and an orchestrated conspiracy "should be pretty low on your list of plausible hypotheses," Peterson said.

"A good rule of thumb is: Don't presume malevolence where stupidity is sufficient explanation," he said.

"Organizations can act badly and things can fall apart without any group of people driving that."

While Glaude made no definitive statements about a ring, he declared there was not a conspiracy by several institutions to cover up the existence of any such operation, rather that agency bungling left that impression.

I recall to your attention my reliable heuristic for detecting evil: does it justify, rationalize, excuse, defend, encourage, advocate, or require sex with children in any way, openly or covertly, directly or indirectly? Then it is evil, topped by an evil sauce, with a side of evil.

And given that we already know Jordan Peterson's philosophy is evil, given that we already know that the man himself is seriously disturbed, we can't pretend to be too surprised to discover that its true depths may be considerably deeper than anyone imagined.