The Jordan Peterson thread

Sooth

Pelican
Gold Member
Interesting argument-- do you go around shouting your faith to everyone? If no, why not?

Jordan Peterson appears to be a Christian but is possibly uncomfortable of making what I would call a "binary" public confession of faith because perhaps he feels the time isn't right. He's basically already said in long winded form that he's a Christian and believer in God. Source:



Maybe he has wavered along the way like others of faith do...? It's only human and people have doubts...

Calling someone an "articulate tool for the devil" while speculating on their faith or lack thereof is surely a dangerous road to go down, and I never heard such criticisms leveled at someone like Trump from members of this forum, however maybe I missed something...

It seems to me based on his comments in this interview he's christian. He's legalistic and hyper analytical, so I can understand why his phraseology is so lexically precise and verbose, because he's trying to reiterate how serious of a question/ issue it is, and how much time is worth devoting to the issue to make a coherent and cogent case, which is not reduced to yes/no soundbites for mass distribution. I think that speaks to a level of intellectual decency, seriousness and earnestness, which shows an immense respect for God, Jesus Christ, and christianity, source:

Peterson is an example of someone who has been chosen and has been give everything by God such that we all watch his story and learn from it.

BTW I don't go shouting my faith to everyone because I understand apologetics. The Bible doesn't say you should bash people over the head with Christ.
 

Not LARPing

 
Banned
Orthodox
Peterson is an example of someone who has been chosen and has been give everything by God such that we all watch his story and learn from it.

BTW I don't go shouting my faith to everyone because I understand apologetics. The Bible doesn't say you should bash people over the head with Christ.
So do you stand-by your statement that he is an "articulate tool for the devil"? Your words not my.

FWIW i think he's a sincere Christian but is uncomfortable, at this time, being potentially the biggest Christian apologist in the world, which is not a career path he expected, and I understand that. We all have doubts and face tremendous trails. He's survived so many evil attacks at this point, that is taxing as heck in a spiritual and physical sense to take flak from the whole collective western world, and that's all been him as someone that just generally defends the christian tradition, not some one who is an out and out declared apologist.

Heck in past few years, he's been attempted cancelled, his wife nearly died, he nearly died, he got covid, and he's had to deal with aging parents in their 80s, doing constant lectures, all while being the most prominent intellectual in the world, at least in a popular sense, fending off attacks from possessed journalists. I don't like inferring motives if I don't have to, because it is poor form and presumptuous, so I try to give people benefit of the doubt and prefer to look at actions and consequences of their behaviors instead. FWIW i think he has good intentions and his christian, but more importantly, based on actions and associations and what he's said in interviews and lectures I think he's Christian. I've provided evidence of that which you ignored... Add to that he's hanging out with people like Pageau, an orthodox, I think he's in a good place. There is surely more good to come from him.

Why would you hold him to a different standard than yourself when it comes to public professions of faith? Clearly you understand is that you don't go explicitly evangelizing to every single person you meet. Time and place for everything. People wisely pick their battles.
 

Sooth

Pelican
Gold Member
Low effort post on your part, and cool argument bro.

Where? Where does Peterson profess faith in Christ?

This video? From two posts of yours above that one, back. URL and everything? Which time stamp?



Peterson has sold his soul for fame and money. God put the pressure on him and his family and he bounced back talking the same word spaghetti. I really hope he accepts Christ because this world is a test of character which he has clocked and still chooses to take riches over salvation.
 

Not LARPing

 
Banned
Orthodox
Where? Where does Peterson profess faith in Christ?

This video? From two posts of yours above that one, back. URL and everything? Which time stamp?



Peterson has sold his soul for fame and money. God put the pressure on him and his family and he bounced back talking the same word spaghetti. I really hope he accepts Christ because this world is a test of character which he has clocked and still chooses to take riches over salvation.
The vid is two minutes long, can't help you if you don't care to watch. The CBN article I link-quote, quotes part of the interview with Pageau on YT. It's longform content so you can read the article, which I partially quoted, or watch the pod. Sorry I can't do all the work for you. But that's the justification for what I was saying.

You think he's a tool of the devil. I disagree. I explained why already. We're probably going to disagree and you're not going to be convinced otherwise.

Bottom line is you think he has to do a profession of faith that is like public thing, done in a binary yes/no way. I tell you he's professed his faith, but in a different, more long winded way. I explained why I think he's so hesitant to do rapid fire answers to yes/no questions, and explained what I think to be his reasoning. I supported what I said with quotes from him, with Pageau and also that 2 minute interview has some more context. I tell you I think it's dangerous to try to infer motives or psychoanalyze public figures, especially those that are exposed to unyielding scrutiny from activists, cancel culture idiots and media hacks. You seem to disagree.

I can't be of much more help to you.
 

Sooth

Pelican
Gold Member
The vid is two minutes long, can't help you if you don't care to watch. The CBN article I link-quote, quotes part of the interview with Pageau on YT. It's longform content so you can read the article, which I partially quoted, or watch the pod. Sorry I can't do all the work for you. But that's the justification for what I was saying.

You think he's a tool of the devil. I disagree. I explained why already. We're probably going to disagree and you're not going to be convinced otherwise.

Bottom line is you think he has to do a profession of faith that is like public thing, done in a binary yes/no way. I tell you he's professed his faith, but in a different, more long winded way. I explained why I think he's so hesitant to do rapid fire answers to yes/no questions, and explained what I think to be his reasoning. I supported what I said with quotes from him, with Pageau and also that 2 minute interview has some more context. I tell you I think it's dangerous to try to infer motives or psychoanalyze public figures, especially those that are exposed to unyielding scrutiny from activists, cancel culture idiots and media hacks. You seem to disagree.

I can't be of much more help to you.

You're right, you can't help me.

Unless Peterson explicitly expresses his faith in Christ - not by some links to a CBN article, or a 2 min (not his video btw) video on Youtube, he's Christian Pornography.

He's still got a few years to do it, I just hope God go's easy on him.

 

Not LARPing

 
Banned
Orthodox
You're right, you can't help me.

Unless Peterson explicitly expresses his faith in Christ - not by some links to a CBN article, or a 2 min (not his video btw) video on Youtube, he's Christian Pornography.

He's still got a few years to do it, I just hope God go's easy on him.


I don't know, maybe this article written by a christian priest addresses some of your criticisms of him-- it probably does a better job explaining things than I have any hope of doing. I've made note of the portions that I think are relevant to your criticisms of profession of faith, and what ought constitute a "valid" profession of faith:

"Does Jordan Peterson believe in God?"
by Giles Frasier, Vicar

Jordan Peterson is not known for being shy about his opinions. Yet “the most influential Biblical interpreter in the world today” is very coy about saying whether or not he believes in God.

“I don’t like the question” Peterson always replies when put on the spot, acknowledging that he is “obsessed with religious matters”. Several millions of people can attest to that, having watched his fascinating “The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories” YouTube series, which focuses on the book of Genesis. But when it comes to God’s existence, Peterson doesn’t want to declare his hand. Why? “I don’t know, exactly” he replies. “I act as if God exists and I am terrified that He might.” Some think Peterson is being deliberately shifty.

As a result of the professor’s engagement with religion, a full-length study on the question of him and God has been published: Jordan Peterson, God and Christianity: The Search for a Meaningful Life. In it, Christopher Kaczor and Matthew R. Petrusek, a couple of American academics, generously acknowledge all that he has done to draw out the psychological insights of Biblical narratives, while seeking to encourage him over the line, into what they think of as full-blown belief. Both admire Peterson, but just can’t quite get over the fact that he is unwilling — publicly, at least — to make what they take to be the ultimate declaration of faith. His faith, they say, is the sort of thing you might have “in the parking lot, outside the church” – as if he is nearly there, but not quite. You can sense their frustration throughout: is “acting as if God exists” enough to be counted as a believing Christian? Close, they think. But not close enough.

“In the end, the difference between ‘acting as if God exists’, which Peterson says he does, and ‘believing in God and acting accordingly’, which Peterson says he is not ready to do, may seem inconsequential. Yet the difference between the two is as vast and relevant as the difference between reading a great love story and falling in love yourself.”


What is at stake here, though, is something more than wanting to sign Peterson up as a proper member of team Christianity. What is at stake is deciphering what we mean by really believing. And here, even as a priest, I am much more in the Peterson camp. Unlike the authors of this book, I am really not that bothered by Peterson’s apparently indeterminate status.

I remember a terrible moment on the first night at theological college in Oxford. I had unpacked my trunk ready for three years of training to be a priest. I lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, and a terrible thought struck me: did I really believe in all this stuff? Was I now writing the cheques of religious commitment that I didn’t have the intellectual recourses to cash? In other words: was I a fraud?

After a quarter of a century as a priest, I still don’t have a satisfactory answer to this question. And after a great deal of soul-searching on the matter, I have come to a similar conclusion to Peterson: there’s something wrong with the question.

My conversion to Christianity was both instantaneous, and drawn out.
As an atheist philosophy student, I discovered a surprising love of the Biblical literature, and of those existentialist philosophers who took it seriously. Writers such as Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard brought it to life for me — much as they did for Peterson. Friends would describe Christianity as my funny sort of hobby; I thought of it as a kind of secular moral philosophy. Then, all of a sudden, I came to the realisation that I wasn’t on the outside of this system of thought looking in. I was on the inside looking out. Something huge had changed, but I was unable to say precisely what it was.

I think Wittgenstein best describes the nature of my conversion. In his Philosophical Investigations he has a little illustration (below) of what is known as a duck-rabbit.
He notes how it is possible to see these lines as the drawing of a rabbit. But then, suddenly, you see them as the drawing of a duck. What were ears become the duck’s bill. The image is not looking right but looking left. Everything about the image looks different. And yet nothing has changed. The lines haven’t moved.

My conversion was remarkably similar: nothing changed about the world; I still thought it contained the same stuff. But the way I looked at it had been turned on its head. This was no longer a tree, but an expression of God’s creation. The people in my life were no longer fleshy units of individual consciousness, but made in the image and likeness of God. Nothing changed, yet everything changed. I suspect that being “obsessed with religious matters” makes this sort of change. And you can build your life around it, as I have.

But hang on, an observer might say. Surely the lines have changed. After all, you now believe in God, so there must be an additional element to the picture. But it doesn’t work like that. Thomas Aquinas observed that if you decided to embark upon a crazy impossible project of listing all the things that existed in the world — shoes, cars, clouds, stars, atoms, etc — then God wouldn’t be on the list because God is not a created object, He is the creator itself. Which is remarkably close to saying that God does not exist. However, existence is not the right sort of thing to say about God. To talk of His existence is to relegate God to just one more thing about the universe – big and powerful, admittedly, but fundamentally, ontologically, just one more thing among others. And what the great doctors of the church repeatedly say about God is that He just isn’t like that.

The authors of this new book contrast Peterson’s “acting as if God exists” faith with that of CS Lewis, for them a representative of the “really believing” kind of Christian. For them, Peterson’s “faith” is kind of second best.

What they don’t mention, however, is the fascinating exchange when the marsh-wiggle Puddleglum is captured by a witch in CS Lewis’s The Silver Chair and taken to her underground lair. Seeking to disabuse Puddleglum of the idea that he might survive imprisonment, she attempts to convince him that Narnia and Aslan do not exist. It is Lewis’s take on Plato’s parable of the cave.

Puddleglum doesn’t have half the intellectual resources of the nihilistic witch, but he makes a spirited defence that has her infuriated. Yes, he might be a dreamer. Yet his “made up” world feels a lot more important that her “real world”.


Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a great deal more important than the real ones…I am going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I am going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

This might sound like Puddleglum doesn’t properly believe; something along the lines of: I will believe in God even if there isn’t any God. But in fact, as Rowan Williams put it, Puddleglum “isn’t saying it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. He’s saying I have no means of knowing whether this is or isn’t true…But I know there’s something here that I cannot let go of without letting go of myself.”


To be fair, its not as if the authors of the Peterson book think there is no value in this position — indeed, they include a nifty quote from Fr Richard John Neuhaus that makes another kind of defence of us Puddleglums: “If you would believe,” he said, “act as though you believe, leaving it to God to know whether you believe, for such leaving it to God is faith.” But whereas they think this is not quite up to scratch, I take it that this position is as authentic an expression of faith as one could hope to find.
That’s why I think Peterson’s faith is not in any way lacking some extra element that turns it into the real thing. Aquinas described the authentic religious inquiry as fides quaerens intellectum, faith seeking understanding. In other words, it is not understanding that comes first. You don’t need to have a fully worked out philosophy of God before you can profess any sort of faith. The understanding bit is always a work in progress.

I am perfectly happy to say that I believe in God, not because I totally know what that means as a kind of intellectual assent (still less proof) to some proposition about the world, but rather because I say it as a kind of existential commitment. This is where I stand.
This is how I see the world.

It seems to me perfectly obvious that Peterson is doing something very similar. When Jesus called the fishermen by the sea of Galilee he said “come follow me”. He didn’t offer proofs or even any sort of argument. He didn’t supply any sort of check-list of their metaphysical commitments. He just asked them to follow. In a more metaphysically sceptical world, they might well have explained their actions thus: “I act as if God exists and I am terrified that He might.”

This isn’t being shifty. This is precisely what faith looks like.
Sadly I'm not as nuanced as this priest in my theological points, but hopefully it does a better job addressing your criticisms. Cheers.
 

Sooth

Pelican
Gold Member
I don't know, maybe this article written by a christian priest addresses some of your criticisms of him-- it probably does a better job explaining things than I have any hope of doing. I've made note of the portions that I think are relevant to your criticisms of profession of faith, and what ought constitute a "valid" profession of faith:

"Does Jordan Peterson believe in God?"
by Giles Frasier, Vicar

I want to hear it from Jordan Peterson, not a priest.

What's so hard about this?
 

Not LARPing

 
Banned
Orthodox
I want to hear it from Jordan Peterson, not a priest.

What's so hard about this?
Unsatisfied with my direct quotes of Peterson and video where he expounds at length on the christian god question, which you couldn't be bothered to watch, you are still unsatisfied with sources that directly quote him. Word for word. It seems like you're not engaging in a straightforward bona fide way.

Earlier direct quote from CBN article with my own emphasis:
“I mean, she’s changed quite a bit as a consequence of her struggle with cancer,” he continued. “She has become much more overtly religious, I would say. We say grace before our meal in the evening, and it’s a very serious enterprise, and it always centers around gratitude for the ridiculous volume of blessings that have been showered down upon us at a volume that’s really quite incomprehensible. But despite that, I’m struggling with this because I don’t know how to reconcile myself to the fact of constant pain. And I feel that it’s unjust, which is halfway to being resentful, which is not a good outcome.”

Pageau said the answer — though it may seem “easy” — is the sacrifice Jesus made during his crucifixion on the cross. He told Peterson that God “plunged down into death” and “there are mysteries hidden in that depth.”
At another point during their discussion, Peterson said one difficulty for him has been the ways in which many Christians — and Christian institutions — have acted. He told Pageau the way many believers live their lives is “not a sufficient testament to the truth.
short Video link that I already shared:



Pageau interview re: orthodoxy:



Also thanks for taking the time to read what the Christian priest wrote about Peterson, which i quoted for you, in which he discusses in depth the criticism leveled by some christians in a book about peterson and the christian faith, you didn't even bother to read it:

Jordan Peterson is not known for being shy about his opinions. Yet “the most influential Biblical interpreter in the world today” is very coy about saying whether or not he believes in God.

“I don’t like the question” Peterson always replies when put on the spot, acknowledging that he is “obsessed with religious matters”. Several millions of people can attest to that, having watched his fascinating “The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories” YouTube series, which focuses on the book of Genesis. But when it comes to God’s existence, Peterson doesn’t want to declare his hand. Why? “I don’t know, exactly” he replies. “I act as if God exists and I am terrified that He might.” Some think Peterson is being deliberately shifty.

As a result of the professor’s engagement with religion, a full-length study on the question of him and God has been published: Jordan Peterson, God and Christianity: The Search for a Meaningful Life. In it, Christopher Kaczor and Matthew R. Petrusek, a couple of American academics, generously acknowledge all that he has done to draw out the psychological insights of Biblical narratives, while seeking to encourage him over the line, into what they think of as full-blown belief. Both admire Peterson, but just can’t quite get over the fact that he is unwilling — publicly, at least — to make what they take to be the ultimate declaration of faith. His faith, they say, is the sort of thing you might have “in the parking lot, outside the church” – as if he is nearly there, but not quite. You can sense their frustration throughout: is “acting as if God exists” enough to be counted as a believing Christian? Close, they think. But not close enough.

“In the end, the difference between ‘acting as if God exists’, which Peterson says he does, and ‘believing in God and acting accordingly’, which Peterson says he is not ready to do, may seem inconsequential. Yet the difference between the two is as vast and relevant as the difference between reading a great love story and falling in love yourself.”


What is at stake here, though, is something more than wanting to sign Peterson up as a proper member of team Christianity. What is at stake is deciphering what we mean by really believing. And here, even as a priest, I am much more in the Peterson camp. Unlike the authors of this book, I am really not that bothered by Peterson’s apparently indeterminate status.

I remember a terrible moment on the first night at theological college in Oxford. I had unpacked my trunk ready for three years of training to be a priest. I lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, and a terrible thought struck me: did I really believe in all this stuff? Was I now writing the cheques of religious commitment that I didn’t have the intellectual recourses to cash? In other words: was I a fraud?

After a quarter of a century as a priest, I still don’t have a satisfactory answer to this question. And after a great deal of soul-searching on the matter, I have come to a similar conclusion to Peterson: there’s something wrong with the question.

My conversion to Christianity was both instantaneous, and drawn out.
As an atheist philosophy student, I discovered a surprising love of the Biblical literature, and of those existentialist philosophers who took it seriously. Writers such as Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard brought it to life for me — much as they did for Peterson. Friends would describe Christianity as my funny sort of hobby; I thought of it as a kind of secular moral philosophy. Then, all of a sudden, I came to the realisation that I wasn’t on the outside of this system of thought looking in. I was on the inside looking out. Something huge had changed, but I was unable to say precisely what it was.

I think Wittgenstein best describes the nature of my conversion. In his Philosophical Investigations he has a little illustration (below) of what is known as a duck-rabbit.
He notes how it is possible to see these lines as the drawing of a rabbit. But then, suddenly, you see them as the drawing of a duck. What were ears become the duck’s bill. The image is not looking right but looking left. Everything about the image looks different. And yet nothing has changed. The lines haven’t moved.

My conversion was remarkably similar: nothing changed about the world; I still thought it contained the same stuff. But the way I looked at it had been turned on its head. This was no longer a tree, but an expression of God’s creation. The people in my life were no longer fleshy units of individual consciousness, but made in the image and likeness of God. Nothing changed, yet everything changed. I suspect that being “obsessed with religious matters” makes this sort of change. And you can build your life around it, as I have.

But hang on, an observer might say. Surely the lines have changed. After all, you now believe in God, so there must be an additional element to the picture. But it doesn’t work like that. Thomas Aquinas observed that if you decided to embark upon a crazy impossible project of listing all the things that existed in the world — shoes, cars, clouds, stars, atoms, etc — then God wouldn’t be on the list because God is not a created object, He is the creator itself. Which is remarkably close to saying that God does not exist. However, existence is not the right sort of thing to say about God. To talk of His existence is to relegate God to just one more thing about the universe – big and powerful, admittedly, but fundamentally, ontologically, just one more thing among others. And what the great doctors of the church repeatedly say about God is that He just isn’t like that.

The authors of this new book contrast Peterson’s “acting as if God exists” faith with that of CS Lewis, for them a representative of the “really believing” kind of Christian. For them, Peterson’s “faith” is kind of second best.

What they don’t mention, however, is the fascinating exchange when the marsh-wiggle Puddleglum is captured by a witch in CS Lewis’s The Silver Chair and taken to her underground lair. Seeking to disabuse Puddleglum of the idea that he might survive imprisonment, she attempts to convince him that Narnia and Aslan do not exist. It is Lewis’s take on Plato’s parable of the cave.

Puddleglum doesn’t have half the intellectual resources of the nihilistic witch, but he makes a spirited defence that has her infuriated. Yes, he might be a dreamer. Yet his “made up” world feels a lot more important that her “real world”.


Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a great deal more important than the real ones…I am going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I am going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

This might sound like Puddleglum doesn’t properly believe; something along the lines of: I will believe in God even if there isn’t any God. But in fact, as Rowan Williams put it, Puddleglum “isn’t saying it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. He’s saying I have no means of knowing whether this is or isn’t true…But I know there’s something here that I cannot let go of without letting go of myself.”


To be fair, its not as if the authors of the Peterson book think there is no value in this position — indeed, they include a nifty quote from Fr Richard John Neuhaus that makes another kind of defence of us Puddleglums: “If you would believe,” he said, “act as though you believe, leaving it to God to know whether you believe, for such leaving it to God is faith.” But whereas they think this is not quite up to scratch, I take it that this position is as authentic an expression of faith as one could hope to find.
That’s why I think Peterson’s faith is not in any way lacking some extra element that turns it into the real thing. Aquinas described the authentic religious inquiry as fides quaerens intellectum, faith seeking understanding. In other words, it is not understanding that comes first. You don’t need to have a fully worked out philosophy of God before you can profess any sort of faith. The understanding bit is always a work in progress.

I am perfectly happy to say that I believe in God, not because I totally know what that means as a kind of intellectual assent (still less proof) to some proposition about the world, but rather because I say it as a kind of existential commitment. This is where I stand.
This is how I see the world.

It seems to me perfectly obvious that Peterson is doing something very similar. When Jesus called the fishermen by the sea of Galilee he said “come follow me”. He didn’t offer proofs or even any sort of argument. He didn’t supply any sort of check-list of their metaphysical commitments. He just asked them to follow. In a more metaphysically sceptical world, they might well have explained their actions thus: “I act as if God exists and I am terrified that He might.”

This isn’t being shifty. This is precisely what faith looks like.



It appears I can't be of any help to you at this point.
 

paternos

Kingfisher
Catholic
she asks him straight out why he won't say whether he believes in God or not. His answer is that it for him it's more important to act as if God exists than to say it, because actions are a more significant expression of belief than words.

Years ago I felt this man was inspiring, as if he was challenging the woke status quo.

I can see myself in him, before I accepted Christ as lord. Before I was baptized I visited monasteries and discovered value there. Something special, something I can't describe well, I noticed when I did the prayers, did the works, I felt good.

But I didn't want to go to church regularly as I felt the spirit wasn't there with a mediocre priest, I felt the force was in that Monastery and I seldom read scripture.

Only when I was completely on my knees, broken, beaten down, due to physical pain and mental panic, I was able to take the hand of Christ.

And I started to get closer to Christ. Before I was more of an old testament guy, I loved (and love) Job, but I couldn't get Christ.

Still the Son of God, is the mystery to me, as he didn't speak in law, but he was the example, the Son of God, Christ is the heart for me.

The old Testament the brain, the Law, when I listen to Peterson, I see a jew who doesn't accept Christ to flow through his heart, and I see myself in that.

I am thankful to have been granted the mercy of feeling Christ work through me.

For that reason I think Peterson is still that nervous, overanalyzing man, the jew who sees the value, but it seems his heart is blocked, I pray Peterson will be granted to mercy to have Christ work through him, feel him in his heart..

To compare him to another popular figure; Kanye. Kanye doesn't stick as well to the Law, cursing, drinking, but you can see Christ working through him. The guy is going against the most powerful people on earth, the Jews, all his money at stake, his wife, kids, and he seems to be free from fear.

As written: Luke 1:74
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,

Free from fear.

Look at Kanye and the nervous wreck Peterson, carrying the law on his shoulders, not seeing (yet) that Jesus can set him free, not accepting the hand of Christ, as I'm quite sure Christ is there.
 

Sooth

Pelican
Gold Member
I take that to mean you didn't watch the two minute vid where he explained exactly where he was at with Christianity. lol.

You mean the one where it's like asking a 2 year old if they took a cookie from the cookie jar?

This video right? Where he dances around the question like a woman? "I don't know what you mean when you say believe" is his first words.



"What do you mean by believe, what do you mean by God" - Athiest tactics, which is actually "I'm god and you answer to me".

35 seconds - "This is not something that you can say yes or no to in any straight forward manner" - Yes it is. Say it. Say Christ is King.
38 seconds - "I find it an off putting question" - of course you do because you are god in your own eyes.
44 seconds - "I don't think it's because I'm avoiding the issue (he is avoiding, avoiding the truth), to answer it properly requires books" - What so you can judge God Jordan??? You want to put God on trial by reading evidence to yourself? (MAT 4:70)
56 seconds - "There is no escaping Christendom as a westerner" True. Might be the only true thing he says.
1:12 - Implicates himself into his own self deception. The demons will bring this up on Judgement day.
1:17 - Judeo-Christian is a psyop. It's like saying "Black-White".
1:32 - "It's how you act not what you say" Nope - You don't get to Heaven by works. What if you don't have arms or legs, or are in a womb when you die? Dumb fake religion.
1:34 - More than you do. You don't even know what you think.
 
Last edited:

Not LARPing

 
Banned
Orthodox
I have the transcript of the whole thing, the whole context, not what you cherrypicked. It follows below:

[interviewer] "Do you believe in God?"

Peterson: "I don't know what people mean when they say believe, its as if that question explains itself when it's asked, it's like it doesn't. What do you mean by believe, what do you mean by God? And what makes you think that the question that I'm answering is the same one as you're asking. If this is not something that you can say yes or no to in any straightforward manner. So I find it an off-putting question and I don't think it's because I'm avoiding the issue. I think that the answer it properly requires books and lectures so...
[interviewer] "do you see yourself in the christian tradition...?"
Peterson Continues: "I'm a Westerner, there's no escape from that. I'm conditioned in every cell as a consequence of the judeo-christian worldview. And so i've read a fair bit in other religious traditions and have a reasonable grasp on some of them I would say. Not trying to overestimate my knowledge, but we're saturated in judeo Christian ethics and so...

Interviewer: "I've seen you say that you live your life as if God exists"
Peterson: "Yes I would say, well to the the best of my ability [that god exists], right, yeah, and I think that's the fundamental hallmark of belief, is what how you act and not what you say about what you think you think. What do you know about what you think?
Takeways:

a) he takes umbrage with very binary or simplistic framing of a question that in many ways is worthy of a lot of serious consideration. He wants to know what the interviewer constitutes as belief. He goes on to state that the answer to the question is worthy of lots of books AND lectures.

b) he sees himself as a part of christian tradition

c) he lives his life as if God exists, to the best of his ability. He believes that a fundamental characteristic of belief is to about how you act, and not what you utter about what you think you think.

Again, I refer you back to the article written by the priest that fastidiously dissects common criticisms leveled by others about Jordan Peterson and his beliefs with analysis in a theological perspective, which you ignored. In minute detail it covers almost every objection you've thus made:

Jordan Peterson is not known for being shy about his opinions. Yet “the most influential Biblical interpreter in the world today” is very coy about saying whether or not he believes in God.

“I don’t like the question” Peterson always replies when put on the spot, acknowledging that he is “obsessed with religious matters”. Several millions of people can attest to that, having watched his fascinating “The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories” YouTube series, which focuses on the book of Genesis. But when it comes to God’s existence, Peterson doesn’t want to declare his hand. Why? “I don’t know, exactly” he replies. “I act as if God exists and I am terrified that He might.” Some think Peterson is being deliberately shifty.

As a result of the professor’s engagement with religion, a full-length study on the question of him and God has been published: Jordan Peterson, God and Christianity: The Search for a Meaningful Life. In it, Christopher Kaczor and Matthew R. Petrusek, a couple of American academics, generously acknowledge all that he has done to draw out the psychological insights of Biblical narratives, while seeking to encourage him over the line, into what they think of as full-blown belief. Both admire Peterson, but just can’t quite get over the fact that he is unwilling — publicly, at least — to make what they take to be the ultimate declaration of faith. His faith, they say, is the sort of thing you might have “in the parking lot, outside the church” – as if he is nearly there, but not quite. You can sense their frustration throughout: is “acting as if God exists” enough to be counted as a believing Christian? Close, they think. But not close enough.

“In the end, the difference between ‘acting as if God exists’, which Peterson says he does, and ‘believing in God and acting accordingly’, which Peterson says he is not ready to do, may seem inconsequential. Yet the difference between the two is as vast and relevant as the difference between reading a great love story and falling in love yourself.”


What is at stake here, though, is something more than wanting to sign Peterson up as a proper member of team Christianity. What is at stake is deciphering what we mean by really believing. And here, even as a priest, I am much more in the Peterson camp. Unlike the authors of this book, I am really not that bothered by Peterson’s apparently indeterminate status.

I remember a terrible moment on the first night at theological college in Oxford. I had unpacked my trunk ready for three years of training to be a priest. I lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, and a terrible thought struck me: did I really believe in all this stuff? Was I now writing the cheques of religious commitment that I didn’t have the intellectual recourses to cash? In other words: was I a fraud?

After a quarter of a century as a priest, I still don’t have a satisfactory answer to this question. And after a great deal of soul-searching on the matter, I have come to a similar conclusion to Peterson: there’s something wrong with the question.

My conversion to Christianity was both instantaneous, and drawn out.
As an atheist philosophy student, I discovered a surprising love of the Biblical literature, and of those existentialist philosophers who took it seriously. Writers such as Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard brought it to life for me — much as they did for Peterson. Friends would describe Christianity as my funny sort of hobby; I thought of it as a kind of secular moral philosophy. Then, all of a sudden, I came to the realisation that I wasn’t on the outside of this system of thought looking in. I was on the inside looking out. Something huge had changed, but I was unable to say precisely what it was.

I think Wittgenstein best describes the nature of my conversion. In his Philosophical Investigations he has a little illustration (below) of what is known as a duck-rabbit.
He notes how it is possible to see these lines as the drawing of a rabbit. But then, suddenly, you see them as the drawing of a duck. What were ears become the duck’s bill. The image is not looking right but looking left. Everything about the image looks different. And yet nothing has changed. The lines haven’t moved.

My conversion was remarkably similar: nothing changed about the world; I still thought it contained the same stuff. But the way I looked at it had been turned on its head. This was no longer a tree, but an expression of God’s creation. The people in my life were no longer fleshy units of individual consciousness, but made in the image and likeness of God. Nothing changed, yet everything changed. I suspect that being “obsessed with religious matters” makes this sort of change. And you can build your life around it, as I have.

But hang on, an observer might say. Surely the lines have changed. After all, you now believe in God, so there must be an additional element to the picture. But it doesn’t work like that. Thomas Aquinas observed that if you decided to embark upon a crazy impossible project of listing all the things that existed in the world — shoes, cars, clouds, stars, atoms, etc — then God wouldn’t be on the list because God is not a created object, He is the creator itself. Which is remarkably close to saying that God does not exist. However, existence is not the right sort of thing to say about God. To talk of His existence is to relegate God to just one more thing about the universe – big and powerful, admittedly, but fundamentally, ontologically, just one more thing among others. And what the great doctors of the church repeatedly say about God is that He just isn’t like that.

The authors of this new book contrast Peterson’s “acting as if God exists” faith with that of CS Lewis, for them a representative of the “really believing” kind of Christian. For them, Peterson’s “faith” is kind of second best.

What they don’t mention, however, is the fascinating exchange when the marsh-wiggle Puddleglum is captured by a witch in CS Lewis’s The Silver Chair and taken to her underground lair. Seeking to disabuse Puddleglum of the idea that he might survive imprisonment, she attempts to convince him that Narnia and Aslan do not exist. It is Lewis’s take on Plato’s parable of the cave.

Puddleglum doesn’t have half the intellectual resources of the nihilistic witch, but he makes a spirited defence that has her infuriated. Yes, he might be a dreamer. Yet his “made up” world feels a lot more important that her “real world”.


Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a great deal more important than the real ones…I am going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I am going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

This might sound like Puddleglum doesn’t properly believe; something along the lines of: I will believe in God even if there isn’t any God. But in fact, as Rowan Williams put it, Puddleglum “isn’t saying it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. He’s saying I have no means of knowing whether this is or isn’t true…But I know there’s something here that I cannot let go of without letting go of myself.”


To be fair, its not as if the authors of the Peterson book think there is no value in this position — indeed, they include a nifty quote from Fr Richard John Neuhaus that makes another kind of defence of us Puddleglums: “If you would believe,” he said, “act as though you believe, leaving it to God to know whether you believe, for such leaving it to God is faith.” But whereas they think this is not quite up to scratch, I take it that this position is as authentic an expression of faith as one could hope to find.
That’s why I think Peterson’s faith is not in any way lacking some extra element that turns it into the real thing. Aquinas described the authentic religious inquiry as fides quaerens intellectum, faith seeking understanding. In other words, it is not understanding that comes first. You don’t need to have a fully worked out philosophy of God before you can profess any sort of faith. The understanding bit is always a work in progress.

I am perfectly happy to say that I believe in God, not because I totally know what that means as a kind of intellectual assent (still less proof) to some proposition about the world, but rather because I say it as a kind of existential commitment. This is where I stand.
This is how I see the world.

It seems to me perfectly obvious that Peterson is doing something very similar. When Jesus called the fishermen by the sea of Galilee he said “come follow me”. He didn’t offer proofs or even any sort of argument. He didn’t supply any sort of check-list of their metaphysical commitments. He just asked them to follow. In a more metaphysically sceptical world, they might well have explained their actions thus: “I act as if God exists and I am terrified that He might.”

This isn’t being shifty. This is precisely what faith looks like.

The old testament is jewish bro. Christian as well.
 
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