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Monday, 14 August 2017

Jordan Peterson: Worth listening to on YouTube

Not a fan of Academics, per se
As any reader of this blog will know, I am no fan of academics, per se. I don't think when I meet someone who has been all doctored up, "gotta bow and scrape." Having worked in academia for many years myself, I know that an academic is not one wit wiser - or even necessarily one wit cleverer - than a plumber, decorator, or dustbin man. All that's happened is that he or she was somehow persuaded to spend long years in study and in the end knows a ton about something pretty irrelevant to the rest of humanity, and very often, is in the end, very proud of that micron of knowledge. 

This "refusing to bow" should be the attitude of every follower of the Wisest Man whoever lived. He chose for his Team twelve uneducated no-bodies who then turned the world upside down by the power of his Spirit. The most famous of his followers, the apostle Paul, reflecting on all his 'ducation said "whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ..... I consider them rubbish".  In that long list of past rubbish Paul includes his role as a prestigious religious teacher, a Pharisee, who prided themselves on 'noledge.

In the world academic status means everything. The highest honours go to "professors" and second place to "Dr". In the world men bow and scrape to such types.

In the church everything should be different. The apostle James chided some Christians who honoured rich / successful men above the kind who showed up in rags. In the church a poor man is the same value in God's eyes as a rich, in Christ an educated man the same value as someone with zero education. That is how we should regard everyone - not 'after the flesh' but after the Spirit. Tragically even in the church if a man has been successful in secular employment they make him a leader in the church when there is no necessary connection between his success in the world and his godliness (- sometimes the connection is actually inverse).

Along comes Jordan Peterson
That being said, occasionally there comes along an interesting academic, and Jordan Peterson is one of those.

He teaches at some Canadian joint, but what makes him really interesting are these points:

(1)  He is genuinely humble. He doesn't bang on about his 'ducation or qualifications.

(2) He is a relational thinker - what do I mean? Having spent many long hours helping people with their problems, he's very good at discussing the kinds of problems that beset ordinary human beings.

(3) He questions PC. In fact so much that he's got in big trouble with the guys who employ him. For example, he believes the ludicrously obvious proposition that gender is binary.

(4) He basis everything on science. Now this isn't always a good thing. But because, for example, God made the world of human beings, either male or female (the fall has messed up a very small percentage of people in regard to gender), we expect that all of science will show the massive differences between men and women. Indeed it does, and Jordan can show this "from the literature" (that aweful phrase).

(5) He is level-headed. He doesn't write Trump off as a nutter, for example, explaining that no-one who could run an enormous company or win an election could be stupid. This is just plain right. He's not necessarily a fan of Trump, just correcting false views of him.

(6) He is courageous.  Unlike many academics who would hide their true views from the public lest they be jeopardise their stellar careers, Peterson is prepared to stick his neck out and speak the truth. The result is that he has given courage to many other ordinary folk who believe exactly the same common sense, conservative, traditional views to "come out" too.

Now Peterson is not a believer, and so this blog is no endorsement of his philosophy. But on the following two points (i) the folly of transgender politics and (ii) the unreasonableness of  "gender equality" (i.e the foolish and naive view that men and women can do exactly the same things, when in point of fact both their biologies and their psychologies are radically different, and therefore they are not both equally suited to all tasks), he is worth listening to. In the way Peterson counters all the rubbish that passes for political correctness in our culture, he joins the ranks of other interesting modern day thinkers such as Raymond Tallis and Thomas Nagel - men who are (selectively) worth listening to today (if we have the time, after we have listened to believers.....)

We live in the YouTube age where our children and young people are listening to "whoever shouts the loudest" (i.e. most hits), and sometimes it is worth directing them to a voice - even one we disagree with on many issues - who is making sense on some subjects

There is a long line of evangelical thinking that says that there are some folk who we can 'work' with even though we don't agree with them on everything else. Francis Shaeffer worked with Catholics on abortion and recently the Christian Institute praised  one of Peter Tatchell's viewpoints. By agreeing on one point, one is not agreeing on all points.

Pray that such men will be converted!

Try the following clips on the two issues above:

Google's ridiculous diversity Ways
Debate with students

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