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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Left Wing; Right Wing

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Jordan B. Peterson

2018JAN23

Link

2018-10-17

- Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018JAN23)

Apparently Jordan Peterson's discussion with the liberal Sam Harris over truth, morals, and religion became popular (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-Z9EZE8kpo). This book struck me as a bit right wing, complete with a defense of the patriarchy, but had some interesting parts. It seems to me that while most scientists lean left, psychologists and economists tend more right. Of course, science itself only describes how things are and can't say how things ought to be (although scientists and leaders have tried to pull science out of the box for various purposes).

Peterson's idea is that your default position should be respect for tradition. He doesn't come out and say he's a Christian, but values the answers in religious texts as wisdom amassed over generations and behaves as though there's a God. The book seemed a bit preachy at times, but I agree with his idea that it's usually good not to rebel randomly.

Interesting to think that Harris blames religion for the violence and anti-social behavior of obedient believers. Peterson blames liberals for the violence that has come from people acting on the idea that humans are generally oppressors or destroyers of the planet, and the evil of communist totalitarianism. I think these are the two most common axes to grind in America politics.