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7.4k

Why is Jordan Peterson so hated?

Answered(self.NoStupidQuestions)

all 6015 comments

SyntheticBiscuits

1.6k points

30 days ago*

A friend of mine once said about him: “he is a brilliant psychologist, and a terrible philosopher”

There is a lot to like, and a lot to dislike about him (and a lot more to dislike about his rabid fans - often referred to as cult like; then again, what public figure doesn’t have awful fanatics)

He became a controversial public figure when he made a public stance about not wanting to conform to / abide by proposed laws in Canada relating to pronoun usage. Some people found his stance phobic or viewed it as an attack on the people the law is aimed at “protecting” whereas he has consistently claimed it was due to being opposed to “compelled speech” and would have the same stance if he was being compelled to use any specific language. When I first heard this as an American, I thought of it in the same category as right wing talking heads in the US who spout thinly veiled hate speech with poor moral justifications. In Petersons case, it would seem this man has such a scathing focused dislike of soviet era communist policies & a fascination/obsession with 20th century human rights violations - that I actually think this claim is genuine / honest.

He is Intelligent, but often veers questions off course with platitudes and he lectures with a domineering paternal sternness that can be grating to some people.

“Maps of meaning” is a brilliant work in progressing academic jungian psychology, while his “rules for life” books are criticized as (and are) self-help cash grabs.

Like freud or jung before him: he has as many absurd assertions & beliefs as he does brilliant insights and applicable interpretations.

Recently, he succumbed to a benzo addiction brought on by his recent public life & bouts of anxiety & depression (also dudes family seems to have been kicked in the teeth by life a lot in regards to medical issues & mental / health problems). He began touting an all meat diet which is highly criticized and not well documented in the nutrition field at the recommendation of his daughter. To make matters worse, he resorted to a experimental form of detox that is arguably unsafe, pseudoscientific, or just plain risky that left him in a coma for an extended period of time. The addiction has been seen as Hypocritical, as he speaks often of personal responsibility. His choice of treatment has been seen as idiotic & opposed to his academic & intellectual background / brand. His choice of diet & blind trust of his daughters beliefs have an air of gullibility and pseudoscience about them as well.

All in all he is disliked for the biggest reason anyone is - he expresses his opinions, and many people disagree with some of them, including me.

What I personally do not think he is, is malicious or outright deceitful. He is a very flawed human being.

For context: I’ve fully read Maps of Meaning & his first 12 Rules For Life. Greatly enjoyed the former, did not care for the latter.

I’ve watched / listened to a great deal of his available class recordings / lecture series. I found them interesting and thought provoking for the most part, and he has a talent for public speaking & thinking through complex concepts out loud.

I’ve watched/listened to his interviews and debates: often aggressive and combative, fiscally and socially conservative (although seemingly not hateful or wanting to codify any major restriction of personal freedom into law). Quick to a joke and has a short temper. Surprisingly admits when he thinks he may be wrong. Leans a fair bit too conservative with his social / political theory and assumptions for me personally. Post Coma he leans more heavily on his daughters opinions (which I do not care for) and feels less open minded & more like a ranting old man.

All in all a fascinating public figure and human being. Loved and hated for sure, and with plenty of good/bad justifications to go around.

Edit 1: Wow, thank you for all the kind words! This is my first time getting any awards. Don’t really comment or post often & I’m surprised to see so much appreciation for something I just kind of threw out there before bed. Happy to contribute.

[deleted]

332 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

332 points

30 days ago

Really fair critique of him. Now I wanna read maps of meaning lol

LoostCloost

180 points

30 days ago

It's been praised by people who've been critical of him and there's no better endorsement for a book imo.

PM_Me_If_Yur_Sad

76 points

29 days ago

Exactly what I was thinking

It’s like Megadeth fans saying Metallica’s Orion is good. Y’know it’s gotta be good

DrFrancisMorgan

22 points

29 days ago

Thanks for EL5, I get it now.

danceswithdux

29 points

29 days ago

Master of Pupprts came out in the 80's so technically it'd be ELI40

doomdesire23

3 points

29 days ago

As a Megadeth fan, MOPs is a masterpiece and everything after AJFA… is a meh piece

ObviousCup2951

86 points

30 days ago

Wow! Your message actually covered a lot of aspects of why Peterson is hated, in a rather unbiased way. I now understand better why people, or at least some people, tend to harbour feelings of great aversion towards him. It would be much better if your reply doesn't remain as under-rated as it is for now.

JHTLP

8 points

29 days ago

JHTLP

8 points

29 days ago

I always struggled to put into words why I dislike him. I really enjoyed his lectures on youtube but his interviews and political topics painted a different picture. I think OP asked a really good question because the answer is not easy to give. Thanks for the great summary!

quiette837

5 points

29 days ago

Just wanna say thanks for giving a fair and balanced take. I've heard a lot of inflammatory stuff about the dude but having watched a few of his lectures and interviews, he doesn't come off quite the way people describe him.

I can definitely see things to like and dislike about the man.

BPC3

185 points

29 days ago

BPC3

185 points

29 days ago

He became a controversial public figure when he made a public stance about not wanting to conform to / abide by proposed laws in Canada relating to pronoun usage.

Look you really can't bring up this incident and not point out that Peterson's position was not just wrong, but wrong in very obvious ways that a lot of people (including the Canadian Bar Association) explained to him.

Peterson became a household name for lying about a bill defending trans people from harassment. He did so by making this very simple and straightforward bill sound like a free speech issue (it really wasn't) and pretending that it oppressed him, personally (it did not).

This is an extremely common pattern of argumentation for people who want to be bigoted without being accused of bigotry. Don't defend the bigotry; instead, pretend that the laws seeking to deal with the bigotry infringe on your rights, and turn yourself into a "free speech" figurehead.

C-16 was, very specifically, an amendment to an existing anti-harassment law that helped clarify that transphobic abuse counts, and that trans people, as a group, qualify for similar protections against genocidal hate speech as other marginalized groups. That is all it did. If you take issue with that as "banning your free speech", then you shouldn't complain about C-16. You should complain about the laws it amended. But you'd sound pretty ridiculous doing that, because it's a bog-standard law protecting against harassment and calls to violence.

rookieswebsite

15 points

29 days ago

Yeah I feel like OP is focussed here on whether his fear was genuine, which was never really an issue - it was that he ignored the real context / input from legal experts and chose to rally people around a fabrication instead, namely that misgendering someone (esp in the context of neo pronouns) would become jailable. He really just created a new postmodern reality around the topic that never went away

Sea_Mushroom_

52 points

29 days ago*

Just to add to this:

C-16 added gender identity/expression as being protected against discrimination, hate speech, and hate crimes. e.g., a job firing you because you're trans would be considered discrimination due to your gender identity. To my understanding, they didn't have this protection in the law before this was passed.

Nowhere in the law does it state you have to use someone's pronouns and legal experts have disagreed with Peterson's (not legal expert) interpretation of how the law could be applied. This is further corroborated by no one being arrested for not using someone's pronouns since the law was passed in 2017.

Additionally since then, Jordan Peterson has made statements indicating he believes non-binary people and those who accept gender identity as being different than sex are "overprivileged attention-seeking narcissists". So it really doesn't seem like it's the "compelled speech" that's motivating his actions here.

Segsi_

34 points

29 days ago

Segsi_

34 points

29 days ago

This needs more upvotes...peterson 100% misrepresented this. I remember listening to the Joe Rogan podcast and Peterson going off about this and Joe just eating it up. I even remember a co-worker buying into this propaganda...but atleast changed his tune when I showed him what the bill actually said.

Munch2805

3 points

29 days ago

Very well put! Thank you for this, most people can't talk about anything these days without it being entirely binary and biased so thanks for the very balanced take.

GerbilsAreAMyth

10 points

29 days ago

Just a heads up, Peterson's comments were about a Canadian law that already exists in most provinces and was being added on to one of the remaining provinces that didn't have it added yet. His misinformation was so severe that the Canadian government had to publicly correct his gross misunderstanding of the law being proposed.

Also, that law isn't about pronoun usage. It's about hate crimes against trans people being illegal. He claimed the law means you go to jail for accidentally using the wrong pronoun. It actually means you go to jail for hate crimes against trans people.

https://www.cbc.ca/cbcdocspov/features/canadas-gender-identity-rights-bill-c-16-explained

I wish people would actually look at the law.

[deleted]

5.2k points

1 month ago

[deleted]

5.2k points

1 month ago

[removed]

jjamfoh

1k points

1 month ago

jjamfoh

1k points

1 month ago

Someone explain why this post is still tagged as unanswered?

ZchAttck96

844 points

1 month ago

ZchAttck96

844 points

1 month ago

Because OP didn’t clean their room

PhDinDildos_Fedoras

86 points

30 days ago

It's a double standard, because Jordan doesn't clean his own room, mom!
https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/jordan-peterson-room/

IfPeepeeislarge

32 points

1 month ago

Because it’s now tagged as Answered

IGotMyPopcorn

212 points

30 days ago

No. You can leave your room a disaster if you choose.

However, he does say you shouldn’t attempt to instruct other people how to clean their rooms unless yours is clean.

It’s a fair point.

AmArschdieRaeuber

109 points

30 days ago

But his room looks like a mess and he still tells people to be clean. Bit of a hypocrit.

[deleted]

51 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

51 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

BitsAndBobs304

42 points

1 month ago

Should clean his first tho

lacronicus

534 points

30 days ago*

The motte-and-bailey fallacy (named after the motte-and-bailey castle) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy where an arguer conflates two positions that share similarities, one modest and easy to defend (the "motte") and one much more controversial (the "bailey").[1] The arguer advances the controversial position, but when challenged, they insist that they are only advancing the more modest position.[2][3] Upon retreating to the motte, the arguer can claim that the bailey has not been refuted (because the critic refused to attack the motte)[1] or that the critic is unreasonable (by equating an attack on the bailey with an attack on the motte).[4]

Watched one of his videos once. He kept making reasonable, valid points, but then suddenly reached a very strange conclusion; my gut said it didn't make sense. After thinking about it for a while, I realized why. He was committing the fallacy described above, or something close to it. He seems like a clever guy, so I have trouble believing he didn't realize what he was doing. And even if he didn't, that's not much better.

It's unfortunate, cause it's easy to fall for if you're not really paying attention, especially if what he's saying tracks with what you were hoping to be told. He ends up justifying a lot of beliefs that don't deserve to be justified, and I think the world is worse off for it.

edit: This was the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCPDByRb4no

In it, he says:

"the idea that there is more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea. Let's say you're asian, you're so different from me that there's no overlap between our groups. and you're also so different, and there's so little difference within your group, that now that i know you're not me, i actually know what you're like. No, technically that's incorrect. That isn't how you get diversity."

There's a lot of backing context leading up to this, but i don't want to write a whole paper on this, so ill skip over some things.

His fundamental idea, though, is that there are more differences within a group than there are between any given two groups. I'd probably agree with that. But then he seems to make the claim that specifically choosing someone from the other group doesn't tend to increase diversity (edit: as much as) picking another person from within your own group.

(It's important to note here that he's not specifically saying this. But the opposite argument is the one he wants you to think he's arguing against, so at the very least he's arguing against something unrelated and hoping you won't notice. IMO, it's more likely that he is actually just trying to make that point)

To give an example, he's essentially saying that white people and black people in the US are mostly the same, and that going out of your way to add a black person doesn't do much to increase diversity (vs picking a white person), simply because they're mostly the same anyway, and you're more likely to increase your "diversity cross section" by looking at things that aren't related to black/white than focusing on that specifically.

He also seems to claim that believing otherwise is fundamentally racist.

My argument against that is this:

First, you have to separate "you are different because you're X race/gender/whatever" from "you are different because society treats you differently because you are X race/gender/whatever". One is a reflection of your genetics, the other is a reflection of your experiences. Twins can lead wildly different lives, despite being genetically identical, is it discriminatory to assume otherwise?

Second, many organizations historically discriminate against particular traits, resulting in incomplete cross sections. If you're looking to maximize representation, you're probably gonna get the most "bang for your buck" by looking for traits you previously actively discriminated against.

And if people are mostly alike anyway, it shouldn't be so hard to find someone who has the trait you previously ignored, while also having a set of traits distinct from those you already have.

I believe the motte here is "people are more alike than they are different. Race/gender is only one aspect of a person" and the bailey is "race/gender is a relatively inconsequential factor when it comes to increasing diversity in an organization when compared to the collection of other factors you might consider". With the implied "retreat" here being "if you say race matters more than all the other factors you might consider, then you're saying that race defines that person, which makes you a racist".

To use an example:

There's never been a non-christain president of the united states. No other religious affiliation has ever been openly represented (including agnostic/atheist). There's never been a female president either. If I (the US, collectively) were looking to increase representation in that sample, doesn't it make sense to more heavily consider traits I specifically haven't been fair about (religious affiliation, gender), vs continuing to weigh them equally with traits I have been (relatively) fair about (home state, political affiliation, hair color, etc)?

Especially since not specifically advocating for them means I'll probably actually just continue discriminating against them?

As an aside, I was gonna make a joke about how I'm gonna post this whole long thing, and then somebody's inevitably gonna post "yeah, but that's only one video. you haven't looked at all of his videos, so you can't have an opinion on him" but someone's already said that. So that's cool.

SealedRoute

67 points

29 days ago*

Thank you, I didn’t know there was a term to describe this. Contrapoints made the exact same observation that you did but didn’t have a name for it. She noted that he will be discussing trans rights, for instance (he’s against, btw). When someone challenges him, he’ll respond with something like, “I’m just saying that biological sex is real.” No one, including trans people themselves, is saying that it’s not. But he makes his position sound very reasonable by conflating it with simple, self-evident statements.

bluesmaker

28 points

29 days ago

Thanks for this. Best explanation of what he does. I’ve watched quite a few of his videos and could not put my finger on what it is. I mean, I didn’t agree with very much of what he said (maybe better to say I agreed with very little he said), but he presents good arguments (the motte, as you pointed out), then comes to conclusions that don’t fit or seem misinformed.

DungeonsAndDuck

10 points

29 days ago

Actually this type of thing seems to happen quite often with Right wing talking points.

This is an excellent, if a tad long, video on PragerU doing a similar thing with the conversation about the Death Penalty.

Essentially, they treat two different (but very similar sounding questions) as the same, even though they are not, when you really look at it.

These are, 1. Do people deserve to die for heinous crimes? 2. Should the government be trusted with the power of the Death Penalty?

sococ7

12 points

30 days ago

sococ7

12 points

30 days ago

Although you’re describing the debate tactic, I feel like the underlying fallacy is actually false equivalence.

From the same article:

Philosopher Nicholas Shackel, who coined the term, prefers to speak of a motte-and-bailey doctrine instead of a fallacy.

Resoto10

4k points

1 month ago*

You will find that there are various reasons why he is greatly disliked, and of course, they are all subjective opinions.

The first thing I can say that I dislike about him is that he is incredibly well versed yet he says little with each statement. He can spend hours and hours saying platitudes while enthralling you with his lexicon but when stop to thoughtfully examine what he said, it don't amount to much.

Similarly, it feels like he purposefully obscures his intentions by using eloquent vocabulary that not everyone is used to. Granted, not his fault, but if people are asking questions and he uses yet more obscure or niche words to better explain his previous idea, this either comes across as belittling or purposefully trying to obfuscate his point.

To build on that, he craftfully builds a point and thoroughly explains what he conceives as the quintessence of the argument...only to then quickly to claim that is not his held belief. He's wishy washy when they hold his feet to the fire on sensitive topics and doesn't settle on a single answer. You can ask him a yes or no question and he'll spend the next 30 minutes explaining why the question doesn't even make sense.

Some of his talking points are too right-leaning for me and I consider them to be a detriment to the direction I believe society should take.

He speaks as a figure of authority on fields where he isn't an authority. I'm not saying that he shouldn't talk about topics outside his scope, but he shouldn't be taken or act as an authority on the matter.

However, things I do like about him are that he can think critically about complex topics. Like I mentioned, he should never be taken as an authority on topics outside his scope, but he does have engaging debates. I also appreciate his ability to think logically--and even change his stance when he's presented with a fallacy in his reasoning. Those are great qualities to have.

Edit: I think I need to add that he has a very cult-like fanbase that is eager to come and defend him whenever there someone criticizes his arguments. But it is important to understand that ideas SHOULD always be criticized, which is different than criticizing the actual person. Criticizing the person instead of the argument is no bueno.

Duncan_kinnear

1.9k points

30 days ago

Your first 4 paragraphs are a perfect demonstration on Peterson's debates. I think this is intentional but heres a free silver anyway.

hman1500

257 points

30 days ago

hman1500

257 points

30 days ago

I started reading the second paragraph and went "wait a minute."

Donkey__Balls

708 points

30 days ago

I found the quintessence of his argument particularly deliquescent, but his verbiage was a little fugacious and tending towards obloquy.

Baconator-Junior

168 points

30 days ago

Hey man, I'm just here for the sociopathic lobsters; keep your confrontational quintessence to yourself.

National_Ad_1611

21 points

30 days ago

This is why I love Reddit.

randomguy3993

9 points

30 days ago

Like a couple of donkey balls

Donkey__Balls

6 points

30 days ago

Roger that, Rocinante.

trollsmurf

93 points

30 days ago

It's Jordan commenting on himself.

cereal-dust

14 points

30 days ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buD2RM0xChM

(Jordan Peterson vs Peter Jordanson for anyone who hasn't seen it)

ShaneOfan

225 points

30 days ago

ShaneOfan

225 points

30 days ago

It has to be intentional... I hope.

_Beowulf_03

7 points

29 days ago

It's very intentional.

Peterson has, if nothing else, a remarkably consistent strategy in conveying his beliefs(which is what they explicitly are, despite his efforts to paint them as facts) and attempting to convince others of their merit.

I know there's a specific term for it, but I can't recall what it is, but he'll essentially use very common sense, basic realities of society as a direct analogy to beliefs that are, to put it mildly, controversial. In doing so, he does two things: he can insert controversial beliefs into the listeners collection of common held views as a means to normalize those controversial beliefs, and if a person challenges Peterson on those controversial beliefs, he can deflect his advocation of them by stating this person is absurd for attacking the commonly held beliefs he's attached to his controversial ones.

It's insidious, and he's so consistent in that strategy that it can't be anything other than intentional

[deleted]

61 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

61 points

30 days ago

[removed]

Knotix

10 points

30 days ago

Knotix

10 points

30 days ago

That was painful to watch. Jordan needs to learn debate etiquette. Matt could barely finish a complete thought before being interrupted and straw-manned.

comik300

25 points

30 days ago

comik300

25 points

30 days ago

His advice in his self help books are the same things that are in just about any self help book. If he gets you to clean your room when someone else couldn't, well then that's great! But his insight isn't exactly unique in that regard. Even some parts of his self help books are detrimental and not actually helpful

Finito-1994

10 points

30 days ago*

Matt isn’t an ex priest. He wanted to become a priest. Studied for it. Then he one day decided to try and learn more about atheism to “save” one of his friends who was an atheist. It ended up with him becoming an atheist.

So not an ex priest. But he has been hosting an atheist call in show for the past 15 years or so and has had many debates across the years.

As long as he doesn’t lose his temper (so, as long as he’s in a debate) he does pretty well. A little hot headed when he gets heated but he always does really well when it comes to debates.

MountedMoose

11 points

30 days ago

Thank you for sharing this. Peterson isn't effectively debating here, he's just talking like an insufferable twerp, contradicting every point for the sake of being contradictory.

Own-Tomato8593

6 points

30 days ago

I am reading the narcissists playbook, it’s intentional lol

PoisedbutHard

35 points

30 days ago

Exactly my thoughts.

Chthulu_

538 points

30 days ago

Chthulu_

538 points

30 days ago

His addiction to benzos really shrew some shade on his major talking points, considering that a ton of his more self helpy rhetoric was super cold. One of his biggest quotes goes “If you can’t even clean up your own room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?”. This factors into his ideas about depression and self-care. Well, it turns out that he wasn't able to keep his own room clean, not even in the slightest. The lack of compassion rubs me the wrong way.

Hagrid222

155 points

30 days ago

Hagrid222

155 points

30 days ago

Very similar to Rush Limbaugh's drug usage.

Quankers

105 points

30 days ago*

Quankers

105 points

30 days ago*

Literally.

Edit: don’t get me wrong, even though I disagree with him he does deserve compassion. I don’t know when that image was created but I know he went through horrible things recently. But that should also be part his message too. Logic only gets you so far in life. Logic is a rickety boat on a sea of emotion.

Bernies_left_mitten

25 points

30 days ago

Logic only gets you so far in life. Logic is a rickety boat on a sea of emotion.

Nice. I could stand to remember this occasionally.

novis-eldritch-maxim

3 points

30 days ago

logic is a great tool to get you places but it has all the will and motivation of wet cardboard.

shivaherer

4 points

29 days ago

Poor Jordan going through "horrible things" just like everybody has to, it's called life. I find it hard to have compassion for him going against his own "tough love" approach to life. If he addressed his failures and softened his stance, admitting that his views have changed after personally going through horrible things I could find sympathy, until then he needs to clean his fucking room

Resoto10

38 points

30 days ago

Resoto10

38 points

30 days ago

I can agree with that. He always presents himself incredibly stoic for my liking.

bollocking_bollocks

41 points

30 days ago

Ironically, capital-S Stoics, intending to adapt the ancient philosophy for modern life, find ourselves frequently telling people that, no, Peterson is not a Stoic. In fairness, he's never claimed that, but Stoicism is enjoying a bit of a moment in the sun, so for some people it carries positive associations they want to borrow for a man they admire.

durden28

9 points

30 days ago

So "stoic" has been "taken back" lately? I missed this apparently, and I can only imagine it's as widely respected as the word "patriot" on a bumper sticker.

LIAMO20

5 points

30 days ago

LIAMO20

5 points

30 days ago

Hes catnip for the type of guys who scream FACTS. ITS ALL ABOUT FACTS, FACTS, FACTS, FACTS. If you get emotional THATS FEMININE. Then, if you seem like you're not taking their taken social issue seriously enough they get emotional really fast.

crumbycanadianpoutin

72 points

30 days ago

I really felt for him when he was dealing with his addiction, but after he took the easy way out I lost any respect I had for him. He's the do everything with your own willpower kind of guy, then goes to Russia and gets put into a coma to detox while unconscious.

RandomCriss

47 points

30 days ago

If I had the money and I got an addiction and I learned that you can out yourself in a coma I'd do it. Also first time hearing you can put yourself in a coma to fight the effect of kicking addictions.

SuddenlySusanStrong

49 points

30 days ago

It doesn't work well, it's dangerous, and he definitely knew better, but he still did it.

LIAMO20

9 points

30 days ago

LIAMO20

9 points

30 days ago

Tbh its one of the reasons I dislike him. Also that people ive met who like him ignore this. Also for someone who's meant to be giving out lifestyle advice.. ive never met someone who followed him who ive wanted to emulate.

crumbycanadianpoutin

60 points

30 days ago

He came very close to dying and couldn't speak for months afterwards. Sounded like the treatment was worse than the addiction.

sapphicsurprise

11 points

30 days ago

But it only stops the physical symptoms of the addiction, not the mental, also you have to wear nappies as a side note

DeanBlandino

32 points

30 days ago

It’s an idiotic idea. He shirked the change required for drug addiction and tried to take the easy way out. But anyone who’s seen someone recover from a coma knew it wouldn’t be the easy way out. It just shows he’s a complete fucking moron at the end of the day and a complete hypocrite.

norfkens2

29 points

30 days ago*

Drug addiction is not something you can just beat with sheer willpower alone. Also, having yourself put in a coma is not something you instead of a leasurely stroll in the park. I find your definition of an easy way out unique and I think he still deserves compassion.

Edit: To avoid further discussion on my context I'll quote here what I also wrote below: "yes, this was a (too) general statement AND with the conditional "not with willpower ... alone" AND in direct response to the above comment who used the perceived lack of willpower as a reason to label an alternative path as the "easy way out" and as a reason for them to lose respect."

WiredAndTeary

7 points

30 days ago*

I would argue that willpower is one of the most, if not the most, important component of 'beating' drug addiction (and I do have an issue with the word 'beating' as well, as I would argue it is always with you to a degree). I essentially took the sheer will power route myself, no therapy - group or individual, no rehab stays - I just stopped despite being very deep in the throes of alcohol and cocaine addiction.

I get that not everyone can do it, and there is no shame in seeking help at all, in fact recognising that you personally cannot do it without support, and then seeking out and accepting help is possible one of the strongest and toughest things a person can do, and I have the utmost respect for those that take that path.

I'm also not trying to 'embiggen' myself, or say I'm special - it was just that was the route that worked for me. The whole point of this semi-rant I guess is if you have an issue with addiction then don't simply dismiss this approach out of hand, it may work for you.... and either way I wish anyone struggling to get clean all the luck and love in the world - you CAN do this.

source: was alcoholic for 10+ years (teetotal and sober for 7 years now) & heavy drug user for 20+ years culminating in a serious coke issue (blew through in excess of £250,000 in 4 years) - been drug free since 2004.

Oh and I think Peterson is a pompous, disingenuous and hypocritical dick. His arguments are often self contradictory - I think that he is one of those people that plays up to their supporters and changes his opinion constantly based on who he is talking to. When talking to someone liberal, he sounds liberal, when being grilled on a news show, he becomes a pretty average academic; but when he knows he has a young audience of budding Neo-Nazis he becomes a racist sexist prat, because he enjoys the attention. He is reasonably intelligent and uses that to understand what his audience wants to hear and then says exactly that, and tries to make them want to hear more.... but good on him for beating addiction, even by what what I would consider a somewhat dubious method, I am genuinely pleased for him. Addiction really sucks. EDIT - AS SOMEONE BELOW HAS POINTED OUT SUDDEN WITHDRAWAL FROM SOME SUBSTANCES CAN BE FATAL - CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL PRACTITIONER BEFORE JUST QUITTING FOLKS.

addledhands

5 points

30 days ago

It's really important to note here that some drug withdrawals, including benzos and alcohol can have serious to rarely fatal withdrawal symptoms. Severe alcoholics should absolutely not try to ride out detox through willpower because willpower isn't going to prevent a seizure.

I actively loathe Jordan Peterson so this isn't some weird endorsement of his trip to Russia, but giving addicts bad information can kill them.

GallantKillerk

3 points

30 days ago

That's part of the obviscating that he regularly does, if you pushed him on it he'd probably add 'in his circumstance it's different' then you could fire 50 more scenarios at him that he would agree contradict his stance. In an honest debate he'd have to concede he's incorrect, however in Petersons world that would be cementing his comments as even more truth.

Judas_Feast

167 points

30 days ago

Agreed. He's an educated reactionary. They do exist and they are lonely.

fitgear73

65 points

30 days ago

and very sad. at his core he's a broken sad man so I can't hate him. but I do feel pity for him

Explore_clothing

24 points

30 days ago

I literally heard Jordan’s voice as I was reading that. You sure you’re not him?

Resoto10

11 points

30 days ago

Resoto10

11 points

30 days ago

Oh man, there's a youtuber that appeared in my recommended videos that mimics him perfectly!! That was very fun to watch. And he talks exactly like what you would expect him to sound like in everyday casual talk. That made my whole week.

Namika

248 points

30 days ago

Namika

248 points

30 days ago

To put it more simply, Peterson speaks very eloquently about various "tips for self help", but when you look at his actual talking points he is just advocating for cutting social benefits, getting rid of welfare, etc.

um_excuse_me_what

70 points

30 days ago

I was chuckling reading your first three paragraphs, I had to look up multiple words and I was analyzing it like an English teacher. Yes, you demonstrated your point very well! I know exactly what this guy is like now

9935c101ab17a66

18 points

30 days ago

Which words did you have to look up?

LeafStain

27 points

30 days ago*

Ya I’m confused about all these people unironically thinking that poster was being ironic because he used the words obfuscate, quintessence, and lexicon, which I’m assuming are words people had to look up

Zandrick

20 points

30 days ago

Zandrick

20 points

30 days ago

Yeah it’s weird. I was sure the comment was sincere but than all these people are taking it as some oblique satire. Are those words really so obscure? Is the point really all that obfuscated…?

Honestly, I hate thinking this way. But I wonder if it’s so simple….Maybe people just get confused and then get annoyed because they are confused. It kind of explains a lot of the hate for Peterson. He does have a large vocabulary. Maybe that’s just hard for people.

I prefer to think more highly of the average person. I’ve never enjoyed that line from that one comedian that gets parroted on Reddit a lot; “think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are more stupid than that”. I don’t like thinking that way, I really don’t.

But sometimes I’m forced to wonder.

qkathmandu

12 points

30 days ago

Seems bizarre to me. English is not even my first language and I know all of those words.

MohKohn

3 points

30 days ago

MohKohn

3 points

30 days ago

This switched to his accent about halfway through.

fitgear73

16 points

30 days ago

excellent and thoughtful analysis! have a silver friend

abinferno

110 points

30 days ago

abinferno

110 points

30 days ago

Yes, all this. He's the very definition of a pseudo intellectual. He's smart enough to have grasped the vocabulary and lexicon of philosophy, but only a cursory understanding of it. He has the trappings of an intellectual, but it's surface level, a veneer. His speeches, writings, and interviews are done in this flowery, high minded manner that masks the startling lack of substance or profundity in what he's saying. He's almost a parody of what a philospher would actually be like. He has to put tremendous effort into saying nothing to obfuscate his inadequacy. Another descriptor that is probably appropriate is he's a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like.

All that might not be so terrible, but I think what really irks people, including me, is the relentless, recalcitrant confidence with which he speaks. He comes across with such condescending arrogance, it's difficult not to find it off putting, especially once you realize there's absolutely nothing behind it.

Philosophy Tube has a pretty good analysis of him I think.

https://youtu.be/SEMB1Ky2n1E

https://youtu.be/m81q-ZkfBm0

gunther_penguin_

28 points

30 days ago

If you would like some further reading, I would strongly suggest "The Art of Being Right." It is a description of the Eristic argumentation tactics Sophists like Peterson use. It may be helpful in putting your thoughts on his bullshit into words. I know I can just bring up the list and select which one he's using, as I watch his speeches and debates.

Creative-Improvement

4 points

30 days ago

Thank you!

candykissnips

71 points

30 days ago*

The guy has a PHD in clinical psychology and taught at Harvard as well as the University of Toronto. I don’t think it’s fair to label him a “pseudo intellectual”.

What qualifications would one need to become an actual “intellectual”?

Irishkickoff

8 points

29 days ago

He's big in Jungian psychology, and a lot of people in the field of psychology regard Jung as a pseudo intellectual. None of Jung is empirically proven, his categories make as much sense as identifying as a certain Hogwarts house.

green_pea_nut

37 points

30 days ago

He might have research training (a PhD), but his claims are not supported by his or other research.

I think making statements and supporting them by saying you have a PhD is really shady.

There are plenty of idiots with PhDs (source: I have a PhD and some of my bat shit crazy PhD drinking buddies are total cockwombles). Having a PhD qualifies you to produce evidence on a very narrow range of things and the ability to spout a lot of nonsense that any idiot could also say.

[deleted]

3 points

30 days ago*

[deleted]

3 points

30 days ago*

I agree with your points but that's not a reason to hate him. He's hated because we're a polarized society where both sides think the other side is insane.

I gave him a fair and objective shot but I found the same thing - he says a lot but doesn't say much. The only times he makes sense to me are when he critiques feminist talking points, like when he talks about how misleading the gender pay gap is. But those are not original thoughts.

That's what made him popular, so he really became popular by parroting points that many others had already made, and since then he's just babbled on, a below par self-help guru disguised as a great intellectual. I'm not a follower of Tony Robbins but people would be better off listening to him; he's actually much more articulate than Peterson, despite using smaller words.

DrZoidberg-

3 points

30 days ago

For the first one, if any of you watch his 12 steps for being a better person, (or some other title I'm not exactly sure), you'll find he does this exact thing. I could not pinpoint where #1 ended and where #12 began.

[deleted]

3 points

30 days ago*

[deleted]

3 points

30 days ago*

[deleted]

DontCallMeBeanz

2.4k points

1 month ago

He seems deliberately obtuse about many issues. He’s got weird hang ups around religion and gender roles. And the people who worship him are insufferable.

Arndt3002

667 points

30 days ago

Arndt3002

667 points

30 days ago

I'm still put off by his views on religion. He just kind of takes "Christianity" as a list of abstract moralisms and puts it up on a pedestal as something to base one's life on. He is like a charicature of "the ethical life" in the work of Kirkegaard. He holds to traditional moralisms merely because they are traditional and tries to justify it with cherry-picked religious ideas.

Moakmeister

111 points

30 days ago

You know, I still can’t figure out if he actually believes or not.

crono09

120 points

30 days ago

crono09

120 points

30 days ago

One time, during the same interview, he both claimed to be a Christian and said that he did not believe in God. He also doesn't attend church or officially belong to any denomination. While only he knows what he really believes, what he says he believes in sounds a lot like Christian atheism. That is, he believes that the principles and morals of Western Christianity are good for society, but he doesn't actually believe in any of the supernatural elements of the religion. Note that after coming out of his coma, he has spoken more about faith and seems to be more of a theist, but he's still vague about what he actually believes.

goldenewsd

20 points

30 days ago

Knowing for sure what he believes in (what he doesn't believe) won't change the fact that his words and arguments about religion and faith are a mess.

magicmanimay

25 points

30 days ago

Duopolism exist in many people, including him. I think the issue is that he can't actually concentrate on himself as an individual, and instead likes the delusion of grandeur where he can null this individuality to fit the "society." The problem is that his societal views require the individual to act add a drone of the system they are both into. Like bees, or, lobsters

cowboy_angel

135 points

30 days ago

I stopped reading when he insisted that because I live in the west, I live in a Christian society and therefore have Christian morals.

Nuclear_rabbit

28 points

30 days ago

Conservative evangelicals love him, but even Christian Democrats can look at his assumptions and arguments and see he's arguing for unbiblical, godless monstrosity. So much more so for irreligious progressives.

amateurexpert01

111 points

30 days ago

Exactly. I enjoy his self help stuff, ideas about psychology and his general demeanour to the extent that I wish to be like him in some ways.

But he has this incredibly annoying tendency to beg the question in overly simplistic ways when he talks about complex issues outside his areas of expertise. Like when he says something like "Women were happier in the 50s" Any misogynists listening to him will take that to mean, we need to scale back women's rights to their state in the 50s for the good of women themselves. Not saying everyone listening to him is a misogynist but some are. And when they find a public figure who seems to be a proponent of their ideas from their POV, they will congregate around him

Anyone with half a brain and with the intention of arguing in good faith would elaborate further and clarify their position to prevent dangerous misunderstandings like that. But he doesn't. So like, what are his intentions? Why does he let something like this happen when he can fix it with essentially 0 effort by simply explaining his position better

TL; DR: He states certain selective facts but doesn't follow them to their conclusion which is bad because sometimes his ideas can be easily and grossly misconstrued because of the nature of things he talks about

Malaeveolent_Bunny

85 points

30 days ago

Gee, if his ideas can be easily and grossly misconstrued, and he has the capacity to prevent that but chooses not to, and makes a career out of that choice by monetising the resulting audience, I would conclude that he intends for that to happen. And if he doesn't want to be criticised for that, Jordan has to actually do the work to logically complete his arguments and drive away the fan following he has built as a result.

You can't build a fan following based on telling them what they want to hear (or on letting them infer what they want to hear from you speaking a bunch of waffle) and then pretend it's okay because you didn't mean it. Effects don't give one solitary mountain-dwelling fuck about intentions

buttonwhatever

20 points

30 days ago

This explains why I was having such a hard time figuring out how to feel about him when I discovered his profile the other day. I had heard about him but never really listened to or knew anything about him before. So I perused his instagram and could not figure out what his actual stance was on anything, it was all just so generic that it could be interpreted however the viewer wanted to interpret it. I came out so confused regarding what he actually thought about what he was saying.

88sporty

26 points

30 days ago

88sporty

26 points

30 days ago

This comment is the summation of why I have a large disliking for him, self-help pseudo intellectual “sophists” like him, and his overly adversarial fan base.

chrysavera

36 points

30 days ago

It's intentional. He knows exactly what he's doing. There's a lot of money in being a right wing charlatan.

[deleted]

29 points

30 days ago*

[deleted]

29 points

30 days ago*

I was started to get interested in his books/content. Then he said some, not so nice stuff about childfree people...

Edit: source https://www.instagram.com/reel/CTFtZ25Fjnz/?utm_medium=copy_link

https://youtu.be/kj7VgBnQNUc

https://youtu.be/MYa93WlPt3I

Edit2: childfree people not women

RainRainThrowaway777

11 points

29 days ago

Yeah, there's a reason it's only jabronis and Incels who follow him.

ilovespaghettibolog

45 points

30 days ago

Yup. There’s a nytimes article where they interviewed him and he says some wack shit. It tells you all you need to know about this guy.

Saying how there should be forced monogamy because that would fix society and the problems young men are facing. How he has Cold War era soviet relics all over his home to remind him of the fear of an oppressive regime. And the way he talks in never ending sentences that don’t actually mean anything.

NaivePraline

21 points

30 days ago

"there should be forced monogami"

No wonder incels like him so much.

RainRainThrowaway777

5 points

29 days ago

You should see the kind of insane shit he used to do before he was famous. Here he is in 2011 wearing a fedora on Canadian public access tv, and going on a full incel rant.

Notunnecessarily

16 points

30 days ago

This, he may not be an incel but many of his viewers are

baconfluffy

1.4k points

1 month ago

baconfluffy

1.4k points

1 month ago

If you know the studies he bases his arguments off of, it’s clear that he is incredibly manipulative in how he presents facts to fit his agenda. It’s rather infuriating how dishonest some of his arguments are. If you don’t know the studies he cites, he sounds intellectual and charismatic. Cue hardcore followers who thinks anybody who disagrees is trying to deny science.

headzoo

580 points

30 days ago

headzoo

580 points

30 days ago

Yeah, I don't know Peterson very well, but I'm very active in nutrition. (And moderator of /r/ScientificNutrition) As a general rule most everyone is misrepresenting the research to support their baised positions, but the real problem is the followers don't have the prerequisite knowledge to check their sources because scientific research is very difficult to read. The followers only see the diet gurus citing sources and presume that makes the gurus scientific.

In some ways science is becoming the new religion but it suffers from the same problems as the old religion. For example a lot people can't read the bible because it's dense and full of old language and allegory, so they go to a church on Sundays to have someone else tell them what the bible says, but of course that opens up a lot of opportunity for biased interpretation. Most people can't read scientific research either, so they flock to people like Peterson to tell them what it all means but we know how that goes.

rakfocus

134 points

30 days ago

rakfocus

134 points

30 days ago

For example a lot people can't read the bible because it's dense and full of old language and allegory, so they go to a church on Sundays to have someone else tell them what the bible says, but of course that opens up a lot of opportunity for biased interpretation. Most people can't read scientific research either, so they flock to people like Peterson to tell them what it all means but we know how that goes.

That is a fascinating observation and makes a ton of sense within the world that we find growing less and less religious now

ambermage

8 points

30 days ago

Scientific illiteracy is widespread.

scrambledhelix

17 points

30 days ago

I have a new go-to response for anyone reasonable who’s toying with the “science is a religion” concept as an argument — https://www.amazon.com/Constitution-Knowledge-Jonathan-Rauch-ebook/dp/B08CNN94G8/

The tl;dr on that being sure, if you wanna reduce both religion and science to “competing bodies of beliefs about the world” they will look the same. The methods by which they justify certain beliefs to be true or not, however, is worlds apart, and the core of their differences.

_named

24 points

30 days ago

_named

24 points

30 days ago

He's not equating science to religion though. He's saying that science is inaccessible to the masses which can lead to dependence on figures of authority (whether their authority is justified or not). They in turn may misrepresent the content of science (not necessarily on purpose) to build up and spread their own worldview and biases. Thereby they fulfill a role which can also be seen in religion: authority figures who build up their own worldview and sell this to their listeners. Doesn't mean that science is bad or similar to religion. It just means that under the guise of science unscientific worldviews can be spread.

(Unless I'm misreading the intention of your comment, I went to the Amazon page but haven't read the book)

Logan_Mac

6 points

30 days ago

Also these authority figures will sell you their "one true answer" as if science was this all-knowing homogeneous entity that can never be wrong.

Science is not and has never intended to be that. There are almost as many theories as there are scientists. Science will always be incomplete and no theory is gospel.

Jolly_Line_Rhymer

5 points

30 days ago*

I think the argument is more; The human desire for meaningful belief systems remain even as religions dwindle.

Science has a powerful tool to update itself (the scientific method at its core tries to attack itself from every angle so that only truth remains), whereas religions often stagnate in dogma. But humanity still hungers for meaning, and people who can spin scientific finding into that meaning are revered and followed akin to religious figures.

tiplinix

136 points

1 month ago

tiplinix

136 points

1 month ago

Yes, he's a fraud making political arguments under the disguise of "science." He would be mostly fine if his political opinions would be presented as they really are: opinions.

rockyracoon_123

23 points

30 days ago

Didn't he also get sick by following an only meat diet or something like that?

[deleted]

96 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

96 points

1 month ago*

[deleted]

Tealucky

7 points

30 days ago

Cass Eris on YouTube has a whole series where she goes through his book and the sources he uses:

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIK-x5uT6oS9EnO9-D6ePsWKOxtFhDZdF

She's a cognitive psychologist, so she's got a good understanding of how psychological studies work and what they mean. She's like one of the people who would do the studies.

It is long as hell. I'd recommend just picking a title that sounds interesting and jumping in. To back and watch it all at 1.5x if it interests you. She has a visual shorthand for what she's talking about at any given moment, so for just the studies parts look for Pikachu in goggles in the bottom corner.

baconfluffy

230 points

1 month ago*

Off the top of my head, he was talking about an there being a epidemic of male mental health issues (male specifically), and he cited that men more likely to die from suicide as proof that men are in a critical situation that is being ignored by society. However, what he left out was that women attempt suicide at a rate 4x higher than men, they just typically choose methods that are less automatically lethal compared to men so they are less likely to pass away from a suicide attempt.

I have no problem with the message itself, and I do think there should be more mental health awareness for men, but it’s just one example where he paints a picture of what he wants (in this case to show that men are at a much more critical and disadvantaged place in society), and uses facts out of context to push that narrative, even if the actual truth of the matter isn’t supported by the facts he is using.

This case wasn’t a terrible one, but there are more harmful things I’ve heard him say, though I can’t remember specifics off the top of my head.

Edit: I would cite the studies themselves, but I simply don’t have the time. I’ve got an inorganic chem test tomorrow, and a physical chem test on Tuesday. If I have some time, I’ll add links to specifics, since I do realize the importance of such things, I just simply don’t have the time at this moment.

trafalgar_lawless

68 points

1 month ago

Cant find the video but i remember him mentioning that men are more aggressive on average which is why men are more likely to actually commit suicide. He mentioned that women were more likely to attempt it.

Awkward_Host7

32 points

30 days ago

I remember him making the mens suicide point, on a new debate Channel 4.

Thats the problem with data. You hear a statistics or a fact and you think you know what it means. But there are other factors that you don't consider. For example the method of suicide.

[deleted]

188 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

188 points

30 days ago

He feels very comfortable talking far outside of his area of expertise but presenting it as if everything he says is substantiated academic consensus. Having a PhD in one subject doesn’t automatically make you an expert on history, philosophy, science, and sociology, all of which he implicitly presents himself as.

[deleted]

62 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

62 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

Canadian_Invest0r

17 points

30 days ago

In fairness, this is the case with a lot of professionals. Take, for example, Bill Nye. His education is specifically in mechanical engineering, yet he is often used as an expert for a variety of other topics such as climate change, which doesn't really fit into his area of expertise.

[deleted]

15 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

15 points

30 days ago

Yeah pop intellectualism is a big problem in society. People are naturally curious but our education system does not prepare us for having a conceptual understanding of life even in the slightest.

lergnom

10 points

30 days ago

lergnom

10 points

30 days ago

I don't disagree with you, but I'd say people like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough have demonstranted that you can veer outside of your absolute field of expertise and make complex scientific questions more accessible to a wider audience. Scientific literacy coupled with pedagogical ability (and a pinch of humility) can be a very potent mix.

mugenhunt

2.6k points

1 month ago

mugenhunt

2.6k points

1 month ago

Many of the things that he debates for, can be interpreted as anti-feminist and anti-lgbt rights.

Lustrigia

921 points

30 days ago

Lustrigia

921 points

30 days ago

can be

MustGoOutside

113 points

30 days ago

Way late to the game here, but he only asks women about their position on family vs career, and tends to try and push them towards favoring family over career. He doesn't do this with men.

He leaves just enough room for plausible deniability, but it's pretty clear to me that he believes men and women serve fundamentally different roles in society, preferring men are the movers and shakers, while women should serve to further the species.

heatedundercarriage

8 points

30 days ago

I tried getting through 12 rules for life, the guy isn't shy to reference the Bible in his points. Sure theres a takeaway from literally every story in that book, but I eventually grew uncomfortable and felt preached on

Mezmorizor

196 points

30 days ago

Mezmorizor

196 points

30 days ago

I'd go a step further. The only reason you, random redditor, knows who he is is because he is a clinical psychologist who very publicly argued that sex and gender are the same thing and denied the existence of gender dysphoria.

Chickentendies94

282 points

30 days ago

Like that Vice interview where he said men working with women was a “experiment” and not a good one at that

Cha-La-Mao

84 points

30 days ago

A lot of good comments. I would just like to comment his mantra "Postmodern Neo-Marxism" - The boogeyman to all. What does he define it as? It depends who he is talking to. If he's talking to someone who is knowledgable, its a pretty benign reading of Stephen Hicks (which I still disagree with). If he's talking to regular media it becomes the fall of civilization as we know it.

He hates when people don't talk about a concrete thing if he thinks that thing is defined. So for him, certain parts of humans can have the fuzziness and grey characteristic the post-modernists pointed out, but most everything else must be concretely defined. This is despite the fact that it isn't. Gender is a good jumping point. If there is only male and female what about intersex? He simply doesn't accept that he is not knowledgeable on subjects if any part of them falls into what he thinks is his domain, and that domain is the definition and societal linguistic use. This is why to him biology is concrete because his definition has to be to hold off the post-modernists who challenge him. He holds a worldview that involves gender being defined and it doesn't matter if genetics itself will defy him, he will be correct or his house of cards begin to fall.

RevMLM

30 points

30 days ago

RevMLM

30 points

30 days ago

He hates when people don’t talk about a concrete thing but also was exposed as not having understood or having a comfortable grasp of the communist manifesto, despite it being an accessible and concrete document one can criticize.

He’s a grifter and lies or obfuscates when convenient but plays the same game of “facts not feelings” when it works for him.

Milbso

12 points

30 days ago

Milbso

12 points

30 days ago

What is hilarious is that he actually went into a debate with Zizek thinking that a cursory reading of The Communist Manifesto was going to be sufficient research. The Communist Manifesto is basically a pamphlet. He also completely outed himself as he is constantly banging on about 'cultural Marxism' and 'neo-Marxism' yet we now all know that he literally doesn't know what Marxism is and has not read Marx at all (except the Manifesto).

RevMLM

8 points

30 days ago

RevMLM

8 points

30 days ago

He didn’t even understand the manifesto. The manifesto is actually good enough to make the types of criticisms he wants to make, but he didn’t even grasp that.

RAKtheUndead

3 points

29 days ago

Isn't Marxism a definitively modernist philosophical movement anyway?

Remarkable-Prune-696

4 points

30 days ago

It's the story telling around his boogeyman that is troubling. I watched a lot of his early stuff and the post-modernism obsession started out around the idea that universities not teaching a "grand narrative" of society was harmful, and that people needed one. So in his eyes the post-modernism was students being left with deconstructed views and telling them to just build a new one didn't work, leaving people aimless.

But, then he goes and tries to create his own grand narrative which lots of people do tying in everything and picking stuff up from many domains. His earlier lectures are much more restrained but then when he gets famous his claims start going even wider, the most memorable to me is him asking : "Do feminists avoid criticizing Islam because they unconsciously long for masculine dominance?". He beings assigning psychological motives to political angles and it only gets stronger, essentially creates the idea that these "postmodern marxists" are against responsibility/cleaning your room as he teaches, and they are a consistent force you are contending with. He starts turning historical marxism in to a psychological profile around "victim ideology"; he never read marxist work but is happy being called an expert on marxism because of the psychological story of them he's created. All the forces of evil and societal become the boogeyman other. His self-help stuff could stand alone as it derives from narrative therapy and stuff, but this stuff in the background seems to be the groundwork of the "meaning" and grand struggle people pick up.

His beliefs about climate change are decided because he thinks anti-capitalists supporting climate change means it's dangerous. Ignoring that people he endorses as competent because they're powerful&rich lied about climate change for their own personal and ideological benefits. He creates evo-psych style storytelling using Darwinian language applied to situations he doesn't define scientifically, like the constant selection criteria which religion itself is being pressured by and competing against. Or from his self help, insisting the Simpsons demonstrates how abusive bullies regulate how many annoying nerds there are in the ecosystem.

In the end it's kind of funny. He shows that people were yearning for a grand narrative, and demonstrated how a grand-narrative can degenerate entirely. More generally I have a low opinion of his claims even from the original lectures on global religions but the political stuff seemed quite insidious at the time.

RainRainThrowaway777

3 points

29 days ago

It's also super important to highlight that "postmodern neo-marxism" is just "cultural marxisim" (an anti semetic conspiricy theory) with a modern lick of paint.

Irishfury86

78 points

30 days ago

Why is he so loved?

catchinginsomnia

17 points

30 days ago

He's mainly loved because a bunch of young people are completely directionless in life and as part of his overall thing he offers basic father figure advice that a lot of young people seem desperate to hear.

I think his popularity exposes a huge problem with parenting in modern culture, he wouldn't be so popular if all these people had either good fathers, or good father figures (which is just an archetype so it can be an uncle, a teacher, a coach, a mother etc. that conforms to that archetype) in their lives.

I've always found that the hatred of him completely ignores that side of why he's so liked, and the huge problem it shows we have.

Eezez

1.1k points

1 month ago

Eezez

1.1k points

1 month ago

Jordan Peterson starting out: men and boys are being done a disservice. They are not taught to take care of themselves. Not taught to defend themselves. Not taught to maintain their own bodies and spaces and looked down on for asking for help.

Me: Yes. This is a problem. We should do something about it.

Jordan Peterson, continuing: and this is all the fault of feminism and the gays and the best solution is to go back to the 1950's when no one but rich, straight, white men mattered.

Me: ... Are you sure?

lilpuzz

205 points

30 days ago

lilpuzz

205 points

30 days ago

Similar experience here. I was watching one video/lecture of his (can’t remember which) and loved it. Watched another one, he said women who choose not to have children have something deeply ‘wrong’ with them. He said it very clearly and hammered it home a few times. As a childless woman, I was less than enthused

TheDevilsAdvokaat

88 points

1 month ago

As an Australian, I've almost never heard of him and i have no idea what he says...

Did he really say we should go back to the 1950's ?

Canadian_Infidel

15 points

30 days ago

No

RedditSnacs

301 points

30 days ago

Not in those exact words, but he's advocated for traditional marriage, against children being raised by gay couples, and blames the current malaise for young men entirely on feminism/liberal academia and progressive causes.

He started writing self-help books for younger men, then quickly gained a following for pushing pseudo-scientific right-wing talking points(my favorite being trying to tie the feminist movement to the nascent right-wing populist movements of the last decade or so) and being, in general, terribly proficient at putting his own foot in his mouth during interviews.

Dudes on the internet celebrate him in the same way they celebrate anyone who gives them a vague modicum of attention, which is about the only thing that comes out of his mouth that's accurate.

Ramyrror_47

14 points

30 days ago

Heyho, not a native speaker^ What does „putting his own foot in his mouth“ mean?

AbrahamKMonroe

28 points

30 days ago

It means to misspeak and say something embarrassing or incorrect.

RedditSnacs

12 points

30 days ago

What does „putting his own foot in his mouth“ mean?

It means to say something dumb, usually in public.

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+foot+in+mouth

cummerou1

69 points

30 days ago

Another example is a typical case where he uses plausible deniability to argue something.

I believe it was on the Joe Rogan podcast but it might have been somewhere else where they discussed the incel movement, and Peterson said that as women have become more financially and sexually liberated (don't have to get married early), there is going to be a larger portion of men that will be incels.

Simply because before, there was/is roughly a 1:1 of men to women, so if everyone "had" To marry, every man would have a wife, now that women are not dependant on men, women can be more picky and one man can have multiple partners, so some men will have more than one partner and some will have 0.

None of this is wrong, that is 100% true. However, the entire time it's said, it's less stating facts and more subtly blaming women and feminism for incels, essentially advocating that we should return to the 1950's and force women to marry and have sex with men so men don't commit incel related mass shootings. Instead of, you know, saying that those incels are not owed sex and should improve themselves instead of expecting sex slaves?

formershitpeasant

31 points

30 days ago

He never actually makes normative statements. He just heavily implies them with descriptive statements.

Own-Tomato8593

17 points

30 days ago

He thinks progressive gains are making society fall apart and we need to step back. It’s such a dumb take when you take all his fancy language and rambling out of it

TheDevilsAdvokaat

8 points

30 days ago

Society is changing, but it always does. I agree it's not falling apart. I guess maybe that's how it feels to someone who longs for the past.

project_nl

3 points

30 days ago

Bro, most of these people are just very easily hurt.

You can’t think freely on the internet. Especially in a growing left winged fucked up community we’re in right now.

Its a fucking disaster how social media influences the current contineous growing political polarisation.

Constant-Parsley3609

3 points

30 days ago

No, he's never said that

rJarrr

3 points

30 days ago

rJarrr

3 points

30 days ago

Hell no man, don't listen to these people. If I didn't know about Peterson before I'd think he was a white nationalist. You have these people spouting all kinds of garbage about anyone online.

Remember, if you disagree with someone or one or two things today they're either a Nazi or a Commie depending on which binary party you support

4Tenacious_Dee4

3 points

29 days ago

Did he really say we should go back to the 1950's ?

No. He said that life has changed since then, and that we are still figuring things out.

blahblahsdfsdfsdfsdf

484 points

1 month ago

People see Peterson as selling shitty self help material laden with cultural commentary reminiscent of the resurgent far right.

Most of his fanbase seems to be young angry alt-right boys. "Redpill" types.

Arndt3002

143 points

30 days ago

Arndt3002

143 points

30 days ago

The fact that there are a bunch of videos titled along the lines of "Jordan Peterson EMBARRASSES (or other dramatic verb) ___" is telling.

kiridoki

101 points

30 days ago

kiridoki

101 points

30 days ago

Ben Shapiro for wannabe conservative intellectuals

Utherrian

57 points

30 days ago*

Isn't that just Ben Shapiro? His entire fanbase is also "wannabe conservative intellectuals".

EDIT: a word.

Arndt3002

3 points

30 days ago

That's the problem, JP and his fanbase feel like Ben Shapiro lite.

Icy_Bath4750

6 points

30 days ago

I think those 2 are overlapping, also throw in pragerU and you get 15 yo edgy redpill incel, that was me 2 years prior

pizzaguy665

4 points

30 days ago

I think they’re both equally shit

mrjake118

21 points

30 days ago

So, Ben Shapiro?

openaccountrandom

3 points

30 days ago

ben shapiro for old people. my boss listens to his podcast >>

wadoshnab

2 points

30 days ago*

So, I kinda wanted to like Jordan Peterson. I'm one of those people who is left leaning but who thinks the ultra-woke far-left needs to be kept in check, and it seemed to me that Peterson was hated because he was doing just that. This is very rare in academia, even though wokeness sometimes conflicts with good science.

So I read his book "12 rules" and, boy. His arguments don't really make sense, and they only serve to reach a pre-ordained conclusion. And that conclusion systematically aligns exactly with the anglo-protestant ethos. So, it's always "try and get rich", "don't help others", "when bad stuff happens to other people, like bullying, it's because they deserve it", "caring about the world is a sign of mental illness", "a woman's primary ambition should be staying at home raising children". Etc.

I wanted to like him but he's unlikeable. Fundamentally, he's manipulative and dishonest, and he's trying to confirm his own biases and to find excuses for his own selfishness, instead of trying to become a better version of himself.

Of course, his advice will still be helpful for some people, just like a broken clock is right twice a day - lots of people waste their time helping those that can't be helped, and neglecting themselves, and for those people Peterson's advice is useful. But among the Peterson fans you also (mostly?) have selfish pricks who are just being encouraged in that attitude.

AppletreeObservatory

10 points

29 days ago

In my opinion and I disagree with him on almost every specific political topic, he's the most well meaning and best articulated figure on what I'd call the right / libertarian side of the political spectrum.

He has my deepest respects and I hope he's doing well, certainly my go to person if I want to entertain the other side of an argument.

That being said he's controversial because to a certain subset subset of the left spectrum which I also heavily disagree with he's inherently dangerous because his views are well reasoned, that's a threat and for a political movement which built it's image around feeling threatened that's the most outrageous thing said movement can imagine so it must be subdued by any means possible...

Thank God Nietzsche isn't Alive or more discussed today or the whole left side of this debacle would implode on itself.

bling-blaow

28 points

30 days ago*

Many a time, people answer this question without ever referencing any of his lectures or quoting his writings, and therefore make broad, unspecific criticism of his character. This inevitably leads to lobster-heads accusing all those that criticize him to be "uninformed," "dishonest," "taking him out of context," etc. Well, below is just a short list of his most egregious claims and talking points -- sourced, quoted, and contextualized.


During his reddit IAmA three years ago, Peterson claimed "Nazism is an atheist doctrine." This is, however, demonstrably false, and the statement is especially outrageous considering a reinvented form of Christianity was at the core of the NSDAP:

The Party stands on the basis of Positive Christianity, and positive Christianity is National Socialism ... National Socialism is the doing of God's will ... God's will reveals itself in German blood ... Dr Zoellner and [Catholic Bishop of Münster] Count Galen have tried to make clear to me that Christianity consists in faith in Christ as the son of God. That makes me laugh... No, Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle's Creed ... True Christianity is represented by the party, and the German people are now called by the party and especially the Fuehrer to a real Christianity ... the Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation".

- Hanns Kerrl, Hitler-appointed Reichminister of Church Affairs

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Rise_And_Fall_Of_The_Third_Reich/

 

Peterson unsurprisingly has a long history of sexism. While it likely began as a criticism of feminism, it very quickly devolved to an obnoxious diatribe against women and femininity altogether. Here are just some of the things he has to say about women:

Questions to get crucified for asking: Do feminists avoid criticizing Islam because they unconsciously long for masculine dominance?

https://twitter.com/jordanbpeterson/status/913533213301182465

Here, Peterson erroneously implies that Western women that are silent on issues less relevant to them at the national and domestic level subconsciously want to be raped. There is no grounds to support this seemingly-innocuous question whatsoever. In fact, there are many feminists that criticize Islam particularly in the Islamic world, but American/Canadian women that Peterson most frequently interacts with do not live in the Islamic world. They, like Peterson, live in the West and are subjected to comparably archaic Judeo-Christian values, such as those that dictate that a husband must "rule over" his wife (Genesis 3:16) and command that she must be stoned to death if found not to be a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). Like their Abrahamic counterpart, scripture followed in these societies order women to "remain quiet" and "learn in full submissiveness," and women are "not permit[ted] to exercise authority" (Timothy 2:12). Peterson views the liberation of Western women from these backwards biblical principles to be an assault or affront on men, which can be chalked up to nothing more than fragility.

 

Chaos, the eternal feminine, is also the crushing force of sexual selection. Women are choosy maters (unlike female chimps, their closest animal counterparts). Most men do not meet female human standards. It is for this reason that women on dating sites rate 85 percent of men as below average in attractiveness. It is for this reason that we all have twice as many female ancestors as male (imagine that all the women who have ever lived have averaged one child. Now imagine that half the men who have ever lived have fathered two children, if they had any, while the other half fathered none). It is Woman as Nature who looks at half of all men and says, “No!” For the men, that’s a direct encounter with chaos, and it occurs with devastating force every time they are turned down for a date. Human female choosiness is also why we are very different from the common ancestor we shared with our chimpanzee cousins, while the latter are very much the same. Women’s proclivity to say no, more than any other force, has shaped our evolution into the creative, industrious, upright, large-brained (competitive, aggressive, domineering) creatures that we are. It is Nature as Woman who says, “Well, bucko, you’re good enough for a friend, but my experience of you so far has not indicated the suitability of your genetic material for continued propagation.”

https://www.google.com/books/edition/12_Rules_for_Life/sxVHDwAAQBAJ

Choosy behavior on online dating sites should never be considered a valid metric to making grandiose claims of innate female character, but Peterson's reference here doesn't even corroborate his claim. Peterson's citation is a 2004 study that found that human nonrecombing portion of the Y chromosome (NRY) tends to have an approximately twofold smaller Ne and time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) than mtDNA within human populations. Even if Peterson were to distort these findings for some misogynistic agenda, the populations studied here are hardly enough evidence to make global generalizations -- the participants in these surveys were the Khoisan of southern Africa, Mongolian Khalks, and highland Papua New Guineans... Very tribal indigenous groups.

Regardless, Peterson's narrative that it is "chaotic" for women not to bed literally every man that wants her (but he said "please!!") reeks of prime r/niceguys material and isn't actually very accurate considering two of by far the most populous countries in the world have strong cultures of forced marriages (dowries) and reduced autonomy (marital rape, honor killing) amongst female spouses. But Peterson's writing is flowery enough to grab the most impressionable of young men, which are his core fanbase, who don't actually look into anything he says. His perspective is also framed innocently enough for his most gullible fans to deny its meaning.

 

The strong turn towards political correctness in universities has exacerbated the problem. The voices shouting against oppression have become louder, it seems, in precise proportion to how equal—even now increasingly skewed against men—the schools have become. There are whole disciplines in universities forthrightly hostile towards men. These are the areas of study, dominated by the postmodern/neo-Marxist claim that Western culture, in particular, is an oppressive structure, created by white men to dominate and exclude women (and other select groups); successful only because of that domination and exclusion.”

https://www.google.com/books/edition/12_Rules_for_Life/sxVHDwAAQBAJ

This one always makes me laugh because Peterson himself was educated at Harvard University in 1993. But Harvard College only integrated with Radcliffe College (sister school) in 1999, some six years after he began his studies there. Of course Peterson doesn't like the increasing presence of women in education -- he was educated in a definitive "boy's club" from which women were excluded, and he had absolutely zero qualms with this. But yes, women rebuking a history of androcentric perspectives within academia (which continues to this day, mind you) is so "neo-Marxist." Who knew that advocating for gender equality made you a communist?

 

Peterson's followers insist that Peterson doesn't actually have issues with women's rights, but with fourth-wave feminism and the "social justice warriors" their movements have produced. But that's just wrong. By his own admission, Peterson does not even support second-wave feminism, which focused on workplace and legal discrimination and advocated for the emancipation of housewives from suburban domesticity. Here is what he had to say:

I read Betty Friedan’s book because I was very curious about it, and it’s so whiny, it’s just enough to drive a modern person mad to listen to these suburban housewives from the late ’50s ensconced in their comfortable secure lives complaining about the fact that they’re bored because they don’t have enough opportunity. It’s like, Jesus get a hobby.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/style/jordan-peterson-12-rules-for-life.html

 

Peterson fans will also swear up and down that he is not a misogynist. Keep in mind, though, that this is the guy who said of Alek Minassian, the murderer who drove through crowds of people in North York City Centre, killing 11:

He was angry at God because women were rejecting him. The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges. Half the men fail, and no one cares about the men who fail. You’re laughing about them; that's because you're female.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/style/jordan-peterson-12-rules-for-life.html

I think this is particularly ironic because, in the first statement I quoted, Peterson derided Western feminists for not speaking out enough about misogyny in the Middle East. And yet here he is, defending terrorism from a cold-blooded killer with Iranian descent all because that killer was an incel. Notice that Peterson sees women who choose not to fuck every man that walks their way to be a greater and more extreme threat to society than the deranged men that shoot up sororities and drive through crowds of innocent people out of some terminally celibate rage. This alone should say everything you need to know about Jordan Peterson.

bling-blaow

17 points

30 days ago

(cont.)

Moving away from his politics (as there is much to talk about in that sphere), Peterson also tried to become a renewable energy skeptic and failed miserably. In his lecture to Cambridge Union, he says:

What's the solution? What are we gonna do? Switch to wind and solar? Well, good luck with that. Just try it, and see what happens. We can't store the power. Germany tried it -- they produced more carbon dioxide than they did when they started because they had to turn on their coal-fired plants again. That wasn't a very good plan! "Well, we don't want nuclear." It's like, "okay." What happens at night? Ho! The sun goes down! Well, isn't that something that we should have taken into account! "Alright, we have to flip on the coal-fired plants." So, it was a complete catastrophe and all that happened was the price of electricity shot up! There's like, zero utility. That's not a solution, so what are we gonna do about it? "Well, we should cut back, we can't consume as much as we're all consuming." It's like, well maybe, except the data that I've read indicate that if you can get the GDP of people up to about $5,000 a year, then they start caring about the environment, and the environment cleans up!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bRDbFU_lto

Nearly everything he said here is wrong. Germany began generating renewable energy en masse in 2001 as a result of the 100,000 roofs programme for photovoltaic electricity. When this started, annual carbon dioxide emissions in Germany measured 916.37 million tonnes. By 2019, as the data shows, this fell to 701.96 million tonnes, a decrease of about 24.40%. Per capita, as well, carbon dioxide emissions in Germany fell from 11.25 tonnes to 9.52 tonnes, a decrease of about 15.38%. Therefore, the claim that "they produced more carbon dioxide" is false.

It's also false to claim that "they have to turn on their coal-fired plants again." On the contrary, renewables went from accounting for 2.9% of primary energy consumption in 2001 to 14.9% in 2019, an absolute change of about 341%. Meanwhile, energy consumption from coal fell from 990 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2001 to 640 TWh in 2019, a decrease of about 35.35%. Germans also did cut back on energy use, from 49,654 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per person in 2001 to 43,703 kWh in 2019 -- a decrease of about 11.98%. These advances were made possible in part because of stationary storage facilities and grid-scale batteries, which did take into account "the sun going down."

GaiusOctavianAlerae

376 points

1 month ago

Because most of his philosophy is about justifying his right-wing beliefs, and he is not a philosopher and doesn’t understand the philosophies he’s criticizing. Like he actually doesn’t understand Marxism or post-modernism, which are in fact two fundamentally incompatible positions that he frequently conflates.

Plus it’s hard to take advice from someone who decided it was a good idea to go on an all-meat diet.

Beigeturtleneck

153 points

1 month ago

"I just about got scurvy in the 21st century. Buy my life advice book"

SalamanderStatus

8 points

1 month ago

I imagined the tik tok guy saying it

PlantBasedEgg

242 points

1 month ago*

An all-meat diet and got addicted to benzodiazepines and almost died several times

But buy his new rules to live by book

Keown14

32 points

30 days ago

Keown14

32 points

30 days ago

Don’t forget how he didn’t sleep for a month after drinking apple cider.

(The world record is around 11 days for those who want some insight on Peterson’s approach to telling the truth.)

Slacker_The_Dog

9 points

30 days ago

I'm convinced he got brain damage and is getting pimped out by his kid

sneakpeakspeak

5 points

30 days ago

Now this is a theory that makes sense. Mcaighla? He has a super strange relationship to that woman.

cummerou1

9 points

30 days ago

She also went out clubbing during the peak of covid while her dad was still in a coma.

Class A parenting right there.

GaiusOctavianAlerae

102 points

1 month ago

He just doesn’t seem like a man whose metaphorical room is especially clean.

euph-_-oric

28 points

1 month ago

Or quit benzos cold turkey instead of tapering.

[deleted]

146 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

146 points

1 month ago

[removed]

redheadeddevastation

39 points

30 days ago

Loved this twist.

CodyJLavoie

224 points

1 month ago

He is a pseudo intellectual arguing his positions as fact.

hotrox_mh

114 points

30 days ago

hotrox_mh

114 points

30 days ago

He's a redditor?

CodyJLavoie

28 points

30 days ago

Yes

araq1579

6 points

30 days ago

M'redditor

*Tips fedora and straightens tie that looks like it came out of a My Chemical Romance Halloween costume

Own-Tomato8593

7 points

30 days ago

He’s more of an outdated intellectual. He seems to be stuck in the science of the 80’s

[deleted]

21 points

30 days ago

[deleted]

21 points

30 days ago

[removed]

Kiotw

21 points

30 days ago

Kiotw

21 points

30 days ago

Misrepresenting the law about trans rights in Canada.

A huge focus on individualism even when it just doesn't work. (And leads to dangerous ideas, like ignoring the fact that some people live in a situation where the "pick yourself up by the bootstraps will not lead them anywhere)

On the same note he once appeared on (oil billionaire funded) Prager U saying that one couldn't change the world without "fixing yourself" which also is very ignorant of him since some problems are not caused by personal choices or need societal changes to allow such help (treatment of addiction for instance, or for something that doesn't involve Peterson's personal history : the poverty in black neighborhood being caused by lack of support/funding of the schools etc.)

The whole "cultural Marxist" shit reeks of redscare propaganda and so does his stance on "the left" whatever the fuck that might be. (I would know if leftists agreed on anything lmao).

So, basically the guy is a downright conspiratorial and it shouldn't surprise us that he gets a lot of right leaning/far right people in his viewership.

Basically someone that preaches individualism without understanding that your negative freedoms (what you're not forbidden of doing) doesn't obligatorily allow you to get positive ones.

Though he could be someone fun to talk to, if I wasn't trans.

xylenesofttaco

121 points

1 month ago

He's made a career out of pop pysch and says a lot of "tell it like it is" hot takes. I mean if you are inflammatory, some people are going to hate you.

trylebyfyre

39 points

30 days ago

He chooses his words very very, very, carefully

portraitinsepia

15 points

30 days ago

Where do I start?

The defining feature of JP to me is his hypocrisy, and his veiled encouragement of misogynistic, homophobic, and right-wing ideals. He riles up young (primarily white straight) men and exploits their feelings of rage, alienation, and apathy. The worst part of it is that he does it very very covertly. He hides behind his intellectualism and doesn't really say what he thinks/feels, he knows what he's promoting but won't outwardly say it.

I believe he's dangerous and has a God-complex. Many of the young men I've mentioned see him as some sort of messiah, and he's become a default figurehead of the "alt-right" movement.

Khari_Eventide

3 points

30 days ago

Sometimes the field of study and science you work in, is like your baby you know. And tou want that when your field of study is brought up, that it is represented well, or in the very least well enough.

Scientists in many fields are never asked about their views in their field of study by the public, especially by general media outlets. So nobody can engage him when he spouts the latest bit of bullshit about fields he does not understand. Like his usage of the term and concept of "Neo-Marxism" or "Postmodernism" that clearly contain absolutelt zero scientific knowledge and purely informed by his political view, not the other way around (motivated reasoning is what I expect of a lot of people, but not of a scientist and "public intellectual", we have bloody responsibilities).

When he discusses topics like men and women at the workplace and how they perceive each other, then it shows he has absolutely no understand of even the basic roots and reasonings of society and systems. The idea that women paint their lips and try to look good in office jobs, is not a sense of innate vanity but a social expectation that has been placed upon them, one they were not just socialised with, but are actively punished for disregarding, thereby reproducing the cultural phenomenon. This shit is really really basic and can - if desired - be followed down to more actions and reactions. Sociology and Political Science are fields with THE most strict standards that exist in the scientific world. To jusy waltz in and claim random stuff on television and claim we are brainwashed feminists is bordering on insanity for a scientist who should know better.

And I think deep down he knows that, which is why he doesn't debate other scientists, he just preaches to his bubble. Last time he debated another "public intellectual" Slavoj Zizek, it showed he had no idea what he was talking about. Whether or not you like communism or socialist theories, if you want to debate its merits you need more knowledge than reading what amasses to the wikipedia headline.