Jordan Peterson’s Truth – Debunked

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This is Jordan Peterson’s Truth – Debunked (the first in my series debunking Jordan Peterson’s religious beliefs).

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1). Transliminal’s interview with Peterson:

2). Sam Harris’ debate with Peterson (titled ‘What is True?’):

3). Peterson and Weinstein debating the nature of truth:

4). Timothy Lott asks Peterson ‘Are you a Christian?’:

As always, thank you kindly for the view, and I hope that this video helps you demonstrate to other the faults in Peterson’s reasoning.

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21 Responses

  1. Donal Carolan says:

    Good video, I thought Sam Harris in his first podcast conversation showed Petersons limitations when it comes to religion. I think he was pressured into those conversations by people who are fans of both him and Harris. Its strange that the two were pushed together to debate seeing as how they made their names off different area's of discourse (Harris debating religion, Peterson debating gender). Perhaps this is as a result of the logic they displayed in their respective fields vs. populist liberal views. In any case, everyones flawed….Peterson definitely has a blind spot when it comes to religion / truth and Harris has a blind spot in my opinion when it comes to Palestine / Israel and hypothetical thought experiments as in the perfect weapon debate with Noam Chomsky.

  2. Philippe Demptos says:

    It’s funny how you present Peterson’s overrated status as an insight that few have. Give it a couple of months, maybe a year, and hopefully we can disregard pseudo-intellectuals and idiocy as a whole.

  3. Feras Khan says:

    Who the FOOOK is this guy?

  4. Kurdiez says:

    I mostly agree with this video and I would say I personally lean closer to realist views as well. But some caveat about realism I want to point out that is also in this video. Especially the truth claim made with "tree falls and makes a sound whether there is someone who hears it or not". Here, "Tree falls and makes a sound" is the truth claim. Let's really get into the details of this simple statement. The word "tree" is a classification of certain objects. Why do we so conveniently choose to use the word "tree" instead of giving each tree a unique noun to use? It is because the differences in shape and branching of the individual trees are not significant enough. In many aspects, they are quite similar and it is in our best interest to keep things simple, classify them as trees and casually use that word in our conversations. But with advancements in modern technology within just couple hundred years we can analyze objects in this world in much more detail than prior times. We know for a fact that if zoomed in enough to their sub-atomic levels, two trees are infinitely different from each other. But we do not acknowledge these differences because there is rarely a need for this distinction. it's just not convenient in our normal conversations to have unique nouns for every single tree of the same species.

    What I am trying to get at is, even with the realist views, the moment you say something about the reality in human language, it is no longer the reality. It merely becomes a model of the reality we create in our mind. So to say "tree falls and makes a sound" is an objective truth is only within the context of humans who share the common language at that time. If in future (hypothetically speaking), technologies develop so much to the point where we stop using natural languages like English and communicate with each other brain to brain directly, our communication bandwidth will increase exponentially. Who knows what changes this can bring? We might even stop using such "primitive" and "over-classifying" word such as "tree" and be more granular and detail about things. Overtime people will never use the word "tree" and the statement "tree falls and makes a sound" is no longer true.

    Although these intellectuals are orders of magnitude smarter than me, at the end of the day, all they are doing is going through the exercise of modelling the reality in their own way (much more comprehensive than an average person can do) and debating which one is better based on some shared common standards (hopefully for the betterment of man kind). To say that your model is the absolute truth is to say that your model is not an abstraction of the reality. You have to be able to prove it is the reality itself. I don't think you can do that with any known language humans use to communicate with each other, including math.

    One thing I don't like about Jordan Peterson is that I think he is smart enough to know everything I just said. And yet, when he publicly speaks, he speaks in such elegantly articulated and authoritative way that he makes it sound like what he is saying is the only way to model the reality. This is especially dangerous to the students who are learning to become future intellects.

  5. Marshal C says:

    This is so stupid

  6. Christopher says:

    Thank you for making this video and exposing this kind of nonsense talk for what it is. And thanks for including Sam Harris as the voice of reason.

    This kind of blabbering is what kept me away from philosophy for a very long time. People just get all up in their heads and deeper and deeper into conceptual thinking that may be based on faulty assumptions in the first place and they lose all touch with reality in the process. That's what makes Sam Harris special as an intellectual in my regard. He's not just smart and a deep thinker, but his vast experience with meditation allows him to examine his own thinking more clearly. He's not addicted to thinking. He's using his mind and not the other way round.

    Jordan Peterson: If you mean "useful for survival and reproduction", then JUST SAY THESE WORDS. That's what they are there for. Don't try to bend a very simple word like truth to mean something which it does not, just so you can cram in your religious beliefs where they don't belong. Words have meanings. If everybody had their own personal interpretation of every word, meaningful communication would become impossible. So avoiding tough questions by redefining words is a BULLSHIT move. But I guess that's what you have to do if you want to defend irrational belief systems. Just redefine "rational" and you're good to go.

    Come to think of it, there are other people who have a very loose relationship with words like "truth"… Ever heard of a little thing called "alternative facts"? Discounting "truth" in this way is a very slippery slope and a dangerous thing to do.

    Even someone as smart as Neil Degrasse Tyson is now making room for bullshit like this by allowing for something called "personal truth", despite the fact that he's a scientist.

  7. a lex says:

    What are these biological facts you're referring to and from whom does he defend them?

  8. BFKC says:

    It always helps to know that there are tens of thousands of academics (just in any given present, with a long history of all the greats…), and they are all ALWAYS up to debate by default (even by a student, who HAVE to do so, at least by formal standards). And not one single "academic" is ever enough in a field or even on a topic (and they are never alone or pull it completely out of their own ass). If one doesn't even realize that, or – as I suspect – tries to undermine this very fact by electing some random authoritative idol, one is unbelievably clueless and incompetent. (And Jordan Peterson regularly fails by basic criteria of logic, sense, argument, even qualification for other fields, aside from being really mostly just mediocre anyway…)
    In other words, criticizing Jordan Peterson is 1. No big deal. If you think it is, you are a clueless, dangerous hypocrite… 2. Much, much easier than an entirely clueless person might suppose… (Who, after all, are even arbitrarily biased on such topics as "petty deflections" etc…)
    And even realizing WHO idolizes him, some self-realization of the trivial reality that one doesn't even know universities from inside (nor probably in many cases gives much of a crap about learning and proper, "respectful" argument), should serve one as a hint.

  9. oceanceaser says:

    enjoyed the video, gotta get away from that hero worship of Harris though. I'm not saying it's misplaced, I'm saying that your reverence makes you sound less trustworthy

  10. nzer48 says:

    Well done!…First time I have seen your video's and as an aging rationalist I certainly love seeing the intelligent battle being ppl such as yourself. I too have had issues listening to Mr Peterson …there were always issues for me of him providing a "word salad"… a very intelligent/intelligible one I must add….. yet they appear to be more of "Peterson truths" than anything else . He is certainly very good at it. Yet I often found, listening to him, a degree of hubris and disingenuous patter. His "belief" that he is correct, smacks of a somewhat egocentric approach to conversation and he has on occassion allowed the angry (don't laugh at me) side of himself, slip out. After listening to him for some time and eventually hearing his rationalisation's of what truth is and his belief in a god….I became, haha a skeptic in regard to his sincerity. When he started redefining Darwinism to "fit" his model ….thats when I saw him simply as another apologist. Shame really he is a very bright guy, he could have been great…now he simply appears to be another public speaker with a fat wallet. Truth? Well, its in action so maybe so (wink).

  11. andré van der lugt says:

    A. Your hair is awsome.
    B. You are a good speaker and have good arguments
    C. You now have a new sub

  12. Hazomina 72 says:

    Please do a video on Ben Shapiro

  13. Zach says:

    I think you, like Sam Harris completely discount the idea of metaphorical truth itself as nonsense. It seems, even with the editing job, that demonstrated why metaphorical truth supersedes “realist” truth. At no point did he say that a tree wouldn’t make a sound if it fell in a forest, with no one to hear it. He’s saying that that truth is superseded by the relativity of yourself. Not that it’s untrue it made a noise, untrue that it made a noise to you. Lol

    Atheists have a hard time grappling with that idea and yet with easily dispatch with how morality is formed in the first place.

  14. Oussama Saci says:

    You need to consider the fact that jordan (as any other thinker) is more interested in analysing the situation (the answer in this case) and producing more hypothesis that may help us in the path of finding the truth ( defining it in this case). His obviously more often in the searching mode not cutting the edge on a final answer. Jordan peterson is more of a fact privider.
    Yet, some of your arguments are valid. You were little harsh on him in the point of saying things he knows wrong. And his religious are not fallacies, he is sharing his personal problems religiously.
    Thanks for the video.

  15. Edward Thompson says:

    I really enjoyed this video, Peterson is far from perfect… but then again I'm probably too dim to understand the entirety of his or your arguments fully.

    Very little I have seen though indicates that Jordan Peterson isn't a realist (he does sometimes oversimplify subjects which doesn't do him any favors), most of his social ideas are based on evolutionary psychology and comparative analysis of historical paradigms. I think what he is trying to do is engage with subjects that are vaguely (more subjectively interpreted) defined when confronted with realism, this includes interpretation of theism. His aim after-all is to reconcile contradicting attitudes, he is trying to give people a sense of purpose/meaning while avoiding ideology as a means.

    Peterson's view on religion are intentionally non-direct, he refuses to acknowledge his belief in the literal truth of theism (God, Jesus etc) because he see's the disparity in peoples ideological interpretation of religious texts/beliefs (metaphorical, literal and/or false etc) as an influential factor over how they interpret his words. He instead describes religious texts as a metaphoric guide as to how past generations have taught following generations productive values and given meaning to their suffering/existence, all this while trying to pull people away from trap of ideological imprisonment.

    I'm definitely not clairvoyant so I can only speculate about his intentions, however the fact he publishes his lectures for all to freely watch strikes me as a relatively noble. He seems to want the best for his viewers and people in general, however the more criticism of his views are a part of the process by which inconsistencies in a theory/perspective are found and subsequently reconciled… as usual Rationality Rules is doing great work and producing great content.

  16. Jeff Xie says:

    I think this arguement of whether truth is objective or subjective goes directly to one of the basic philosophical question. My view is these ideas have been talked for centuries and we are probably never going to reach a conclusion given our biological limitation. But by all means, read more and get smarter. However, every view has its function, take on one perspective means to be blind to some others, to a extend. If you have benefited from Peterson, do use those truth and achieve something.
    Meaning and truth are just like brothers, they compliment each other most of time, but they also fight each other sometimes. We need to take caution when embark on a philosophical pursuit, can the brothers play and get stronger, or they are trying to hurt each other.
    Conclusion, philosophic thinking is a strengthening excercise. But we do often need to reduce them into simple right and wrong for our own condition of struggles.

  17. BURR GURR says:

    Yeah but according to quantum physics our perception does affect reality

  18. Chopbreaka says:

    Great vid ! I've been saying this about Peterson from jump street

  19. polkunus says:

    His rhetoric regarding gender norms are evolutionarily entwined is mostly untrue. Peterson claims that the more egalitarian a society is has women and men gravitate toward their instinctual gender and the less egalitarian the opposite. The berkeley study he references doesn't state this at all and he is misinterpreting said data to fortify his argument that women and men ultimately gravitate toward their gender roles. This is the foundation to his arguments regarding gender politics. Although our biology has an impact into our behaviours as men or women, there isn't sufficient evidence stating that social role theory — the theory that the concept of gender is a product of society is not a large contributing factor as to what makes men and women. This is further reinforced as eastern developed countries that value uniformity and collectivism like Japan are on the opposite scale of personality differences between genders, more so than underdeveloped countries. While cultures that value individualism like western countries have a stronger personality discrepancies between a man and woman.

    Personally I think peterson should realize that the concept of men and women are just that, concepts perceived and created by society and our biology perpetuates some abstract instincts which are masculine or feminine but I don't think those instincts take a strong role as much as peterson suggests. And its very difficult to guage social vs biology, but apparently peterson has a grip on this and advocates that biology eclipses all.

  20. facepalm486 says:

    "We don't assert that reality is materialistic"….I'm sorry. What else could it be, if not materialistic?

  21. The revolution will Not be televised says:

    He does this thing where he blends psychology, epistemology, philosophy and religion into some vague hodgepodge of sense that is really difficult to call coherent or incoherent and then he applies this hodgepodge to politics. It’s just all over the place. People who love him are convinced he isn’t being vague because they somehow find a way to agree with him and then accuse those who find him being vague as having some kind of conspiratorial motive to disagree or lacking the intelligence to be able to understand such a great man. Great men are understood by everybody with ease. And just because a person might be well versed in one particular field doesn’t mean they are well versed in every field they dip their toe into.

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