Friday, January 19, 2018

Grace under fire

Jordan Peterson's recent interview is getting a lot of buzz:

It's a master class in how to respond to a hostile interviewer who oversimplifies the issue. He did a fantastic job. However, he could have fielded one question differently. Does the right to give offense compete with the right to take offense? As the interviewer put it, does he have the right to offend a transgender person?

i) From an American perspective, there's a Constitutional right to offend others, whereas there's no comparable or superior Constitutional right not to be offended.

ii) To be offended is not self-validating. The fact that someone may take offense doesn't justify their umbrage. Indeed, umbrage is often unwarranted. Mere umbrage has no moral authority over anyone else. 

iii) The transgendered aren't primarily offended by others, but by themselves. They are offended by their own bodies.

iv) There are tradeoffs in a free and open society. That may result in hurt feelings, but the alternative is a totalitarian regime.


  1. Well stated. When I was single, I shared a home with a friend who, as a believer in Christ, struggles with gay desires. However, when you speak truth with him from Scripture and God's will, he is not at all offended. In fact, he will tell you that he needs constant reminders that the consequences of acting out his fantasies should be avoided at all cost. Its good to be offended in many situations and circumstances.

  2. The amount of misrepresentation by the interviewer is a Straw Man Machine

    1. I love how Peterson saw through and corrected every misrepresentation, misunderstanding and twisting of his words and meanings. WOW!

  3. It was thirty minutes of someone literally not listening to a single thing she's being told.

  4. That was painful. I need something for the pain. And yet I have to wait until Monday for an appointment with my GP.

    The interviewer had her script. Her questions were mentally stored. Oh, this girl was ready to pounce. In fact, she was so ready to pounce that many of her questions were simply spat out in the form of swivel-eyed accusations. If she'd have just paid attention she'd have spared herself the embarrassment of the breathtaking misrepresentations of what Peterson had said a mere sentence before.

    But this girl was on a roll.

    The swivel-eyed focus on the 'gender pay gap' epitomised the new feminism. Not only did the interviewer show no awareness of the multilple factors involved in analysing such issues, she was utterly unwilling to *listen* and *learn* about them. The simplistic narrative is far more easy... Such a shoddy approach. But indicative of the current trend.

    Did anyone else notice the interviewer get very tongue-tied at one point? I mean, talk about dead air!

    A final, tongue-in-cheek point: if the 'higher earning' men suddenly self-identify as female then we would solve the 'gender pay gap' at a stroke :)

  5. Peterson is a Canadian treasure. A tribute to common grace.

  6. If I remember correctly, the right to offend is embedded in the right to free expression, and might be necessary. Unlike Sam Harris!

  7. A point I neglected to mention. On 'gender inequality' the interviewer asks:

    'Why would there only be seven women running FTSE 100 companies in the UK?'

    Let's explore some of the assumptions and ignorance behind this type of question.

    1. Does the interviwer have figures giving evidence of vast numbers of women aiming to run FTSE 100 companies in the UK who are being blocked due to conspiracy?

    2. Grant the assumption that there are vast numbers of women in the UK aiming for, and being turned down from, running FTSE 100 companies. Is this necessarily due to some concerted effort to keep them out? Like many men who aim to run FTSE 100 companies in the UK, perhaps these women simply failed because they are not up to the job.

    3. If there are *not* vast numbers of women aiming to run FTSE 100 companies in the UK, what would we suggest FTSE 100 companies in the UK do? Hold tea & buscuit mornings inviting women to come along and see if they would one day like to run a FTSE 100 company?

    I mean, the question, with all its implications, is utterly simplistic and absurd.